In Washington state, a Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) oncologist and researchers are launching a new study, which will be conducted in locations throughout the country. The purpose is to take a more focused, curative approach to mesothelioma treatment. The trial will be more involved and longer than most other medical studies, and there will be strict guidelines as to which mesothelioma patients can participate.
The treatment involved in the study will combine the immunotherapy drug Tecentriq (atezolizumab) with radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy. The study is being sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.
In the beginning, patients will start out with chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs. Then, the participants will graduate to aggressive surgery, followed by a one-year regimen of getting the immunotherapy drug every twenty-one days. The immunotherapy infusions will last for sixty minutes. As such, this is major time commitment for patients, as well as clinicians, once they commit to this study.
Additionally, patients undergoing extrapleural pneunomonectomy will receive a high dose of radiation, whereas patients having pleurectomy and decortication will likely not receive radiation.
One of the major issues that researchers will determine during this study is whether this treatment is feasible for patients, since it involves many different types and variable disciplines of treatments, and an unusually long time commitment.
Typically, less than one-third of mesothelioma patients are candidates for surgery.
In this study, the one-year maintenance regimen of the immunotherapy is important, since it could reduce the chances of tumor recurrence. This study is being conducted in multiple locations throughout the country. This includes, on the East Coast, the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston.
The immunotherapy drugs, which are typically used for mesothelioma, target a specific protein in cells. While mesothelioma cancer is active in the body, that protein is prevented from attacking the mesothelioma. The immunotherapy treatments try to boost that protein, so that the body’s immune system can more effectively attack the cancer that is present. Therefore, immunotherapy attempts to utilize the body’s own immune system to attack cancerous cells.
There have been some side effects associated with these immunotherapy drugs. They typically include nausea, decreased appetite, and fatigue. Overall, the side effects from immunotherapy have been found to be less severe than those associated with chemotherapy.
The goal of this study is to learn if a more intensive, multi-discipline approach could be more effective in treating mesothelioma, and proving those suffering from it with a better prognosis.
If you or a loved one contracted mesothelioma, and you suspect that it could be related to exposure to a product in your home or in your workplace, Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler can evaluate your case. We strive to seek maximum recovery for our clients. To make an appointment in our Philadelphia office, call us at 215-569-4000, or contact us online to provide you with legal advice concerning your situation today.