Imfinzi plus platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy induced survival improvements in patients with previously untreated, unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma, compared with chemotherapy alone.
Treatment with Imfinzi (durvalumab) plus platinum-pemetrexed chemotherapy was associated with improved survival among patients with previously untreated, unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma compared with chemotherapy alone, according to recent study results.
Moreover, the data — which were published in Nature Medicine — demonstrated that subgroups of patients with the rare cancer achieved significant benefit from the combination.
“Historically, the outcomes for mesothelioma have not been good; whether that be with surgery or without surgery,” lead study author Dr. Patrick Forde, director of the Thoracic Oncology Clinical Research Program at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, said in an interview with CURE®. “It’s an unusual tumor type in that surgery probably has a modest role to play for most patients. We’re relying more and more on developing new medication treatments such as in this clinical trial, and I think the signals here are that there are groups of patients who derive a significant benefit from the combination of chemo with immunotherapy.”
Developments over the past two decades have been relatively scarce, according to Forde. In fact, he noted that aside from the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Opdivo (nivolumab) plus Yervoy (ipilimumab), little progress has been made in terms of treatment advances.
That was until a few years ago, Forde said.
“We were starting to see some signals of efficacy from chemo-immunotherapy for other cancers (such as) lung cancer (and) for some gastrointestinal cancers,” he said.
Additionally, Forde noted that data were starting to show that the use of single-agent immunotherapies was associated with some type of activity in patients with mesothelioma. That coupled with the fact that epithelioid mesothelioma — which, according to NYU Langone Health, accounts for more than 50% of all mesotheliomas — is susceptible to chemo, made this combination enticing to study, according to Forde.
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