Researchers have presented their findings in a Phase 3 trial showing that immunotherapy may be a viable alternative to chemotherapy for mesothelioma patients.
In the PROMISE-meso trial, scientists compared the efficacy of immunotherapy with pembrolizumab, a checkpoint inhibitor, against standard chemotherapy. They did this in mesothelioma patients who had relapsed after receiving first-line treatment. Their findings showed that these patients responded to immunotherapy, almost four times more.
Sadly, the observed greater responses failed to lead to a delay in the progression of the disorder or improved survival chances.
“These findings are disappointing but, as in previous studies, some patients benefitted from immunotherapy for long periods,” said study author Dr. Sanjay Popat, of Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London, UK. “If we can find out how this happens, we will have a better idea of which patients should preferentially receive this treatment over chemotherapy.”
In spite of the mediocre results, Popat said that immunotherapy showed enough potential to serve as an alternative to chemotherapy.
Results from the PROMISE-meso trial were presented at the 2019 edition of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) annual meeting.