If you’re a mesothelioma patient or someone who has a mesothelioma patient in your life, then you are likely watching today’s rapid-fire developments in cancer treatment with great hope and interest, and paying special attention to the tremendous strides that are being made with immunotherapy. The news of Jimmy Carter’s remarkable response to immunotherapy drugs in the face of his diagnosis brought hope to many that the same drug would be able to help those with other forms of cancer, including the rare and deadly of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, and according to a recent report, that is exactly what has happened to a patient with pleural mesothelioma who was treated with the drug nivolumab.
According to a case study reported in a recent issue of the American Journal of Case Reports, physicians from the University of Florida and The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati treated the 68-year-old patient with the immunotherapy drug after he had already submitted to surgery and several rounds of chemotherapy. Despite these treatments, the patient’s condition continued to worsen, and the physicians opted for a round of the experimental drug, which is thought to block a protein that helps cancer cells to become invisible to the immune system. The drug, which is sold under the brand name Opdivo, has been used successfully in other cancers.
The outcomes were far better than what the physicians had anticipated. He experienced what they described as “an exceptional and sustained response.” They went on to say, “As outcomes with traditional chemotherapy regimens remain disappointing, there is a substantial need for new approaches to malignant pleural mesothelioma; our case highlights a new therapeutic opportunity even in the face of aggressive disease.”
With malignant mesothelioma resulting in most patients dying in less than two years, the success of this patient’s treatment is likely to encourage others to make similar efforts in the future. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you would like more information on this and other treatment options, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Call us today at 1-800-692-8608.