Chemoimmunotherapy Being Hailed as the Next Frontier for Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment

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According to Australian doctors recently, chemotherapy and immunotherapy are the next frontier for the treatment of deadly mesothelioma cancer. The study in which they made this bold statement was the medical journal Expert Opinions in Biological Therapy. The doctors reviewed several mesothelioma clinical studies from 2016 to 2018. (

Some of the studies were centered on chemotherapy while others were centered on immunotherapy. There were relatively few studies that focused on both treatments together.

Why Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma Cancer?

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that affects the major organ linings, including the lungs, heart and intestines. It is extremely difficult to treat, with the average pleural mesothelioma patient living a mere year after diagnosis. Generally, the most popular cancer treatment for these patients is chemotherapy, with Alimta being the treatment drug of choice. Alimta is often used in combination with cisplatin. Patients who receive this treatment tend to live approximately four months longer.

Immunotherapy Drugs Could Offer Hope

But some new drugs are offering mesothelioma patients new hope. These new drugs focus on changing how the immune system functions. These are known as immunotherapy drugs. The immune system can help to fight cancer, but cancer cells are very tricky and can hide. One why they hide is with immune checkpoints, which reduces the response of the immune system to the cancer. CTLA4 and PD-L1 are two of the common immune checkpoints with cancers such as mesothelioma. Some of the new mesothelioma drugs try to turn them off. These drugs are known as checkpoint inhibitors. But some of these drugs work more effectively than others. And some of them working together could be the most effective way today to treat mesothelioma. (

Better Mesothelioma Treatment?

The Australian doctors mentioned above read many studies about CTLA 4 blockers. They report that CTLA4 blockers by themselves are not effective for mesothelioma. They also have read studies about PD-L1 blockers. Keytruda is a good example of a PD-L1 blocker; this blocker helps to treat mesothelioma about 25% of the time. There were no studies that compared PD-L1 to chemotherapy or placebo.

Studies indicate that CTLA4 blockers and PD-L1 blockers working together could help mesothelioma patients live longer. But the strongest power to fight mesothelioma may actually be chemoimmunotherapy. This is immunotherapy and chemotherapy working together. The team of Australian doctors thinks this could be the next frontier to treat mesothelioma.

About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen. It is nearly always caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma is frequently diagnosed in older men who worked with asbestos-containing products in manufacturing and industrial settings. Prognosis is relatively poor, but the above new therapies are offering some new hope for mesothelioma patients.

Patients can begin to show initial cancer signs approximately 10 to 50 years after they are exposed to asbestos. Symptoms differ by the exact type of the disease, but early symptoms easily can be mistaken for less serious ailments, such as a cold, flu, pneumonia or even lung cancer (which is easier to treat). Recognizing the signs and symptoms of this cancer earlier on will provide you with more treatment options.

About Wrongful Death Mesothelioma Lawsuits

In most cases, a patient’s mesothelioma is caused by a company’s negligence. When a person passes away from mesothelioma, the estate of the person could have the right to file a wrongful death action against a former company or employer that made or sold asbestos-containing products.

It is important to realize that filing a wrongful death lawsuit for a mesothelioma case is very time-sensitive. Every state has a statute of limitations for filing a claim. You should talk to a licensed mesothelioma attorney in your state as soon as your loved one passes away from mesothelioma to determine how long you have to file suit.

Filing a wrongful death claim for mesothelioma is a complex legal process. When your loved one dies from mesothelioma, legal decisions about the matter usually are handled by the estate representative. This is commonly an immediate family member, such as a child or spouse. It does not necessarily have to be a blood relative.

The estate representative is commonly named in the person’s will. The representative may be referred to as an executor or administrator. If no one is appointed before your loved one dies, the court appoints an estate representative.

Some of the most common estate representatives are:

  • Spouse or partner for life
  • Children (this can include adopted children or stepchildren)
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Close friend
  • A person who was financially dependent on the deceased

Note that awards for wrongful death lawsuits go to the estate and do not go to the estate representative. So, payments from settlements or verdicts could be divided among members of the family, just as assets are divided after a person dies.

In many situations, the amount that is awarded for a wrongful death claim is less than a personal injury claim. This is because a plaintiff in a personal injury case usually has ongoing medical bills, lost wages, travel expenses and emotional and physical suffering.