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Updates on Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma Patients

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2019 | Asbestos, Mesothelioma

Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that stimulates the patient’s immune system so it can fight off cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. Due to its success as a developing cancer treatment, it is now being used as an experimental treatment for mesothelioma. Here, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos, who have experience representing mesothelioma patients in environmental litigation such as asbestos exposure, provide updates on immunotherapy for mesothelioma patients.

Immunotherapy is an Experimental Treatment for Mesothelioma Patients

While not yet a part of the standard treatment for mesothelioma, the results of immunotherapy as a treatment for various types of cancer look favorable. While the experimental treatment is not a cure for cancer, it aids the body’s immune system to fight the cancer more effectively and has allowed many people live for years after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Immunotherapy may be a successful treatment for cancer because it utilizes the natural functions of the body’s immune system. The immune system’s main function is to protect the body from viruses, bacteria and other pathogens by recognizing and then attacking foreign threats, including cancer cells. Immunotherapy, therefore, helps to activate the immune system to more effectively fight against cancer cells and other malignant threats.

Immunotherapy Options are Available for Treatment of Mesothelioma

There are a variety of immunotherapy options for patients to choose from. Keytruda, a popular immunotherapy drug used to treat lung cancer, is available for patients through compassionate care as well as through clinical trials. Keytruda is FDA-approved to treat any cancer that has a microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or a mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) solid tumor, and it has been shown to be effective in treating mesothelioma patients after initial methods of treatment.

Other forms of immunotherapy include immune checkpoint inhibitors, cancer vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. Immune checkpoint inhibitors stop cancer cells from evading the immune system by unmasking cancer cells and allowing the immune system to recognize and eradicate them. Major immune checkpoint inhibitors include Keytruda, Opdivo, Yervoy and Imfinzi. Preventative and therapeutic cancer vaccines are two types of vaccines that show promise in preventing and treating mesothelioma. Research is currently being conducted to create a preventative mesothelioma vaccine that could potentially stop mesothelioma cancer cells from developing in the body.

Monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) is the most common form of cancer immunotherapy and, while not yet the most common form of mesothelioma immunotherapy, is being researched further in an effort to potentially expand its use for mesothelioma patients. This method of treatment works as a targeted therapy that focuses on a single point within the cancer cell, such as the antigen or protein.

Immunotherapy Offers Many Benefits to Mesothelioma Patients

Since its initial development in the 1970’s, immunotherapy has been shown to offer may potential benefits for cancer patients. Just a few of the many benefits offered include the potential to regulate and control the growth of cancer in the body, trigger the natural processes of the human body to fight cancer on its own and target only cancer cells while acting as no threat to normal cells. Also, immunotherapy offers fewer side effects than harsh cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, and the side effects that may occur are often far more controllable.

Speak to a Medical Product Liability Attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos

Immunotherapy may be a breakthrough for mesothelioma patients, and the success seen so far is promising. By boosting the body’s own natural immune response, immunotherapy may help the body fight cancer cells with less side effects compared to the mainstream anticancer treatments most commonly used today. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos have extensive experience representing mesothelioma patients and seek to provide the most current and breakthrough information on mesothelioma research so that you can receive the best treatment possible. If you or a loved one suffers from mesothelioma and seeks a qualified legal representative to provide counsel, contact The Law Offices of Peter Angelos today.