Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is one of the world’s most highly respected cancer treatment and research facilities, so its recently-announced mesothelioma clinical trial is cause for hope and optimism.
The new study, which will be open to mesothelioma patients diagnosed with either pleural mesothelioma or peritoneal mesothelioma, will combine the use of two of the most promising treatment approaches for the rare and fatal form of cancer: it will offer patients protocols using both targeted radiation therapy and the immunotherapy drug avelumab.
The novel combination of these two treatments for mesothelioma offers a departure for what has been previously offered, and takes a ‘best of both worlds’ approach.
Previous studies showed that providing targeted radiation to post-surgical mesothelioma patients makes it less likely that tumors will come back. Immunotherapy has been shown to reduce tumor size and to extend median progression-free survival time by targeting the protein that is found on the surface of most mesothelioma tumor cells.
According to the description of the clinical trial, the researchers behind the study hope that, “the combination of radiation treatment and immunotherapy ay be more effective against cancer than either radiation or immunotherapy alone. It is thought that radiation treatment may create a form of ‘vaccine’ against cancer inside the body.”
The study, which will run through 2020 and be conducted at both the New York main campus and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s regional sites, is accepting patients who have not previously undergone immunotherapy.
Patients also must have recovered from any adverse effects suffered from previous therapies, and must have had at least one prior treatment of chemotherapy and experiencing return or continuation of the disease’s progression.
The lead investigators of the trial are radiation oncologist Dr. Andreas Rimner and medical oncologist Dr. Marjorie Zauderer.
When patients are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, they are advised of a variety of treatment protocols, as well as of clinical trials that they may fit the criteria for. If you need information on any of the resources available to you, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Call us at 1-800-692-8608.