If you have mesothelioma or are being tested for it, there is some good news. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced a new drug combination that can be used to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma. According to the report, the drugs ipilimumab and nivolumab are now the first treatment regimen that has been approved for use in mesothelioma patients in 16 years.
The combination use of these drugs has been shown to improve outcomes for patients who have this disease. Previously, there was only one possible treatment path, which used pemetrexed and cisplatin, but now patients will have two treatment options to select from.
Additionally, the benefit of this medication combination is that it did outperform chemotherapy. When looking at survival rates, those who received the new drug combination lived approximately four months longer than those who received chemotherapy.
Why does it work? The combination includes monoclonal antibodies. These help enhance T-cell function, which helps lower tumor growth normally caused by cancer. Like many medications, this combination does have some common side effects that patients can expect to deal with. These include musculoskeletal pain, rashes, fatigue and others. It’s still a good idea for patients to discuss their specific case of mesothelioma with their medical provider and specialists to determine if the new drug combination would be a better option for them.
Researchers are always looking for new ways to help patients with serious illnesses. This is just one example of a medical advancement that may help you. If you have mesothelioma, now is a good time to start looking into better treatment opportunities.