Immunotherapy represents real hope in the fight against malignant mesothelioma, as well as in other types of cancer. A presentation delivered at the 5th Annual International Congress on Immunotherapies in Cancer reinforced the sense of optimism, as a top researcher indicated improvements in the results being seen.
Immunotherapy May Move to Front Line Mesothelioma Protocol
Though much of the focus on the use of immunotherapy in malignant mesothelioma has been on its application as a second-line or maintenance therapy after initial treatment with chemotherapy, the latest research is pointing to its role as a frontline protocol. According to Naiyer A. Rizvi, MD, Price Family Professor of Medicine, director of Thoracic Oncology, and co-director of Cancer Immunotherapy at Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center, immunotherapy agents are increasingly yielding better results as an initial application.
“SCLC and mesothelioma have been difficult cancers to treat, and immunotherapy has not made an impact until very recently, where, in the first-line setting, we have improved outcomes and new standards of care for the treatment of SCLC and mesothelioma,” he told a gathering of researchers.
Trial Assessed Outcomes of Opdivo and Yervoy in Mesothelioma Patients
Dr. Rizvi detailed the use of immunotherapy in the phase 3 CheckMate 743 trial, where patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma are being randomized between doses of Opdivo and Yervoy or the more traditional cisplatin or carboplatin plus pemetrexed treatment. He explained that thus far, the progression free survival rates and the overall survival rates both demonstrate significant improvement with the immunotherapy combination when used in patients with non-epithelioid tumors, and less dramatic results in those with epithelioid tumors. “These data are really meaningful, supporting immunotherapy only as first-line therapy [in mesothelioma],” said Rizvi.
As researchers continue exploring innovative treatments for malignant mesothelioma, having access to up-to-date information becomes more important than ever. For access to the resources you need, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.