FDA Approves Application for Phase 1 Study of Novel Mesothelioma Treatment

Though physicians treating malignant mesothelioma work hard to extend their patients’ survival and improve their quality of life, the treatments currently available have proven no match for the challenging, fatal form of cancer. Researchers are turning to next-generation treatments using state-of-the-art technology, and the latest of these, a T-cell immunotherapy treatment, just received FDA approval for a Phase 1 clinical study.

Atara Biotherapeutics Partner with Memorial Sloan Kettering Researchers to Treat Mesothelioma

The mesothelioma clinical trial that received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is called ATA2271. It will test the impact of a novel allogeneic EBV T-cell that targets mesothelin. Mesothelin is an antigen that is present in high levels of many aggressive tumors, including those found in mesothelioma, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

The new mesothelioma treatment approach was first developed in collaboration with two researchers from the renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Dr. Prasad Adusumilli and Dr. Michel Sadelain. While Dr. Adusumilli worked to find a way to counter immune suppression, Dr. Sadelain found a way to extend the T-cell function and get past the issue of cell exhaustion.

Preliminary Mesothelioma Data Presented at Cancer Research Meeting

The data from the Atara/MSK mesothelioma collaboration was first presented at the 2020 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Annual Meeting II, where cancer researchers were told of the positive results the group had already encountered. The FDA clearance of a Phase 1 clinical study is the next step forward in testing the therapy on solid tumors. To date this novel approach has proven most effective in the treatment of hematologic cancers.

Speaking of the acceptance of their application, Jakob Dupont, Global Head of Research and Development of Atara Biotherapeutics said, “We are pleased the FDA has cleared the IND for ATA2271 for the treatment of advanced mesothelioma. This milestone marks an important moment in the advancement of cell and gene immunotherapy for patients, for the field and for Atara. As the first-ever CAR T therapy leveraging the combination of PD1DNR checkpoint inhibition and 1XX CAR signaling technologies to enter the clinic, we are advancing such a unique CAR T program with the goal of developing transformative therapies for patients with solid tumors.” The clinical trial will be led by Dr. Roisin O’Cearbhaill.

Clinical trials like the one being conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering represent the greatest hope for finding a cure for malignant mesothelioma. For information on state-of-the-art treatments and more, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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