One of the new therapies for mesothelioma is called antigen receptor T-cell therapy. It gives promise to malignant mesothelioma patients. This unique therapy has recently shown that it works in phase I clinical trials.
A new report from French scientists details the current state of this therapy.
This therapy has only been tested in a highly selected patient population. And it requires highly complex engineering. Yet, the treatment therapy shows promise.
Adapting CAR T-Cell Therapy to Mesothelioma
Malignant pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma are rare and aggressive cancers. They have had limited treatment options with moderate survival benefits. And all treatments have an impaired quality of life for a very long period.
A chemotherapy drug combination known as cisplatin–pemetrexed has been the first choice treatment for nearly 17 years. The addition of a drug called bevacizumab has improved patient survival. Likewise, immunotherapies show promise and offer hope for a cure.
Recently, scientists have begun to focus on the use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. CAR T-cell therapy has been successful in other blood malignancies. But scientists speculate that mesothelin is an ideal match for CAR T-Cell Therapy.
Let’s break this down a little bit further.
How CAR T-Cell Therapy Works
First, T cells are collected from a mesothelioma patient from a blood sample. Then, those cells are reengineered in a laboratory. At this point, clinicians introduce new DNA into the blood cells. This will produce chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) on the surface of the cells.
The patient’s blood now has a very special protein. These CAR T cells create proteins that recognize and target tumor cells inside the body.
These special CAR T cells are returned to the patient’s bloodstream and then multiply in number. The patient now has their own set of “attacker” cells. These CAR T cells will recognize, and attack, cancerous cells.
These CAR T cells also help the patient guard against recurrence. These new proteins work to remove all existing cancer. But they remain in the patient’s body months after the blood infusion. This can result in long-term remissions.
Warrants Further Investigation
Cell therapy targeting mesothelin warrants further investigation. It will take time before scientists can confirm the results. With time, they can put in place new treatment options using this innovative therapeutic approach.
Aldea, Mihaela, Jose Carlos Benitez, Nathalie Chaput, and Benjamin Besse. “New Immunotherapy Combinations Enter the Battlefield of Malignant Mesothelioma.” Cancer Discovery 11, no. 11 (2021): 2674-2676. https://doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-1046