A just-released study out of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center provides encouraging news for patients diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. According to researchers at the highly respected facility, treatment combining atezolizumab and bevacizumab provided a 40% objective response rate in patients diagnosed with the rare cancer of the abdominal lining. They also found that the protocol was safe and well tolerated, with few side effects.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma is Diagnosed in 300-500 Americans Per Year
Both pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma are highly aggressive and rare forms of cancer that carry a terminal prognosis, but peritoneal mesothelioma is the rare of the two, and is diagnosed in only 300-to-500 people per year in the United States. This has led to much of the research into the disease focusing on the more commonly diagnosed pleural mesothelioma, and peritoneal mesothelioma patients being treated with the same drugs found to be effective in that form of the disease. This has proven to be an issue, as peritoneal mesothelioma is usually diagnosed at a later stage and if left untreated results in a life expectancy of less than a year after diagnosis.
To address the need for improved treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma, Kanwal Raghav, M.D., associate professor of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, and Daniel Halperin, M.D., assistant professor of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, initiated their study combining the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab with bevacizumab, a therapy that slows the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
Results of Mesothelioma Study Called Meaningful
The study found that peritoneal mesothelioma patients treated with the test protocol did not progress to their next needed treatment until 17.6 months, compared with 8.3 months for those who had not received the treatment. Progression-free and overall survival was 61% and 85% respectively at one year.
Writing of their findings in the journal Cancer Discovery, Raghav said, “There is a grave unmet need for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma. This study establishes a much-needed treatment option and represents an effort to encourage research for this rare disease.”
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with either pleural mesothelioma or peritoneal mesothelioma, researchers are making significant progress in creating effective treatment options. For information on the resources available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.