PD-L1 May Be A Possible Immunotherapy Target In Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma According To New Research Presented At The 2014 European Society For Medical Oncology Congress In Madrid, Spain

This is our second post from a recent European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) report about some of the research results presented ESMO 2014 Congress in Madrid, Spain.

Our first post, from last week, was “Radiation Therapy After Chemotherapy And Surgery For Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Does Not Improve Outcomes In Terms Of Time To Recurrence / Relapse Nor Overall Survival”.

Now from that same ESMO report, “Studies report new findings on treatment options for mesothelioma”, we learn that when a protein called programmed cell-death ligand 1 (PD-L1) that is found in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) they tend to have poorer outcomes. In turn, this presents the issue of whether PD-L1 is a possible immunotherapy target in mesothelioma.

Here is some of the research on this issue that was presented at the ESMO 2014 Congress:

“We report that PD-L1 is expressed in 20% of malignant pleural mesothelioma patients and is associated with poor outcome, which suggests that this pathway could be targeted with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors,” says study author Dr Susana Cedres, from Vall d’Hebron Institute Oncology, Barcelona, Spain….

Most importantly, patients who were negative for PD-L1 expression survived around 11 months longer than patients who were positive for PD-L1 expression (median survival 4.79 vs 16.3 months)….

“The results of our study could offer new treatment to this population of patients, identifying a subset of malignant pleural mesothelioma who expressed PD-L1 and could be treated with targeted therapies to PD-L1,” Cedres says.

We will continue to watch for new studies about good treatments for mesothelioma going forward.

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