When a mesothelioma patient learns that their cancer is inoperative, it often means that they have few options left. But according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute, a vaccine known as CRS-207 which is built on bacteria associated with food poisoning may offer hope for longer survival.
Immunotherapy Vaccine Improves Mesothelioma Survival
Patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma face a grim future. They are generally older and often afflicted with other health conditions that them even more medically fragile, so the idea of introducing the Listeria bacteria into their bodies seems counterintuitive. But researchers from the National Cancer Institute have created an immunotherapy vaccine called CRS-207 that modifies the food borne illness bacteria so that it cannot do harm, and instead weaponizes its actions to strengthen anti-tumor activity.
The idea behind CRS-207 is that it is administered to patients with inoperable malignant mesothelioma at the same time that they receive chemotherapy in order to enhance the cancer-fighting drug’s impact. Recently released results showed that the vaccine worked to great effect.
Study Results Showed Full or Partial Response in 89 Percent of Patients
The recently published study of CRS-207’s impact revealed that when 35 mesothelioma patients with inoperable tumors were dosed with both the vaccine and chemotherapy, 89 percent of them had either a full or partial response to the treatment. Just two pre-chemotherapy doses of CRS-207 accompanied by six cycles of pemetrexed and cisplatin and another two doses of vaccine afterwards delivered highly encouraging results. The vaccine facilitated an immune response that drew immune system cells to the mesothelin expressed by the tumors.
Of the 35 mesothelioma patients who participated in the CRS-207 trial, twenty had their tumors shrink and another 10 had their tumors stop growing. The median survival for these patients was 7.5 months after the tumors began growing again, and median overall survival for those in the study was 14.7 months, with no reported adverse effects from the treatment. The researchers believe that the vaccine improved the microenvironment for the tumors.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and would like information on other breakthroughs in the treatment of the disease, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.