This Week in Mesothelioma: Immunotherapy and More


Mesothelioma PD-1 and CAR-T Immunotherapy

A study by the American Society of Clinical Oncology conducted a study on 18 patients, finding that when two different mesothelioma immunotherapy treatments were administered at the same time, eleven of the group had a complete response to the treatment.

“The treatments available to each patient may be different depending upon which stage a patient’s cancer has reached. Typically, patients in earlier stages have a wider variety of treatment options. Patients in later stages tend to be more limited,” explains Vogelzang Law.

Guidelines Not Followed Enough

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that patients with pleural mesothelioma, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, are going without treatment recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Multimodal therapy is recommended, but the study found that there is a vast undertreatment of mesothelioma.

Some Mesothelioma Biomarkers More Effective Than Others

New research has become available that suggests some biomarkers are more effective at the detection of mesothelioma than others. The analysis of 50 studies for three biomarkers found that two biomarkers are good for screening, while one of those biomarkers are not good for screening.

Osteopontin was the one marker that was found not to be effective for screenings.

Community Works Together to Raise Money for 20-year-old Mesothelioma Sufferer

Cesar Lawrence began coughing when his mother brought him to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Alaska in the spring. The young man was found to have mesothelioma at the age of just 20 years old. The aggressive form of cancer impacts the lining of the abdomen, heart and lungs.

An all-day fundraiser took place to help raise money for Cesar.

He has two more rounds of chemotherapy left before doctors determine if he will need to have lung surgery performed. Cesar was unable to be at the event due to his treatment in Seattle. Surgery is the only way to cure the cancer by surgically removing it.

FDA Approves First New Treatment in 15 Years

Mesothelioma patients have their first new treatment option in 15 years. The FDA approved a device, called NovoTTF-100L System, was designed by Novocure. The device uses electric fields to stop tumors caused by mesothelioma from dividing.

It was approved under the Humanitarian Device Exemption, which was designed to encourage innovation for rare diseases.

The device can be used among other forms of treatment to improve the survival rates of patients. A similar treatment device, called Optune, was approved for brain cancer in 2011.