- Molecular and immunologic breakthroughs are transforming the management of thoracic cancer, although advances have not been as marked for malignant pleural mesothelioma where pathologic diagnosis has been essentially limited to three histologic subtypes.
- Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a disease primarily associated with exposure to the carcinogen asbestos. Whereas other carcinogen-related tumors are associated with a high tumor mutation burden, mesothelioma is not. We sought to resolve this discrepancy.
- Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has limited treatment options and a poor outcome. Programmed death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) checkpoint inhibitors have proven efficacious in several cancer types. Nivolumab is a fully humanized monoclonal antibody against programmed death 1 with a favorable toxicity profile. In MPM, the immune system is considered to play an important role. We therefore tested nivolumab in recurrent MPM.
- The primary objective of this single-institution phase I clinical trial was to establish the maximum tolerated dose of gemcitabine added to cisplatin and delivered as heated intraoperative chemotherapy after resection of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
- Malignant pleural mesothelioma poses unique difficulties in tumor measurement and response assessment; however, robust and reproducible assessment of response is critically important in the conduct, interpretation, and reporting of clinical trials.
- Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an uncommon, almost universally fatal, asbestos-induced malignancy. New and effective strategies for diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment are urgently needed. Herein we review the advances in MPM achieved in 2017. Whereas recent epidemiological data demonstrated that the incidence of MPM-related death continued to increase in United States between 2009 and 2015, new insight into the molecular pathogenesis and the immunological tumor microenvironment of MPM, for example, regarding the role of BRCA1 associated protein 1 and the expression programmed death receptor ligand 1, are highlighting new potential therapeutic strategies.