This trial is testing a cancer vaccine, CRS-207, developed from a genetically modified bacteria to treat mesothelioma. The trial is recruiting at multiple centers across the country.

Activating the Immune System

Chemotherapy with Alimta and cisplatin is the standard treatment option for most mesothelioma patients. This combination is now the foundation for mesothelioma treatment but isn’t enough on its own. The addition of immunotherapy drugs like CRS-207 to the first rounds of treatment may prove to extend those survival times even further.

Medications in this Trial

  • CRS-207 – This is an experimental immunotherapy drug often classified as a cancer vaccine. The drug consists of a genetically modified bacteria that causes the immune system to recognize and attack mesothelioma cells.
  • Chemotherapy – This trial also makes use of standard chemotherapy with Alimta and cisplatin. Chemotherapy is used to kill mesothelioma cells and slow tumor growth. This type of treatment would generally be prescribed to the patient regardless of clinical trials.

Nonsurgical frontline treatment options for mesothelioma patients are currently limited to chemotherapy and radiation. Clinical trials like this one, however, are expanding those options by introducing immunotherapy drugs into the mix. These drugs have the potential to prolong the effects of traditional frontline treatments.

Get Help Enrolling in This Trial

One of the greatest benefits of this trial is that participants still receive the same standard treatment they would receive outside of the trial–chemotherapy with Alimta and cisplatin. The addition of CRS-207 may prolong the survival benefits provided by chemotherapy by stimulating the immune system to attack mesothelioma cells.

Some benefits of participating in this study are:
  • Treatment is provided in the most elite cancer centers.
  • Participants receive proven treatments along with promising experimental treatment.
  • The addition of CRS-207 to the treatment protocol has the potential to significantly improve life expectancy.




What Exactly Is CRS-207?

CRS-207 is the primary drug being studied in this clinical trial. CRS-207 is a genetically modified strain of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. In its original form, Listeria is a deadly bacteria most commonly associated with foodborne illnesses. However, the genetically modified strain used in this study has been found to be completely safe and will not cause infection. In fact, the results from Phase 1a of this trial showed that there are few side effects and participants received a benefit from use of the drug.

This cancer vaccine works by activating the patient’s immune system to attack mesothelioma cells. The introduction of CRS-207 into the body sounds the alarm for immune cells to target mesothelin, a protein that is abundant on the surface of mesothelioma cells.

Alerting the immune system causes T cells, immune cells which eliminate harmful substances, to target mesothelioma cells and prevent new tumors from forming.

Participants in this study receive two vaccinations of CRS-207 prior to beginning chemotherapy. Patients are given up to six cycles of chemotherapy over the course of 15 weeks. After these cycles are complete, patients continue receiving vaccinations as long as the drug is having an effect.

Improving Survival Times for Late Stage Patients

The greatest benefit of this study is that aside from CRS-207 being generally well-tolerated, participants still receive treatment they would have regardless of being part of this trial.

Six late stage patients who were among the first to receive CRS-207 survived over 15 months—about 1 year longer than their initial prognosis.

Most late stage pleural mesothelioma patients only have a prognosis of 3 to 5 months. The limited treatment options available to these patients usually only include chemotherapy or radiation. However, clinical trials like this one provide innovative opportunities to potentially live longer.

Who Is This Trial For?

CRS-207 is predominantly for patients who aren’t eligible for surgery. This generally includes those who are in the later stages of mesothelioma.

General eligibility criteria includes:

  • Epithelioid or biphasic cell type
  • Not eligible for surgical treatment, though participant may have had surgery in the past
  • Prognosis greater than 6 months
  • Satisfactory organ function
  • Participant has not had chemotherapy or radiation

Enrolling in This Trial

This trial is enrolling up to 40 participants. If you aren’t eligible for surgical treatment, but would like the chance to extend your prognosis, this trial could be for you. Participants in the study still receive the standard treatment given to patients with your diagnosis. The addition of CRS-207 is the only difference and may significantly extend your life. Our patient advocates can connect you with this trial and help arrange travel. Get connected to this clinical trial today.

Locations

This clinical trial is being conducted throughout the United States. Clinical trials are available at the following locations:

  • National Cancer Institute

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Raffit Hassan
    The National Cancer Institute hosts a multitude of clinical trials for mesothelioma, several of which are led by Dr. Hassan. He has expressed optimism about the advancement of the clinical trial of CRS-207, calling the progress “particularly exciting and encouraging.”

  • University of California San Francisco Cancer Center

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Thierry Jahan
    Dr. Jahan has treated mesothelioma patients for two decades making him a leading specialist on the west coast. His interest in treating patients with both survival and quality of life in mind aligns with his research of CRS-207, which has shown to have minimal side effects.

  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Scott Antonia
    The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center is ranked as the best cancer center in Florida where Dr. Antonia heads up the thoracic oncology and mesothelioma program. Dr. Antonia has a specific interest in gene therapy and immunotherapy treatments like CRS-207.

  • University of Chicago Cancer Center

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Hedy Kindler
    Dr. Kindler has turned the mesothelioma program at the University of Chicago into leader in research. She is one of the most active mesothelioma researchers and is currently leading several other clinical trials for mesothelioma. Dr. Kindler has been personally affected by mesothelioma in her own family, a driving force behind her research.