New Mesothelioma Treatment Overview: Avelumab

Recently in June, a study yielded promising results for mesothelioma patients waiting for viable treatment options. Nearly half of the participants saw stabilization of tumor growth occur during the 12-week study, after taking Avelumab for their malignant mesothelioma.

According to the Surviving Mesothelioma website, Avelumab is an experimental, anti-PD-L1 (programmed death-ligand 1) drug. PD-L1 is a protein expressed on the surface of some mesothelioma cells. The main function of PD-L1 is to inhibit the immune system and prevent the activation of T cells, which can assist in fighting abnormal cell growth. Anti-PD-L1 drugs, such as Avelumab, work by keeping PD-L1 from performing its function. Inhibiting the PD-L1 protein can activate the patient’s immune system to attack mesothelioma tumors.

In addition to stabilizing tumor growth in mesothelioma patients, Avelumab actually shrunk the tumors of over 9% of participants. Overall, the control rate was 56.6%. Only four patients out of 1,600 experienced serious side effects during the study. The drug is still under investigation by the National Cancer Institute.

While mesothelioma is currently an incurable disease, experimental treatments are available for patients for symptom and pain relief. We have mesothelioma resources on our site that can help you find a medical center or treatment option that is right for you. Consulting with a medical professional soon after your diagnosis is the best way to maximize treatment options.