When a person has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, they are universally informed of the disease’s grim prognosis: most patients succumb to the rare and fatal form of cancer within two years’ time, despite submitting to aggressive treatment protocols. Though short survivals are the norm, there have also been patients who have realized much longer periods of progression free survival, and many of those have benefitted from the use of an innovative new approach — immunotherapy. Now a new study has revealed a way to make the state-of-the-art treatment more effective for patients with mesothelioma.
The report, which was conducted by researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigations, looked at the effect that drugs referred to as PARP inhibitors play in mesothelioma treatment when combined with immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy has captured the imaginations of cancer patients and professionals alike: it has the potential of becoming a game changer as a result of its mechanism: it weaponizes the body’s own immune system and trains it on cancer cells. What the latest research has shown is that when PARP inhibitors are used in combination with immunotherapy for the treatment of mesothelioma, they make the immunotherapy response more powerful. They do this by creating even greater DNA damage in mesothelioma cells, and therefore making them more attractive to the immunotherapy drugs that kill them.
Speaking of their hopes for the use of PARP inhibitors in combination with immunotherapy in mesothelioma patients, lead author Chris Lord wrote, “The findings of this study substantially change our understanding of how PARP inhibitors work. We now know that they not only kill tumors by damaging their DNA, but also by attracting immune cells to attack them–acting as a sort of double-pronged attack.”
People diagnosed with mesothelioma face numerous challenges. In addition to battling their disease, many seek justice from those responsible for their illness. If you would like information on the best way to navigate the legal system, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244