Biotech company Curis, Inc., a leader in innovative cancer treatments, has announced that as part of a Phase I clinical trial of their new drug CA-170, they’ve enrolled and dosed their first mesothelioma patient. The oral medication targets cancer cells that express high levels of VISTA, a protein understood to help cancer cells resist treatment.
Drug’s Target is Found on 90 Percent of Mesothelioma Cells
Mesothelioma is a notoriously difficult-to-treat form of cancer. The asbestos-related disease is much like ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, triple negative breast cancer, gastric cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer in that all of these cancers have mechanisms at a cellular level that have contributed to their resistance to both traditional and state-of-the-art approaches: mesothelioma is particularly hard to treat because it generally is not detected until the disease is far advanced. The drug being tested specifically addresses both PDL1 and VISTA. VISTA stands for V-domain Ig-containing Suppressor of T cell Activation, and has been identified as potent resistance mechanisms in mesothelioma, prostate cancer, melanoma and other cancers. It has been found to be expressed in 90 percent of mesothelioma cells.
Testing on Mesothelioma Patients Ahead of Schedule
The clinical trial is the first to test CA-170 on mesothelioma patients, and represents the fulfillment of an earlier promise that the company had made to study its use on this small but desperate population. Speaking of the move, James Dentzer, President & CEO of Curis said, “We are pleased to announce that the CA-170 study has begun dosing patients ahead of schedule. On last quarter’s earnings call, we outlined the reorganization of company resources to strengthen focus on clinical execution. Today’s announcement is a result of those efforts. We re-iterate our confidence in our expectation to report initial efficacy data in this study in the second half of 2019.” The study aims to determine both the effectiveness of the medication on mesothelioma patients with advanced tumors and the drug’s safety. It will be administered and evaluated at two different dose levels.
If you are a mesothelioma patient and you need information about access to clinical trials or any other treatment options, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.