The Purpose of Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma

The Purpose of Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer. While it primarily affects the lungs (80 percent of cases), it can also appear on the outer lining of the abdomen, the heart, or the testicles. Asbestos exposure has been linked to causing mesothelioma. Since mesothelioma is so aggressive, prognosis is poor, with a life expectancy of 14 to 22 months following diagnosis. If you are living with mesothelioma, there is no cure for this disease. However, one small hope might be a clinical trial.


What is a Clinical Trial?
A clinical trial uses human participants to test new treatment procedures, therapies, and medication. Treatment is given to a select group of people, and researchers monitor their reactions and results. This information is used to establish the safety and effectiveness of that treatment for a given issue before being released to the public.


Who oversees Clinical Trials?
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for overseeing all phases of clinical trials and final approval for release to the public. A clinical trial always has at least three phases.


Clinical Trials Currently in Process

VISTA Protein Clinical Trials
A clinical trial for the new drug CA-170 is the first drug to target the protein VISTA strongly expressed in mesothelioma tumors. CA-170 is designed to interfere with the interaction between these proteins in cancer cells and matching proteins on immune system T-cells. When the interaction is prevented, immune cells are triggered to attack the cancer cells.


Nivolumab and Ipilimumab Clinical Trials
A successful clinical trial of nivolumab and ipilimumab became the first FDA-approved immunotherapy treatment for pleural mesothelioma. This drug combination triggers the immune system to locate and kill the cancer cells. The two drugs are still being tested in clinical trials for peritoneal mesothelioma.


Durvalumab Clinical Trials
Some mesothelioma patients with pleural mesothelioma are currently participating in clinical trials of the immunotherapy drug durvalumab. The drug interacts with proteins on the surface of cancer cells. The drug signals the immune system to recognize harmful cancer cells and destroy them.


Anetumab Ravtansine Clinical Trials
Anetumab ravtansine is an experimental immunotherapy antibody-drug conjugate. The drug uses an engineered antibody to target specific cancer cells and deliver a cytotoxic drug to kill them.


Atezolizumab Clinical Trials
Atezolizumab is an immunotherapy drug currently being tested with mesothelioma patients in clinical trials. The drug is already approved for certain patients with bladder cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Atezolizumab is a PD-L1 inhibitor that prevents the cancer cells from hiding from the immune system. Once visible, cancer cells can be attacked by immune system T-cells.


Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Clinical Trial
CAR T-cell therapy is a new therapy involving removing a patient’s immune system T-cells, altering them, and re-injecting them into the body to kill the cancer cells. The therapy has already been approved for some types of blood cancers; CAR T-cell treatment uses genetic engineering to modify T-cells.


Immunotoxin Clinical Trials
Immunotoxin drugs are proteins that attach to poisonous toxins. The proteins are antibodies. The antibodies bind to proteins on cancer cells and get absorbed into the cell. Once the toxin is inside the cancer cell, the toxin can kill the cancer cell.


Interferon Alfa-2b Clinical Trials
Interferon Alfa-2b is a gene added to viral cells and then injected into patients with specific viral infections and types of cancer. The gene creates a protein that helps signal immune cells to take action against viruses and cancer cells.


If you suffer from mesothelioma, you qualify for compensation from asbestos trust funds, the VA, workman’s compensation, or a lawsuit. At Goldberg Persky and White P.C., we can assist you in gathering information and filing a claim to recover compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today!


“Types and Phases of Clinical Trials” American Cancer Society (2020). [link]
Li k, Tian H, “A Study of CA-170 (Oral PD-L1, PD-L2 and VISTA Checkpoint Antagonist) in Patients with Advanced Tumors and Lymphomas National Institutes of Health” National Institutes of Health (2020). [link]
Trizell Ltd, “Phase 3 pivotal study of interferon alfa-2b gene therapy in malignancy pleural mesothelioma” (2019). [link]
Goodman Alice, “Preliminary Results Show Activity for Mesothelin-Directed CAR T-Cell Therapy in Malignant Mesothelioma” (2019). [link]



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