New Treatment Combination Eradicates Mesothelioma Tumors

When it comes to finding a cure for a rare disease like mesothelioma, there are unfortunately more disappointments than victories. But remember how, as children, we were taught, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again?”

Fortunately, the researchers at the National Cancer Institute and Roche Pharmaceutical Research did try again, redoubling their efforts by combining two previously failed mesothelioma medications and finding that together they delivered remarkably positive effects.

A just-published study that appeared in the journal Cancer Immunology Research details the scientists’ continued belief in two treatment protocols that had previously fallen short of hopes and expectations. The first approach involved the use of immunotoxins while the second was the use of checkpoint blockers, which are tumor-blocking medications.

When both of these treatment therapies failed to provide any improvement on their own, the researchers decided to see what would happen to laboratory animals infected with mesothelioma if the two were provided together.

Their research showed that out of eleven infected mice treated with the immunotoxin and checkpoint blocker had their mesothelioma tumors entirely eliminated. Equally promising was the fact that when the mice that had been inoculated with the combination therapy were exposed to additional malignancies, the treatment had the effect of preventing new tumors from taking hold.

Malignant mesothelioma is diagnosed in approximately 3,500 Americans each year. It is a notably difficult form of cancer to treat. It has proven resistant to chemotherapy and is frequently so far advanced at the time of its diagnosis that it is inoperable.

The results of this animal study offer significant hope that researchers may be able to use this new approach to provide extended survival, and perhaps even improvement in quality of life for patients who have this asbestos-related disease. It is particularly notable that the use of the two protocols did not have toxic impact that chemotherapy and radiation therapy have.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, then you need fast access to comprehensive information. The Patient Advocates at are dedicated to staying up-to-date on medical innovations, resources and other useful information to lighten the load for those struggling with this disease.

To speak with us, call  1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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