Norwegian Company Explores Immunotherapy/Cancer Vaccine for Mesothelioma Patients

Despite significant efforts towards seeking a cure for malignant mesothelioma, scientists have continued to be stymied by the rare, asbestos-related form of cancer’s resistance to treatment. In reviewing these challenges, Norwegian company Ultimovacs’ researchers are exploring combining their UV1 cancer vaccine with ipilimumab and nivolumab as a first line therapy.

Researchers Point to Moderate Mesothelioma Response as Reason for Vaccine Use

Though ipilimumab and nivolumab recently received FDA approval for use in mesothelioma patients, the researchers from Ultimovacs recently published an article in The Journal of Translational Medicine noting that even this newest immunotherapy treatment has seen only moderate success when compared to its impact in other types of cancer. For this reason their clinical trial is exploring whether supplementing the protocol with their UV1 vaccine will offer improved response and survival.

The article justifies the NIPU trial, a randomized, multi-center, open-label proof of concept study that is comparing the safety and effectiveness of the immunotherapy treatment both with and without UV1 in patients diagnosed with unresectable pleural mesothelioma after already having received the standard-of-care platinum-based chemotherapy treatment. According to Jens Bjørheim, Chief Medical Officer at Ultimovacs, “The NIPU trial is important in understanding the potentially synergistic activities of checkpoint inhibitors and our universal cancer vaccine, UV1. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a challenging disease to treat even with checkpoint inhibitors that have been effective in other types of cancer. The article published today explains how we think UV1 may help in meeting that challenge.”

Vaccine’s Potential Explored in Treating Mesothelioma

The Ultimovacs vaccine has already been proven safe both alone and in combination with immunotherapy and has supported survival in cancers other than malignant mesothelioma. It generates a specific T-cell response against a universal cancer antigen telomerase. So far it has been tested in four different phase 1 clinical trials, and has shown encouraging signs.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, clinical trials like this one offer real hope. For information on other breakthroughs in treatment, 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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