Major Breakthrough For The Prescription Drug, Pembrolizumab, Which is Considered Safe For Patients With Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma


Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently released the results of a study showing that the cancer immunotherapy drug Pembrolizumab has shown the ability, in some cases, to shrinking or halting the spread of mesothelioma tumors. Pembrolizumab was safe, tolerable, and yielded robust antitumor responses in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, according to data from the phase Ib clinical trial. The test results were very encouraging and continues to represent hope in successfully combatting Mesothelioma, a disease caused by exposure to asbestos materials. While the name of the drug may be a tongue twister its potential success is a blessing.

“Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that arises in the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall. With a median survival of only about one year, there is a clear need for new treatment options,” said Evan W. Alley, MD, PhD, clinical associate professor, co-director of the Penn Mesothelioma and Pleural Program, and chief of the Hematology/Oncology Division at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research which was held April 18-22, 2015 in Philadelphia. This is extremely exciting. The lawyers at Wallace & Graham, who represent victims of asbestos exposure, are vigilantly reading the latest research and case studies as the firm continues to educate and inform its clients and their families of the latest medical news.

According to the researchers, the drug was successful in either slowing the spread or shrinking malignant pleural mesothelioma tumors in 76 percent of patients participating in the study. The disease primarily attacks the lining of the lungs and abdomen although it also affects the lining of the heart in some instances. The only known cause of pleural malignant mesothelioma is the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers.

The research team was comprised of scientists from the United Kingdom, United States and Europe. Of the 25 patients who were given Pembrolizumab seven of them experienced shrinkage of tumors. The drug, according to the results of the study, halted tumor growth in 12 patients. The disease progressed in four patients and two others had not been assessed at the time the study was released. There were no adverse events reported by any of the patients.

While the drug shows promise, it is only one aspect or modality for treatment. This is why it is important to immediately connect with a medical specialist and hospital that is experienced with the latest science in treating the disease. There is no single answer and a qualified specialty is the only doctor who can give a person an objective outline of how to proceed.

The quicker the mesothelioma victim gets to the specialist, such as those at Duke University Medical Center, the quicker the issues can be addressed and the person can understand their options. The attorneys at Wallace & Graham, when asked to do so, will always immediately meet with the person to give legal options while always encouraging the person to listen to their doctor for all medical advice and treatment options.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Pembrolizumab in 2014 to treat a form of melanoma. It targets PD-1, which is also known as programmed cell death protein 1. By blocking PD-1 the drug helps the immune system attack tumors. This medication is among a list of new medicines that boost the immune system to attack tumors.

We have written about the exciting development and use of immunotherapy for a long time and the Attorneys at Wallace & Graham are continuing to encourage its clients and their families that people care and that the experts in science and medicine are working very hard to stop the spread of disease. If you or a love one has been diagnosed with a disease please contact the attorneys’ at Wallace & Graham at 1-800-849-5291 for a free, no obligation, confidential visit.

Sources: American Association for Cancer Research, April 19, 2015

cancer research, Mesothelioma

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