From the blog

A New T-Cell Treatment is Being Tested on Mesothelioma Patients

Published: October 16, 2020

A new clinical trial at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is recruiting patients for a pleural mesothelioma study. The treatment involves T-cell therapy and is a very promising treatment for mesothelioma sufferers. The reason the study is being done is ATA2271, which is known as CAR T-cell therapy, was recently approved by the Food and Drug administration as an Investigational Drug. The study is a phase I, dose escalation clinical trial. A patient’s T cells will be removed by leukapheresis and genetically modified to fight cancer. The T cells will be targeting mesothelin which is an antigen that is highly expressed on mesothelioma cancer cells. T-cell therapies have been thought to only be effective on blood cancers, but it is actually showing to be effective on other cancers.

The ATA2271 therapy is going to advance the CAR T-cell phase II trial already being done at Memorial Sloan Kettering. The earlier study is being built upon and the treatment is being made more powerful and safer for patients. The CAR T-cells will last longer, will be more active, and will contain an internal checkpoint inhibitor. Earlier studies have needed checkpoint inhibitors like Keytruda to be used alongside the tested treatment to make them more effective.

The previous trial has been very positive with a 72 percent response rate and more than 50 percent of patients seeing a reduction in tumors. The T-cell modifications that also target mesothelin have been proven to be safe for patients and well tolerated by their bodies.

The FDA approved ATA2271 based on mesothelioma research from Memorial Sloan Kettering. Dr. Michel Sadelain, who is the director of the Center for Cell Engineering, was a large part of the CAR T-cell therapy being created. The center worked with Atara Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company that focuses on T-cell immunotherapy that is also sponsoring the trial.

The trial is hoping to see 30 patients who will be given cyclophosphamide, which is a preconditioning chemotherapy two to seven days before the CAR T-cell infusion occurs. The preclinical testing of the drug saw a better destruction of cancer cells, a longer CAR-T cell persistence in a patient’s body, and a decreased cell exhaustion. The International leader of CAR-T cell therapy Dr. Prasad Adusumilli thinks that it will be a standard pleural mesothelioma treatment. Since it has shown to be safe and effective during trials, people could soon take it in addition to chemotherapy or even instead of it.

“Mesothelin-targeted CAR T-cell Therapy in Patients With Mesothelioma” (October 6, 2020). [Link]
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