Articles Posted in Mesothelioma Treatment

A recent analysis published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology determined that peritoneal mesothelioma patients who underwent surgery had a far better survival rate compared to those who did not have surgical intervention to treat their cancer. The study analyzed the survival rates of over 2,000 patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma between 2003 and 2014 and found that for those who underwent “radical” surgery, the survival period was up to five times longer than those who did not.

Examining the data, the study found that about half of the patients did not undergo any kind of surgery to treat their peritoneal mesothelioma cancer, and had an average survival rate of about seven months after diagnosis. On the other hand, those who underwent radical surgery, about 34% of those looked at, had an average survival rate of just over three years. Another group, which underwent a combination of surgery and chemotherapy, had an average survival rate of just under three and a half years.

According to the study, prior to the turn of the century, the average life expectancy of a patient diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma was less than a year. The study recommends that doctors suggest surgery to their newly diagnosed patients who are able to undergo such procedures, in order to extend their lives.

A recently published study from the Netherlands appears to indicate that a combination of a pair of immunotherapy drugs can help improve the prognosis of mesothelioma patients with tumors that are not able to be removed through surgery. The experiment, named checkmate 743, compared the use of first-line nivolumab and ipilimumab versus platinum-based chemotherapy in a group of over 600 mesothelioma cancer patients, and showed significant tumor shrinkage for a large portion of the participants who were given the two-drug combination.

Conducted by The Netherlands Cancer Institute and The University of Leiden, in Amsterdam, the study showed a two year survival rate in 41% of the 303 participants given the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab, contrasted with a 27% survival rate of the 302 patients  undergoing platinum-based chemotherapy. For many decades, chemotherapy has been the standard of care for mesothelioma patients diagnosed with tumors that cannot be operated on or otherwise surgically removed.

“CheckMate 743 met its primary endpoint of statistically improved OS with nivolumab + ipilimumab vs standard of care chemotherapy in first-line treatment of patients with mesothelioma,” said Paul Baas, M.D., who presented the study’s findings at The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer conference. “These clinically meaningful data represent the first positive phase 3 trial of immunotherapy in first-line MPM and should be considered as a new standard of care.”

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