Memorial Sloan Kettering Researchers Report Success in Controlling Stubborn Mesothelioma Tumors

For more than two years, researchers from the renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York have been studying whether the cancer drug Tazemotostat could inhibit the growth of malignant mesothelioma tumors. At the 2020 ASCO Annual Meeting, they presented data showing that it successfully inactivated the effect of the BAP1 gene mutation and provided patients with significant extended survival times.

Study Shows Tazemotostat Inhibits Spread of Malignant Mesothelioma 

Tazemotostat is a cancer drug that scientists have long hoped would help malignant mesothelioma patients with BAP1-deficient relapsed or refractory malignant mesothelioma. It has already received FDA approval for adults and pediatric with metastatic or locally advanced epithelioid sarcoma not eligible for complete resection, and the New York researchers have hopes it will eventually be approved for use in patients with the rare, asbestos-related form of cancer.

The mesothelioma research is being led by Marjorie Glass Zauderer, MD, MS, FACP, who has been working to establish whether the drug was safe and effective during the phase two clinical trial. Preliminary data has shown that the treatment successfully sensitized the tumors’ cells to inhibition of EZH2 in patients with mesothelioma that has returned or previously proven resistant to treatment.

 Study Reveals Antitumor Activity for Mesothelioma Patients

In their presentation to the virtually gathered ASCO participants, Dr. Zauderer and her colleagues explained the results of their 74-patient mesothelioma study. They reported that 95% of those involved had confirmed BAP-1 deficiency, and that all had received a median of two previous treatment protocols.  Upon treatment with tazemotostat in differing dosages they achieved 12-week disease control rate of 47%. They also had two patients with a partial response that had continued for 21 weeks and at least 15.3 weeks. 

The group viewed these results as promising and plan on continuing their study, writing, “Based on disease control rate and stable disease, tazemetostat showed antitumor activity in patients with BAP1-deficient relapsed or refractory malignant mesothelioma. Tazemetostat monotherapy was generally well-tolerated. The current data support further clinical evaluation of tazemetostat in these patients. Furthermore, this trial presents an optimal paradigm for drug development in molecularly-enriched cohorts in mesothelioma.”

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, this type of research offers real hope for extended survival. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at today at  1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our 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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