• Mesothelioma Survivor Rate Increasing With Immunotherapy
  • October 2, 2017
  • Immunotherapy drugs are getting positive press. With good reason, these new cancer treatments are delivering good results. The latest success story comes because of Opdivo, the brand of nivolumab used to treat one patient successfully.

    Nivolumab is an immunotherapy drug. Manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb and marketed by the name Opdivo, the medication was approved for use by the FDA in December 2014. Since then, lung cancer treatments using the drug have shown promise.

    Nivolumab works like many immunotherapy drugs by helping the body’s immune system fight cancer cells. In the case of Opdivo, the proteins that create a barrier between cancer cells and the immune system are removed, allowing the body to fight disease. In fact, Opdivo was the first immunotherapy drug to receive approval from the FDA for experimental treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Typical treatments involve using traditional chemotherapy or radiation initially with a follow-up of immunotherapy. Early in 2017, the FDA approved the combined approach which is already showing considerable promise. The story of Gene Hartline adds mesothelioma to the growing list of successes.

    Adding a Success Story to the Growing List
    When Gene Hartline was diagnosed in July 2016, the 77-year old retired sheet metal contractor was told he had between four and six months to live. Although this diagnosis was made at a major treatment facility near his home in Florida, and having family members who worked in the medical field, they searched until they found Dr. Rama Balaraman who worked at Florida Cancer Affiliates.

    Florida Cancer Affiliates uses the combined treatments as well as other emerging therapies. The organization has access to experimental drugs awaiting final FDA approval such as nivolumab. Dr. Balaraman told Hartline that although several other cancers had been treated successfully with the medication, she had only one mesothelioma patient respond well. He moved ahead with the treatments and today, his cancer is in full remission.

    Once his doctor cleared him, Hartline and his wife have been traveling the country. Having been diagnosed thirty years earlier with an asbestos disease, which only made its appearance in 2016, he knows that the remission may not last. Until then, Hartline enters the ranks of a growing number of pleural mesothelioma patients/ with the ability to claim victory.

    Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Support Immunotherapy Survivors
    After three decades of helping families harmed by asbestos, the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler are skilled attorneys with extensive experience. We have seen first-hand the devastation caused by pleural mesothelioma in families. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, including in Philadelphia County, Delaware County, and Chester County, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation online or call either 215-569-4000 or 800-369-0899 for immediate attention.