Mesothelioma study combines radiation with immunotherapy

20 Mar 2018 by under Research/Treatment
RadiationTherapy 100x100 Mesothelioma study combines radiation with immunotherapy

Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Liliana Moreno

Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York is recruiting patients with relapsed mesothelioma for a study to determine the safety and efficacy of a combined radiation and immunotherapy treatment.

Researchers are hoping that steroatactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) can boost the immune system’s anti- response, and that the immunotherapy drug avelumab can enhance that effect.

“The combination of radiation therapy and immunotherapy may be more effective against mesothelioma than either treatment alone,” lead researcher and radiation oncologist Andreas Rimner, MD, said in a statement.

SBRT is more accurate than conventional radiation therapy, delivering high-dose radiation therapy to a very targeted area through a series of one to five treatments. Participants in the mesothelioma study will receive five SBRT treatments.

Immune-stimulating drugs like Avelumab are a promising new approach to cancer treatment. Avelumab is currently being studied in several types of cancers, including mesothelioma. Known by the brand name Bavencio, Avelumab works by blocking a protein on tumor cells that allows them to avoid detection by immune cells. By blocking this protein, researchers hope Avelumab can boost the body’s ability to naturally fight off mesothelioma cells.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering mesothelioma study is the first to combine SBRT with Avelumab. Researchers are seeking candidates for the study who have recurrent or persistent malignant pleural mesothelioma orperitoneal mesothelioma that continued to grow or came back after standard mesothelioma chemotherapy, are older than 18 years of age, are not currently suffering from any serious treatment side effects, and who have not had any previous immunotherapy.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of lung cancer that is caused by exposure to , a fibrous material that is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials like brake linings.

Source: Surviving Mesothelioma

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