A Cure for Mesothelioma? Hopes High for New Cancer Vaccine

Researchers at Stanford University are about to move into human trials of what some believe may be the most promising treatment yet for malignant mesothelioma and other types of solid tumors. The new treatment is an immunotherapy vaccine that combines two separate agents, both of which are already being tested independently.   Unlike some other types of immunotherapy – including drugs like Keytruda and Opdivo that have been tested for mesothelioma treatment – the new treatment is not customized to attack a specific type of cancer cell.   Instead, it relies on a two-part system that “teaches” immune system T-cells what kind of cells to attack by injecting the vaccine directly into a tumor. This is known as “in situ” … Continue reading A Cure for Mesothelioma? Hopes High for New Cancer Vaccine »

Could Stem Cell Vaccine Lead to Mesothelioma Cure?

woman mesothelioma doctor holds syringe

A new stem cell vaccine that has proven effective against malignant mesothelioma and several other cancers in mice might offer a promising new way to treat the asbestos cancer. Although rare, malignant mesothelioma is one of the most treatment-resistant malignancies. Even with aggressive therapies, most people diagnosed with mesothelioma do not survive longer than about 18 months. But research conducted at Stanford University and published in the journal Cell today may change that. It details the anti-tumor responses in the lab and in live mice to a vaccine composed primarily of pluripotent stem cells. Pluripotent Stem Cells and Anti-Tumor Response Pluripotent stem cells – also called iPS cells – are cells taken from the skin or blood that are treated with … Continue reading Could Stem Cell Vaccine Lead to Mesothelioma Cure? »

Mayo Researchers Fight Mesothelioma with Measles Virus

The same virus that can make unvaccinated children come down with spots and fevers may provide the basis for a powerful new weapon against the intractable cancer, malignant pleural mesothelioma. New research being conducted at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic suggests that a strain of the measles virus called MV-Edm (the Edmonston strain) has the unique ability to not only target and kill lab-grown malignant mesothelioma cells, but to also spare normal cells, reducing the risk of treatment-related side effects. How MV-Edm Targets Mesothelioma Cells The ability of a therapy to selectively target cancer cells is the hallmark of a promising mesothelioma treatment. Current therapies, including the gold standard chemotherapy combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin, can cause … Continue reading Mayo Researchers Fight Mesothelioma with Measles Virus »

Fast-Tracked Mesothelioma Drug Set for Phase 3 Trials

woman mesothelioma doctor holds syringe

By this time next year, a pivotal Phase 3 trial will be underway on what looks to be one of the most promising new therapies for malignant pleural mesothelioma.   The makers of galinpepimut-S, an immunotherapy vaccine with Orphan Drug status for acute myeloid leukemia and pleural mesothelioma, recently announced their intention to begin the Phase 3 mesothelioma trial in mid-2017. The news was punctuated by the FDA’s decision to “fast track” development and review of galinpepimut-S for mesothelioma. It had already been granted Fast Track status for acute myeloid leukemia. “This Fast Track designation underscores the importance of galinpepimut-S as a potential treatment option in mesothelioma,” the company’s CEO, Angelos Sterigou, MD, said in a statement. Dr. Sterigou says the … Continue reading Fast-Tracked Mesothelioma Drug Set for Phase 3 Trials »

Enzyme Blockers May Offer Innovative New Mesothelioma Treatment

physician

Cancer drugs that block an enzyme called EZH2 could be a “tremendous innovation” for mesothelioma patients, according to researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Recent research on mice at Memorial Sloan Kettering found that elevated levels of EZH2 allowed mesothelioma to grow out of control and that blocking the enzyme inhibited the growth of mesothelioma tumors. A New Kind of Mesothelioma Drug? Fortunately, there are already EZH2-blocking drugs being tested for the treatment of other cancers. Researchers are hopeful that these drugs may turn out to be promising for mesothelioma treatment, as well. “Now that there’s a biological rationale for why these drugs would work in mesothelioma, this could be a tremendous innovation for patients,” says oncologist … Continue reading Enzyme Blockers May Offer Innovative New Mesothelioma Treatment »

New Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma Relies on Altered T-Cells

An emerging type of mesothelioma therapy that uses altered T-cells to attack tumors is generating some excitement among researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The approach, called CAR T-cell therapy, produces what the National Cancer Institute has called a “living drug” for targeted mesothelioma treatment. A new review of this immunotherapy approach has some encouraging news for mesothelioma patients and their families. Producing a “Living Drug” for Mesothelioma Therapy CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma and other cancers starts by extracting some immune system cells called T-cells from a sample of the patient’s blood. The T-cells are then altered in the laboratory using chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), which essentially program them to recognize certain antigens on the surface … Continue reading New Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma Relies on Altered T-Cells »

Immunotherapy Drug: More May be Better for Advanced Mesothelioma

The same team of Italian researchers that first reported on the safety and efficacy of the immunotherapy drug tremelimumab for mesothelioma now say that giving more of the drug might be even more effective. Tremelimumab is a monoclonal antibody that acts on a particular downregulator of the immune system called cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4). The goal of tremelimumab is to inhibit the immune system tolerance to tumors, which tends to allow them to grow unchecked. When CTLA4 is reactivated with a drug like tremelimumab, it regains its ability to attack tumors. Based on the results of their 2013 study that showed a 31% rate of disease control in patients with unresectable mesothelioma who were given tremelimumab, the team tested … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug: More May be Better for Advanced Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Vaccine Receives Orphan Drug Approval

woman mesothelioma doctor holds syringe

Mesothelioma patients who are not candidates for surgery may soon have another treatment option. The FDA has granted orphan drug approval to a new cancer vaccine called CRS-207. CRS-207 is manufactured by Aduro Biotech, Inc. and is made from an attenuated (less potent) version of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. CRS-207 triggers a powerful immune response against cells that produce mesothelin, a tumor-associated antigen produced by several types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Because it works in conjunction with the body’s natural immune responses, CRS-207 is classified as a type of immunotherapy. Aduro Biotech is currently enrolling mesothelioma patients in a Phase 1b clinical trial of CRS-207. They are looking for 40 mesothelioma patients who have inoperable cancer and have not yet … Continue reading Mesothelioma Vaccine Receives Orphan Drug Approval »

Australian Doctors Use Bacteria to Shrink Mesothelioma Tumors

Could bacteria responsible for problems ranging from sinusitis to food poisoning be used as a weapon in the fight against malignant mesothelioma? The results of a new study conducted by mesothelioma researchers at the University of Western Australia suggest that it might. The researchers focused their study on a compound made up of proteins produced by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, also called ‘Staph’ bacteria. The compound has been used clinically to induce pleurodesis, a closing up of the pleural space around the lungs that can become fluid-filled in people with mesothelioma. Based on its success in pleurodesis, the Australian team wondered if the S. aureus protein compound could also shrink tumors. Scientists in the University’s Centre for Asthma, Allergy and … Continue reading Australian Doctors Use Bacteria to Shrink Mesothelioma Tumors »

Mesothelioma Vaccine Enters Phase 2 Testing

The makers of a new cancer vaccine say they have enrolled the first mesothelioma patients in a study that will combine their drug with chemotherapy against this virulent cancer. The drug, currently known as CRS-207, is manufactured by Aduro Bio Tech, Inc. According to a company press release, CRS-207 is based on an attenuated (made less potent) version of Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria found in soil and water than can cause the food borne illness, Listeriosis. To make CRS-207, scientists at Aduro genetically modified the Listeria monocytogenes in order to produce a powerful immune response against cells that produce mesothelin. Mesothelin is a tumor-associated antigen produced by several types of cancer cells, including mesothelioma cells. Because it works in conjunction with the body’s … Continue reading Mesothelioma Vaccine Enters Phase 2 Testing »

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