Immune checkpoint inhibitors, a type of immunotherapy drug, work well for a specific type of mesothelioma patient.

Another type of immunotherapy treatment, CAR T-cell therapy, seems to cause remission as well.

CAR T-cell therapy, a type of immunotherapy-gene therapy combination, enhances the immune system by modifying T cells to recognize cancer tumors. Those who can’t have surgery and people who don’t respond to or want chemotherapy are routinely being offered immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy, which are approved for mesothelioma officially. CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma is still in testing.

Scientists add RNA to T cells removed from the patient. This RNA strand helps T cells connect with a specific protein receptor associated with proteins for a specific cancer, which vary based on the type of malignancy. The added RNA is what makes them CAR T cells.

At the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer conference, a cell therapy manufacturing company reported disease response in mice with mesothelioma or pancreatic cancer. The manufacturer, Cellectis, hopes the study leads to an off-the-shelf therapy for mesothelin-expressing tumors.

Mesothelin, a protein found in malignant mesothelioma, is a target for specific types of therapy. CAR T cells can be programmed to go link with mesothelin tumors via protein receptors. Cellectis’ therapy is called UCARTMESO. It also disrupts three genes: TRAC, CD52 and TGFBR2.

“The preclinical data demonstrated potent activity of UCARTMESO … against mesothelin-expressing cell lines … in pancreatic and pleural mesothelioma mouse models,” the manufacturer’s press release reads.


More Information About CAR T-cell Therapy for Mesothelioma

CAR T-cell therapy is already approved for specific blood cancers, such as myeloma and lymphoma. It’s currently in testing for solid tumor cancers, such as malignant mesothelioma and others.

Working in mouse models means the next step is running a first-in-patient phase 1 clinical trial. A few studies are already in the works for CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma.

Some trials pair T-cell therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Gavo-cel was featured in an MD Anderson Cancer Center clinical trial, which also hunts mesothelin-expressing tumors for mesothelioma cancer. Both proved successful in small sample sizes of patients.

    Sources & Author

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About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.

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