Pembrolizumab may treat pleural mesothelioma

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Pembrolizumab may treat pleural mesothelioma

Postby whbio » Mar 21 2017 3:41 pm

According to a study reported in The Lancet Oncology and led by the University of Pennsylvania researchers, an antibody drug called pembrolizumab that are used to treat other types of cancer may also be as a treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a rare, aggressive cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue surrounding the lungs known as the pleura.

MPM is linked to exposure to asbestos fibers. MPM carries a poor prognosis, and the median survival after symptom onset is less than one year. Great efforts have been made to improve the understanding of the devastating disease. But there are still many questions in this field. Currently, effective treatment for MPM is limited.

In this study, the team conducted a phase 1b trial of pembrolizumab (an anti-programmed cell death receptor 1 [PD-1] antibody) in patients with MPM. A total of 25 previously treated patients with PD-L1-positive MPM were administrated the drug in the study. Results showed that the tumor shrank in 14 of the patients. In addition, the overall survival of the patients was one and half a year. During the study, 14 patients died. The most common adverse events were fatigue (six [24%]), nausea (six [24%]), and arthralgia (five [20%]).

“Pembrolizumab appears to be well tolerated and might confer anti-tumour activity in patients with PD-L1-positive malignant pleural mesothelioma,” said the researchers. Study first author Dr Evan W Alley noted that the results were encouraging. The researchers hope that pembrolizumab could be a standard second-line therapy for MPM patients but more research is required to confirm these findings.

Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody to programmed cell death receptor 1 (PD-1). It has already been used clinically in the treatment of metastatic melanoma, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. As a PD-1 inhibitor, pembrolizumab blocks PD-1, thereby activating the immune system to attack tumors. Cusabio offers antibodies.
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