As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, has been an area of research for various experimental treatments, including immunotherapies. Immunotherapy aims to enhance the body’s immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. Here are some experimental immunotherapies and approaches being explored for mesothelioma:
- Checkpoint Inhibitors: Drugs like pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) target proteins such as PD-1 or PD-L1 to boost the immune system’s ability to recognize and destroy cancer cells. These drugs have shown some promise in certain patients with mesothelioma, particularly in those with PD-L1-positive tumors.
- CAR T-cell Therapy: This treatment involves modifying a patient’s own T cells in a lab to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that can recognize and attack cancer cells. Research is ongoing to develop CAR T-cell therapies targeting specific markers on mesothelioma cells.
- Vaccines: Various vaccines are being studied to stimulate the immune system to recognize and attack mesothelioma cells. These vaccines can be made from proteins found on mesothelioma cells or designed to target specific antigens expressed by the cancer.
- Immunotoxins: These are drugs that consist of a toxin attached to an antibody that targets specific proteins on cancer cells. Immunotoxins are designed to bind to mesothelioma cells and deliver a toxic payload directly to them, causing cell death.
- Immune Checkpoint Combination Therapies: Researchers are investigating combinations of different immunotherapies or combining immunotherapy with other treatments like chemotherapy or targeted therapy to improve outcomes for mesothelioma patients.
- Oncolytic Viruses: These are viruses that can infect and selectively replicate in cancer cells, causing their destruction. Some oncolytic viruses are being studied in clinical trials for mesothelioma as a potential immunotherapy option.
It’s important to note that while these experimental immunotherapies show promise, they may not be widely available or approved as standard treatments yet. Clinical trials are ongoing to evaluate their safety and efficacy in treating mesothelioma, and outcomes can vary among individuals.
For the most current information on mesothelioma treatments and ongoing clinical trials, it’s advisable to consult with healthcare professionals or refer to reputable cancer research institutions or databases.