Pennsylvania residents who are or were exposed to the mineral asbestos, whether on the job or through a household product, run the risk of developing an aggressive cancer called mesothelioma. Among the different kinds is one called malignant pleural mesothelioma, which affects a certain lining found in the lungs, heart and other organs. It’s a rare cancer with only a few treatment options. Many patients are only diagnosed at a late stage.

FDA approves new treatment for MPM

This is where the immunotherapy drugs nivolumab and ipilimumab, also known as OPDIVO® and YERVOY®, come into play. The FDA has approved the use of these for the front-line treatment of adults with MPM. A previous clinical trial showed that the overall survival of patients who took this combination of drugs was 18.1 months whereas it was 14.1 months for those who undertook platinum-based therapy.

After two years, 41% of patients treated with nivolumab and ipilimumab were alive. On the other hand, only 27% of patients who went through chemotherapy survived.

Treatment does give rise to adverse events

Patients should be aware that the two drugs, being immune checkpoint inhibitors, will give rise to adverse events. One may suffer from colitis, which is the inflammation of the colon’s inner lining; encephalitis, where the brain swells; hepatitis, where the liver is inflamed; and poorly functioning kidneys.

A lawyer for mesothelioma patients

You may have an asbestos/mesothelioma case on your hands if you believe that your suffering is the result of someone else’s negligence. Exposure may have taken place decades ago, so pursuing a case can be difficult without any legal assistance. A lawyer may have third parties like medical experts and investigators come in to strengthen the claim before negotiations begin. You may have the lawyer negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement.