A Diary of Living With Mesothelioma. World Epidemic of Mesothelioma ? Immunotherepy News of more trials


Well it was a day yesterday of people around the world congratulating my news of more shrinkage. The phone never stopped ringing as elated friends rang. Even a Doctor in Holland in a surgery said he was following my story and he knew of my shrinkage.  How amazing. Funny I was more thrilled my kidney is working again and love having a full bladder every hour.

I did manage to get out in the lovely sun shine and posted some letters as we walked the dog but the wind was blowing as we cam home and so it got hard to walk. I walked like I had had a few drinks. Its so funny as I try so hard to concentrate on putting one leg straight before the other but I go off to the side. I will master it one day. I did get home safe.

Study Find Mesothelioma in Epidemic Proportions

I didnt like this report http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/01/prweb12436938.htm

Italian researchers say mesothelioma, the deadly cancer associated with asbestos exposure, has reached epidemic proportions in parts of Europe and Oceania.

Mesothelioma researchers Claudio and Tommaso Bianchi of the Center for the Study of Environmental Cancer in Monfalcone, Italy gathered mesothelioma data from cancer registries and fellow researchers around the world. They reached a disturbing conclusion.

“[The] mesothelioma epidemic does not show signs of attenuation,” write the Bianchis. “The lack of data for a large majority of the world does not allow that the consciousness of the risks related to asbestos exposure is reached.”

The report, published in the Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found the highest mesothelioma rates in the UK, The Netherlands, Malta, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand. Japan and Central Europe have relatively low mesothelioma rates.

“While it is discouraging to see mesothelioma rates continuing to rise, the most unsettling part of this report is the revelation that too many countries are not even gathering mesothelioma data at all,” says Alex Strauss, Surviving Mesothelioma’s Managing Editor. “If this is true, it is likely that global mesothelioma rates will continue to climb for many years.”

So why keep saying its rare come on wake up and smell the coffee !!!


One good bit of news

Merck & Co and Bristol-Myers Squibb have signed separate onco-immunology focused trial agreements with Eli Lilly to assess combinations of their rival PD-1 inhibitors with the latter’s cancer drugs.

The Merck alliance will test the safety, tolerability and efficacy of combining its flagship immunotherapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) with Lilly compounds across multiple clinical trials.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will conduct a Phase II study assessing a mix of Keytruda and Lilly’s Alimta (pemetrexed) in first-line non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which is currently enrolling.

Lilly will carry out a multiple-arm Phase I/II study looking at Cyramza (ramucirumab)/Keytruda in multiple tumours, as well a Phase I/II study of necitumumab/Keytruda in NSCLC, both of which are scheduled to begin this year.

Further terms were not disclosed.

B-MS deal

The B-MS deal will see a combination of its immunotherapy Opdivo (nivolmab) and Lilly’s investigational drug galunisertib (LY2157299) put through clinical trials to test potential in advanced glioblastoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and NSCLC.

The study will be conducted by Lilly. Additional details were not disclosed.

Galunisertib is currently being assessed by B-MS as an oral treatment for advanced/metastatic malignancies, including Phase II evaluation in hepatocellular carcinoma, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), glioblastoma, and pancreatic cancer.

Both Keytruda and Opdivo are approved in the US for advanced melanoma, and both are now racing to bag approval for patients with NSCLC. Merck announced Sunday that it intends to file Keytruda for the treatment of NSCLC patients without ALK or EGFR mutations by mid-2015, while B-MS unveiled ueber-promising late-stage data for Opdivo showing a significant survival benefit in patients with advanced, squamous forms of the disease.

So things are moving in the Immunotherepy world.

Merck & Co is planning to hand in US applications for two of its flagship medicines in cancer and hepatitis C during the first half of this year.

The US drugmaker said today it intends to file its first-in-class cancer immunotherapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients (NSCLC) without ALK or EGFR mutations.

In September last year the drug became the first PD-1 inhibitor to win US Food and Drug Administration approval, as a treatment for advanced or unresectable melanoma.

The move sees the race to market heat up between Merck’s drug and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s rival PD-1 inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab), which is also already on the market for melanoma and boasted a strong set of lung cancer data over the weekend.

B-MS said a key Phase III trial pitting Opdivo against the chemotherapy docetaxel in previously-treated patients with advanced, squamous cell NSCLC was stopped early after the drug demonstrated a significant survival benefit.

The company noted that this is the first time a survival advantage with an anti-PD1 immune checkpoint inhibitor in lung cancer has been indicated. But analysts still believe that Keytruda will initially pull in the lion’s share of sales, given that its label is expected to cover more patients on launch, according to media reports.



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