Mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is generally fatal, due to the fact that it is usually not diagnosed until the disease is very advanced. This is significant, as each year an estimated 3,000 people are newly diagnosed with late-stage mesothelioma. This means that the cancer is too far advanced for surgery to help. Other traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation may extend life temporarily, but ultimately late-stage mesothelioma is generally fatal.
However, workers in New Orleans may be interested to learn that one new treatment — a composition of virotherapy and immunotherapy, named ONCOS-102, that is injected into the area where the tumor is located — is being tested that may help those with late-stage mesothelioma when combined with chemotherapy. One study compared late-stage mesothelioma patients who received ONCOS-102 plus chemotherapy to early-stage mesothelioma patients who only received chemotherapy.
In the study, patients who received ONCOS-102 plus chemotherapy saw a progression-free survival rate of approximately nine months. In comparison, those in the study who only received chemotherapy had a progression-free survival rate of approximately seven months.
In addition, participants who received ONCOS-102 plus chemotherapy saw a disease control rate of 90%. In comparison, those who only received chemotherapy saw a disease control rate of 83%.
What this study concluded is that ONCOS-102 was good for mesothelioma patients and increased their immune response, as patients who were treated with it showed more survival benefits and disease response. While the aforementioned study took place abroad, it is hoped that such experimental treatments will soon be available in the United States.