A new immunotherapy treatment may help patients with mesothelioma survive longer. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer infecting the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, which is caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease is notoriously difficult to treat and often leaves patients with a short life expectancy. Clinical trials of an immunotherapy vaccine showed promising results in European patients and may be an effective solution for patients who have not found relief in other treatment methods.
The ONCOS-102 vaccine, developed by Targovax, contains a genetically modified oncolytic adenovirus that can alter the microenvironment of the tumor to make it more vulnerable to an immune response. The recent phase II trial involved 31 mesothelioma patients in Spain and France, of whom 20 received the vaccine along with standard chemotherapy and the remainder received chemotherapy alone. The patients who received the vaccine displayed a more robust immune response and improved longevity.
Overall survival rates for the group that received the vaccine were significantly higher, ranging from 21.9 to 25 months, compared with the average survival of 13.5 months in the control group. Half of the patients who received the vaccine saw survival of two years or more, whereas none of the chemotherapy patients reached that milestone. Additionally, patients treated with the vaccine experienced progression-free survival for an average of 9.8 months, versus 7.5 months without the vaccine.
Two Immunotherapy Solutions May Produce Best Results
The Targovax vaccine may be most effective in conjunction with another recently approved mesothelioma treatment, the combination of immunotherapy drugs nivolumab and ipilimumab, marketed under the respective brand names Opdivo and Yervoy. The checkpoint inhibitor treatment, which was approved for mesothelioma patients by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2020, has been helpful in extending life expectancy in some patients by an average of four months. Opdivo and Yervoy were the first new drug treatment approved for mesothelioma since 2004, which is great news for patients, but only about half of mesothelioma patients have shown a response to the treatment, leaving many patients in need of another solution. The next stage of testing will involve patients being treated with these drugs to see whether better results can be achieved in all patients.
Targovax, the Scandinavian biotech firm that developed the vaccine, specializes in therapies for treatment-resistant cancers such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is resistant to common cancer treatments and requires novel solutions to help patients improve their prognosis. The ONCOS-102 vaccine has proved to be safe and tolerable for patients in trials so far, and the FDA has given the vaccine fast-track status to help make the treatment available as quickly as possible. Although further testing is needed before the vaccine can be approved, researchers are hopeful that this treatment will be the key to helping patients who have no other options.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Mesothelioma Patients
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law are here to help. We have successfully represented mesothelioma patients and their families in all types of asbestos exposure cases, and we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation to which you are entitled. We will be there every step of the way so that you can focus on your treatment and recovery. Call us at 877-743-4652 or contact us online to discuss your case. With offices in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.