From the blog

Enzyme and Chemotherapy Combination for Mesothelioma

Published: October 28, 2022

Pleural mesothelioma sufferers could improve their survival by as much as 30 percent when treated with the latest cancer enzyme and chemotherapy. In a recent study known as ATOMIC Meso, ADI-PEG 20 showed effectiveness when used for sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma, the two most resistive to treatment. The enzyme is able to limit an amino acid called arginine that fuels tumor cell growth. When patients are administered the protein, tumor growth is greatly inhibited, which leads to longer survival. Researchers have found surprising results including a very robust response to the treatment right away.

Patients in the study either took pemetrexed and cisplatin or ADI-PEG 20 combined with the two chemotherapy drugs. The patients had either sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma and were untreated and unable to receive surgery. They were randomized in a double-blind clinical trial. Epithelioid mesothelioma, the most treatable subtype, was not included in the study. The study was performed at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore, University of Chicago Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. When patients were treated with ADI-PEG 20, they had a median overall survival of 9.3 months versus 7.6 months for the patients just taking chemotherapy. The progression free survival was 6.1 months for ADI-PEG 20 versus 5.5 months for the chemotherapy patients.

Some patients in the study group lived up to three years past diagnosis, which never occurs in patients with the hard-to-treat subtypes. There were some toxicities in the treatment group, leading to some patients having to take just the chemotherapy. The side effects were mild to moderate, and a large portion were from the chemotherapy, not the ADI-PEG 20 treatment. Researchers are finding the ATOMIC Meso to be a safe and effective treatment regimen for non-epithelioid mesothelioma patients. It could also help people with other hard to treat cancers, so the results are incredibly promising.

Polaris Group makes ADI-PEG 20. It is a biotechnology company that focuses its products to anti-cancer therapies. The next step for the company is to follow through with regulatory submissions in the United States and seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration for mesothelioma treatment in 2023. The most recent approval for mesothelioma was for the immunotherapy combination Opdivo and Yervoy in 2020. Polaris also wants to perform a study on the immunotherapy combination with ADI-PEG 20. Polaris is happy with the survival results in patients treated with ADI-PEG 20. It hopes the results will help regulators see the benefits of the treatment for pleural mesothelioma patients and will lead to the treatment being used on patients in the near future.

“Ph 2/3 Study in Subjects With MPM to Assess ADI-PEG 20 With Pemetrexed and Cisplatin (ATOMIC)” (March 16, 2016). [Link]
“Polaris Group Announces Positive Top-Line Results from Phase 2/3 Atomic Study In Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma to Assess Adi-Peg 20 with Pemetrexed and Cisplatin” Polaris Pharma [Link]
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