One of the challenges of radiation for mesothelioma is damage to lung tissue. The primary tumor for this cancer exists in the lining of the lungs, called the pleura.
Aiming radiation beams at this tumor puts the lungs in harm’s way with radiation spray.
While this is an obstacle, new types of radiation continually pop up hoping to solve the issue.
A new trial, in phase 1, is using stereotactic body radiation for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Stereotactic body radiation uses special equipment to position the patient and deliver the beam with high precision. This ideally uses fewer doses to kill tumor cells, and fewer doses means less damage to the lungs.
Doctors are giving patients stereotactic body radiation with immunotherapy. Many studies use radiation with immunotherapy because they believe radiotherapy can cause an immune reaction, and the immunotherapy makes the T cells in the body better at confronting tumors.
Doctors will use stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Patients undergo 3-5 daily fractions of SBRT until the cancer gets worse or there are toxicity concerns. Safety is one of the main assessments, but doctors also hope for exciting survival outcomes and response rates.
Keytruda Immunotherapy With IMPRINT
Another trial, in phase 1 and with 24 open spots, is testing the radiation-immunotherapy combination. The trial is at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
There are many similarities in design between this study and the one above. The only difference is the type of radiation in Memorial Sloan’s trial is intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
Patients receive Keytruda, the brand name for the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab. This drug is given every three weeks at 200 mg. The goal is to see the highest dose of IMPRINT radiation before severe effects occur for patients.
This trial, like the one above, is recruiting patients. If you’d like to join either one, email patient advocate and registered nurse Karen Ritter, firstname.lastname@example.org. She has helped many patients apply for clinical trials, which can open doors to treatment that weren’t possible before.
Sources & Author
- Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy With Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Mesothelioma. Clinicaltrials.gov. Retrieved from: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04926948. Accessed: 12/03/2021.
- A Study of Pembrolizumab and Radiation Therapy in People With Mesothelioma. Clinicaltrials.gov. Retrieved from: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04897022. Accessed: 12/03/2021.