Recent reports revealed that a combination of Nivolumab and Ipilimumab immunotherapy treatments showed significant success in extending overall survival in patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. But there’s nothing quite like hearing the outcome directly from a patient like 69-year-old Michael Conway, who was part of the clinical trial. Speaking to his local newspaper in Milton Keynes, a town just 50 miles outside of London, Conway calls the treatment a “miracle” and says that it has prolonged his life.
Man Diagnosed with Mesothelioma in 2017
Mr. Conway was just 66 when he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in 2017. He had been a builder, and when he decided to pursue legal action against his former employers (which can be done in the United Kingdom), he contacted a law firm. In addition to providing him with legal assistance, the firm referred him to mesothelioma specialist Professor Dean Fennell, Director of the Mesothelioma Research Programme at the Leicester Cancer Research Centre. That is how he got involved in the CheckMate-743 immunotherapy drug trial.
The clinical trial compared the impact of Nivolumab in combination with Ipilimumab to traditional chemotherapy treatment in those with previously untreated malignant pleural mesothelioma. The drug combination works by enhancing the immune system’s ability to fight back against cancer cells. For Mr. Conway the response was startling. The tumors in his lungs shrank from 21mm and 29mm to just 5 mm and he has so far lived more than two years past the date his physicians had predicted for his survival.
Mesothelioma Victim Grateful to Be Alive
Speaking of the initial effect that his diagnosis had on his life, Conway echoed the words and thoughts of many mesothelioma victims, saying, “To be told out of the blue you have an inoperable, terminal disease is devastating. You find yourself sitting at home thinking, ‘Why me?’ and simply don’t know what to do or where to turn.” When he learned of his eligibility for the clinical trial he was eager to sign up.
He acknowledges that the drugs had some side effects, including fatigue, itchy hands, and a reduced sense of taste. He also said that he had to pause his drug trial when he got hepatitis as a result of the testing, but that he got his taste back and felt fine throughout. “At some points, I felt so little difference that I thought I must be on a placebo, but within a few months my tumors had shrunk. It was a miracle.”
Though Mr. Conway knows that his tumors will eventually return, he is grateful for the extra time he has with his wife and family and is glad that he participated in the clinical trial, which he knew would benefit future patients even if it did not cure his mesothelioma. For information on similar opportunities, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.