Although lung cancer and mesothelioma have similar symptoms, the comparisons typically stop there. Mesothelioma is much less common than lung cancer, and the only known cause is exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma develops most often in the pleura, the thin membrane that forms the inside layer of the lungs, and not in the lungs themselves. The diseases are as different as their treatments and responses to therapies, until recently.
The team at the Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Program at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center are optimistic that a successful therapy for lung cancer may potentially be just as effective in patients with mesothelioma. The promising immunotherapy uses the body’s own disease-fighting immune system to attack the cancer cells. Not only has immunotherapy shown positive results for lung cancer, but also holds promise for other cancers as well.
The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center was part of the original clinical trial that looked at immunotherapy as a treatment for five types of advanced cancer, including lung cancer. The interaction between proteins PD1 and PDL1 in the body allows cancer cells to remain undetected by the body’s immune system and multiply. The immunotherapy compound used in the clinical trial consisted of anti-PD1 and anti-PDL1. It was believed that with the correct combination of these antibody proteins, the body recognizes and destroys the cancer cells.
The patients in the study received the anti-body immunotherapy intravenously every two weeks, and results showed an 18-28% rate of tumor shrinkage. The researchers were optimistic because remission of lung cancer had not been previously achieved with immunotherapy. Although immunotherapy may not work for everyone, it is believed that the treatment can be effective for other types of cancers. Despite these promising results, additional clinical trials are needed to test the effectiveness of immunotherapy on mesothelioma.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our Pennsylvania and New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers for help in securing the financial settlement you deserve. Our knowledgeable, professional staff will help you through every step of the process and treat your case with care and compassion. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at your convenience.