In a mesothelioma case, surgery is meant to remove cancer from the body. Mesothelioma surgery is intended to help an individual feel better and live longer. Surgery combined with chemotherapy, and, sometimes, radiation, is considered the best mesothelioma treatment.
Not All Mesothelioma Patients are Eligible for Surgery
Before a doctor can perform surgery on a mesothelioma patient, they must assess the patient to determine if they are qualified to undergo surgical treatment. Some pleural mesothelioma patients do not qualify for surgery, but most do. Most of those who are eligible to undergo surgical procedures usually undergo procedures aimed at improving symptoms and quality of life.
It can be discouraging for a patient to learn that they do not qualify for mesothelioma surgery, especially because surgery offers a great chance of long-term survival. However, mesothelioma patients who do not qualify for surgical treatment may benefit from another type of treatment. Therefore, if you are suffering from mesothelioma but do not qualify for surgical treatment, you should not give up.
FDA-approved Opdivo® and Yervoy® Combination Immunotherapy
In 2020, the FDA approved Opdivo (nivolumab) in combination with Yervoy (ipilimumab) to be used on adults with malignant pleural mesothelioma who cannot undergo surgical treatment. According to the FDA, approval of nivolumab plus ipilimumab came after the treatment demonstrated an improvement in overall survival for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Opdivo and Yervoy are currently being used as a first-line treatment for mesothelioma patients who cannot undergo surgery.
Unfortunately, chemotherapy regimens have moderate survival benefits with poor outcomes. This is according to recent research. Researchers analyzed results from a Checkmate 743 trial after monitoring patients for close to three years. Through the analysis, it was determined that immunotherapy patients seem to be living longer than chemotherapy patients. The results indicate that immunotherapy patients can live up to four months longer than chemotherapy patients. Likewise, the analysis determined that immunotherapy yields higher one- and two-year survival rates.
Additionally, the researchers found that the Opdivo and Yervoy combination immunotherapy might have the ability to stimulate the body to fight cancer even after treatment is stopped. Usually, during a study, participants are only allowed to receive immunotherapy for up to two years. So, during the Checkmate 743 trial, participants received the Opdivo and Yervoy combination therapy for two years. After following patients for close to three years, researchers determined the survival rates as follows:
- Opdivo and Yervoy immunotherapy group – 23.2%
- Platinum and pemetrexed chemotherapy group – 15.4%
Nevertheless, it is important to note that immunotherapy, just like all other mesothelioma treatments, can have complications. Because of this, patients should be seen and treated by professionals who have as much experience as possible.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.