For clinical study results to be considered significant they need to involve large numbers of participants, but with a rare illness like malignant mesothelioma, research by necessity often involves smaller pools of patients. A recent National Cancer Institute study included just ten patients but is still receiving positive attention: It revealed that those receiving a combination of an immune system-boosting drug and targeted immunotherapy realized longer survival times.
LMB-100 Could Prolong Mesothelioma Patients’ Lives
The mesothelioma research was documented in the July 1st, 2020 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine. It was led by Raffit Hassan, M.D., Chief of the Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch, and focused on a mesothelin-targeting drug called LMB-100 that was developed by Ira Pastan, M.D., Co-Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
Mesothelin-targeting drugs are viewed as having significant potential for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma because they bind to specific cells on the surface of the mesothelium in a way that allows malignancies to be targeted. The recent study was a Phase I trial meant to determine whether LMB-100 was safe, but also included administration of an immune checkpoint inhibitor to facilitate the immune system process.
Test Yielded Positive Response in 4 of 10 Mesothelioma Patients
The combination of one of the immune checkpoint inhibitors, pembrolizumab, with LMB-100 provided a complete response in one of the mesothelioma patients and a partial response in three others. The response was far more effective than what would have been expected from the immune checkpoint inhibitor by itself.
Following these results, staff scientist Qun Jiang, Ph.D. of Dr. Hassan’s lab replicated what they’d found by retesting the drug combination on laboratory animals grafted with human mesothelioma. The mice given both LMB-100 and pembrolizumab experienced greater tumor shrinkage than mice treated with just one of the two protocols.
Though this mesothelioma study will require further exploration, it holds great promise. For information on other treatment options, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608 today.