In the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, mesothelioma expert Anne Tsao analyzed recent and upcoming directions in mesothelioma research. She focussed on three main areas of development; anti-angiogenic drugs, immunotherapy and biomarkers. This is what she has to say:
The article concluded with an overview of biomarker research. In the last year, this research has included studies of genetic mutations, serum markers, blood-based markers and prognostic tumor markers. Most recently, researchers identified the biomarker, BAP1, which may contribute to patients’ genetic predisposition for non-asbestos-related mesothelioma.
UK Clinical Trials
If you are based in the UK, it can't have escaped your notice that the clinical trials referred to in the article are all happening in the USA. Don't despair! There are several clinical trials currently recruiting people with mesothelioma in the UK, according to the UK Clinical Trials Gateway (UKCTG) Link top right
This is a study in second line treatment for patients with advanced mesothelioma who have been pre-treated with no more than one pemetrexed (aka Alimta) based chemotherapy regime. It's currently recruiting in Manchester, Maidstone, Leicester, Northwood, Glasgow, Sutton and London.
The trial involves a weekly 60 minute IV infusion of the agent, either on its own or in combination with another agent. It continues until confirmed evidence of disease progression, or unacceptable toxicity occurs.
Follow the link top right under Clinical Trials for more information, or via the UKCTG website.
This trial is currently recruiting in Cambridge, Hull, London, Manchester and Southampton, including patients who have been previously treated with a platinum-based chemotherapy regime. To be eligible to take part, you need to be tested to see if you are "ASS-negative".
The trial drug is given weekly for six months.
For more information, follow the links top right under Clinical Trials or search via the UKCTG website.
This trial is currently recruiting in Sheffield. It's based on a mutant of the cold sore virus herpes simplex. To be eligible for this trial, you need to have a pleural effusion (aka "fluid on the lung") which is, or could be, treated via an indwelling pleural catheter. The trial drug is delivered directly into the pleural space via this catheter, if I've understood correctly!
The aim of the trial is to test the safety and tolerability of the drug in a single and repeat doses. Samples of pleural fluid are collected on day 29 and day 50 for testing evidence of cell death, replication of the virus and changes in the appropriate biomarkers.
For more information, follow the links top right to the UKCTG website and search under Mesothelioma.