Patients with mesothelioma may have a new treatment option available to them in the near future. Opdivo, an FDA-approved immunotherapy drug that is currently used to treat non-small cell lung cancer, may also have promising effects on the treatment of mesothelioma. It is likely that new immunotherapy drugs will follow as a result of the drug’s success with lung cancer patients.
While the drug is currently indicated for lung cancer only, patients with mesothelioma may gain access to the drug through the FDA’s expanded access exception. This means that if a doctor confirms that there is no comparable therapy available, and the risk of the drug is not greater than the risk from the disease, then the medication could be approved for that patient. In addition, the FDA will need to approve of the drug’s safety as it relates to mesothelioma, and use of the drug must not interfere with a related clinical trial.
Immunotherapy Drugs are the Wave of the Future
Immunotherapy, which is designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight the cancer, is considered by many to be the future of cancer care. Marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Opdivo is a type of immunotherapy that inhibits the protein on cells that blocks the body’s immune system from fighting the cancer.
According to Raymond Wong, Ph.D., of the Pacific Heart Lung Blood Institute in Los Angeles, a world leader in mesothelioma research, the drug marks a significant breakthrough in the treatment of lung cancer, and potentially other cancers including mesothelioma, a rare and incurable type of cancer.
Both Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck are conducting clinical trials for immunotherapy drugs, both of which target the same PD-1 protein that inhibits the immune system’s ability to fight cancer cells. There are currently no clinical trials for immunotherapy drugs that specifically treat mesothelioma, but this could very well change based on the promising outcomes of other studies.
Mesothelioma is a particularly lethal form of cancer infecting the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, and many typical cancer treatments are not effective in preventing its advance. There is still work to be done to make these revolutionary treatment options available to mesothelioma patients.
New Jersey Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Fight for Mesothelioma Victims
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers at the Shein Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our experienced, professional legal team will handle your case with compassion and care and ensure that your rights are protected. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, we help mesothelioma victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online to review your case with a qualified New Jersey mesothelioma lawyer.