Annual Cancer Meeting Highlights Mesothelioma Treatment News

Published on June 07, 2023

At this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, there were several presentations on the development of treatment options for malignant mesothelioma. Two of the most notable studies have focused on the use of pembrolizumab and Keytruda, respectively. The first looked at the drug in combination with chemotherapy as a first-line treatment, and the second looked at its use in mesothelioma patients whose disease has come back. In both applications, the researchers expressed optimism about the benefit of the therapy.

Pembolizumab and chemotherapy prolong overall survival in mesothelioma

The first notable data presented at the ASCO meeting was that pembrolizumab-containing therapy reduced the risk of mesothelioma death by 21% compared to chemotherapy alone. A total of 440 patients received the gold standard chemotherapy either with or without the immunotherapy drug at a dose of 200 mg every 3 weeks for up to 35 cycles. They found that patients who received the combination therapy achieved a significant improvement in survival as well as progression-free survival.

Pembrolizumab and AXL kinase inhibitor-controlled relapsing mesothelioma

A second notable mesothelioma study, conducted and presented by BerGen BioASA, evaluated the combination of pembrolizumab with its selective AXL kinase inhibitor bemcentinib in 26 patients with relapsed mesothelioma. The study was part of the MiST 3 study being conducted at the University of Leicester, UK. This study found that 46.2% of participants had a control rate at 12 weeks, 38.5% at 24 weeks, and an overall response rate of 15.4%. The combination of the two drugs was well tolerated and was generally considered safe.

Researchers find new approaches to the challenges of malignant mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and deadly type of cancer. It is extremely aggressive and doctors struggle to prolong patients’ survival and improve their quality of life. Studies like the two studies announced at this year’s ASCO offer great hope that patients will be able to enjoy more time with family and friends after diagnosis.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and need information about where to get treatment, contact Patient Advocates today at 1-800-692-8608.

FREE Mesothelioma Pack written by Terri Oppenheimer Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the main author of our news blog. She completed her studies in English at the College of William and Mary. Terri believes knowledge is power, and she is committed to sharing news about the effects of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and the stories of victims.

Find out more about Terri and contact her