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Posted by George McTaggart on 20 February 2023

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the linings of the lungs, heart, and abdomen. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral found in certain building materials and insulation. Although mesothelioma is rare, it is a serious form of cancer with no known cure. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for improving patient outcomes. On average, two people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in Australia each day.

Mesothelioma can cause severe pain, shortness of breath, and ultimately death. Sadly, mesothelioma has no cure and those who develop it have a very poor prognosis. The average life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma is only 1-2 years after diagnosis. Despite advances in treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, mesothelioma remains one of the most fatal forms of cancer with an estimated death rate of over 80%. This makes it even more important to raise awareness about this deadly disease and take steps to reduce its prevalence.

Despite this, The Hyogo College of Medicine in Japan have recently undergone a mesothelioma clinical trial with the use of a combination of immunotherapy drugs. The drugs used were ipilimumab and nivolumab aka: Yervoy & Opdivo. The trial was run between June 2021 and July 2022 on 41 patients. 360mg of Opdivo was given to each patient, via IV, every three weeks; alongside 1mg/kg of Yervoy every six weeks. Of the 41 patients, 18 had a measurable reduction in tumour size, and stabilisation of tumour in 13. Only 10 patients’ tumours increased in size throughout the trial. Post study, 20 patients’ treatment continued to be effective. It is the first time in 15 years that a new drug has been approved for malignant mesothelioma. Further clinical trials could prove even more benefits from this medicine (Marchese, 2023).


Marchese, S. (2023, January 30). Study shows Opdivo, Yervoy effective after mesothelioma surgery. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2023/01/30/opdivo-yervoy-mesothelioma-recurrence-surgery/


HAZCON offers several Asbestos Training short courses including Asbestos Awareness Training 

Author:George McTaggart


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