Most people diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma cannot have surgery due to how far the tumors have spread and grown. The next-best options include chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
While these therapies have helped patients tremendously, some tumors resist the standard of care.
These patients are recommended to enroll in clinical trials for mesothelioma. They test new therapies or combine standard approaches in unconventional ways. Some clinical trial participants have survived for a decade or more thanks to a study.
Clinical trials also don’t take place in just one hospital. Many of the top mesothelioma cancer centers are host sites for multiple clinical trials at a time. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, for example, is the host of a dozen currently recruiting clinical studies with spots available for mesothelioma. Some clinical trials welcome people with mesothelioma in addition to other cancers. Other studies are tailored to research therapies just for mesothelioma and only accept patients with this rare cancer.
In 2022, the clinical trial market for mesothelioma remains healthy. If you’d like to enroll in a clinical trial, please contact our registered nurse Karen Ritter. As a lead patient advocate, part of her job is helping patients enroll in studies. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can help you find all the trials you or your loved one would qualify for.
How Many Mesothelioma Clinical Trials Are Open in 2022?
There are 115 mesothelioma clinical trials currently enrolling as of Jan. 29, 2022. These trials either focus solely on mesothelioma or include the cancer along with others.
This number does not include clinical trials not enrolling – meaning they haven’t started enrolling just yet, reached the enrollment quota and are awaiting results, are suspended or terminated, or are finished with results published.
Most clinical trials involve using a novel therapy, such as the immunotherapy drug durvalumab or a cancer vaccine. Some examine new ways to perform biopsies, stage based on visual scans, or grade quality of life following treatment.
The 115 trials is a global amount. In the United States alone, there are 67 studies open to enrollment. Just one study in the United States is labeled “not yet open,” but it’s smart to keep an eye on it. The trial uses the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) with chemotherapy and surgery.
Success Stories of Mesothelioma Clinical Trials
Kendra Ferreira, who was diagnosed in 2001, enrolled in a clinical trial to have surgery for her peritoneal mesothelioma. Now, more than two decades later, she is one of the longest survivors of mesothelioma.
Linda P. is another story of someone helped by enrolling in a clinical trial. She received Keytruda with the anti-mesothelin drug LMB-100 at the National Cancer Institute.
Linda sadly passed away from her mesothelioma in February 2020 after fighting the cancer for two years. However, enrolling in the study extended her life significantly.
“She never had any more pain up until the day she died,” Laurie, her daughter, remembered. “The people at NIH were miracle-workers. We just loved everyone there.”