Mesothelioma researchers focus on results yielded in clinical trials, but sometimes the best way to test the effectiveness of a protocol is to study the outcomes seen in real patients. When researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found mixed results in clinical studies of immune checkpoint inhibitors provided after platinum-based chemotherapy, they decided to conduct a retrospective study of patients who had actually had the treatment. They found that in real-world patients, use of the innovative immunotherapy treatments provided far superior results when compared to standard second-line treatment with chemotherapy.
Retrospective Study Demonstrates Superior Survival in Mesothelioma Patients
In a report published in the journal Lung Cancer, the researchers said that of 176 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients treated between 2015 and 2019, 115 received immunotherapy treatment and 61 received chemotherapy. Though different types of each protocol were used, the researchers found that median overall survival with the immune checkpoint inhibitors was 8.7 months, while for those who received chemotherapy as their second-line treatment the median overall survival was just five months. The one-year survival statistics were equally remarkable, with 36.7% of the immunotherapy patients surviving 12 months after the treatment compared to just 15.6% of chemotherapy patients.
In their conclusions, the team wrote, “Our findings suggest that immune checkpoint inhibitors may benefit patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma and progression after initial platinum-based chemotherapy. Further investigation is needed to determine the role of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma patients with disease progression after first-line therapy and if outcomes vary by histologic subtype.”
Every day, researchers make new discoveries that improve quality of life and extend survival times for those with malignant mesothelioma. If you would like help accessing resources for yourself or someone you love, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.