From the blog

Tremelimumab and Durvalumab Combination Can Improve Mesothelioma Survival

Published: February 25, 2022

Studies show that durvalumab and tremelimumab work very well together while treating mesothelioma. A phase I clinical trial was performed at the Baylor College of Medicine in conjunction with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. Durvalumab is an immunotherapy drug known as a PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor. It works by blocking the connection between T-cell receptors and cancer cell receptors. This allows the immune system to see cancer cells and fight them. Tremelimumab is a CTLA-4/B7 checkpoint inhibitor, which is similar to durvalumab but for the CTLA-4/B7 receptor. Both of these drugs work very similarly to nivolumab and ipilumab, two immunotherapy drugs approved for the use against mesothelioma.

The trial at the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center had 20 patients. Sixteen of the patients received at least one of the immunotherapy drugs. Eight patients received both durvalumab and tremelimumab. Eight patients received only durvalumab and four patients did not receive any treatment. The median survival and progression free survival for the patients just receiving druvalumab was 14 months. The survival time for durvalumab and tremelimumab could not be recorded because five of the eight patients receiving the treatment were still alive. Five of eight patients still being alive is very promising for the treatment.

Durvalumab and Tremelimumab have shown to be successful together in other studies. A phase II study of the two drugs had a median survival of 16 months. Another study involving durvalumab and chemotherapy produced a median survival of 20 months. The trial involving chemotherapy called DREAM3R is still enrolling and is being done at many cancer centers. With durvalumab and tremelimumab showing to be successful in studies, it could potentially be approved for treating mesothelioma alongside durvalumab. Either way, durvalumab is very effective when used with other treatments like chemotherapy or immunotherapy drugs.

Mesothelioma has historically been a hard cancer to treat, so any new treatment available for the disease is a step in the right direction. Clinical trials for example are creating great survival numbers for mesothelioma. Without these clinical trials, mesothelioma care would not be as good as it is today. More advancement needs to occur though, so more clinical trials need to be performed. Immunotherapy is a very promising treatment not just for mesothelioma but for all cancers. It can create less side effects for people being treated for cancer versus standard chemotherapy treatments, allowing people to live longer with a better quality of life.

“MEDI4736 Or MEDI4736 + Tremelimumab In Surgically Resectable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma” Clinical Trials (January 27, 2022). [Link]
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