Atezolizumab & Chemotherapy Safe in Pleural Mesothelioma

Researcher Calls Pre-surgical Atezolizumab With Chemotherapy “Rather Encouraging”

Researchers had been following study patients for about 20 months as of September 2021. At that time, the study had not yet reached a median survival. Thus, the median survival will be better than 20 months.

Atezolizumab & Chemotherapy Safe in Pleural Mesothelioma

An earlier study found a median survival of 18 months for traditional cancer-directed pleural mesothelioma treatment. As such, this new approach may represent a substantial improvement once results are final.

Researchers also reported median progression-free survival (PFS). Median PFS is the point at which half of patients have experienced mesothelioma growth and half have not. Patients achieved a median PFS of 18.6 months with the new treatment regimen.

Boris Sepesi, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is one of the lead researchers on the study. He recently spoke with The ASCO Post about these results. Dr. Sepesi called the performance of pre-surgical atezolizumab and chemotherapy “rather encouraging.”

However, Dr. Sepesi refused to even speculate about the regimen’s efficacy because the study is not yet complete. His position may remain unchanged even when the study wraps because it was not designed to evaluate efficacy.

Atezolizumab May Expand Treatment Options for Pleural Mesothelioma

Despite Dr. Sepesi’s tempered enthusiasm, mesothelioma patients may find this study “rather encouraging.” Doctors found atezolizumab safe as an addition to presurgical chemotherapy. In addition, the new treatment approach kept mesothelioma from progressing for about one and a half years.

Investigators will have to perform additional research to understand the efficacy of this new combination. In the meantime, patients may be able to access atezolizumab by participating in a clinical trial.

Any mesothelioma patient interested in a clinical trial should discuss treatment options with a doctor. A mesothelioma specialist can help the patient understand the best treatment approach for their situation.

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