Genetically modified T cells are a promising treatment for those suffering from mesothelioma. There is only data from five patients, but the results so far look good. The Phase I part of the study is looking at the safety and efficacy of the treatment and is finding out what dosage is best for treating people. The treatments are showing to be safe and effective and even though the efficacy is not being tested, it is showing to be an effective and safe treatment. There were five patients tested: four with mesothelioma and one with ovarian cancer. They were previously treated with chemotherapy, but their treatments failed.
The treatment will soon be in Phase II and is being tested at The National Cancer Institute, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Penn Medicine Abramson Cancer Center, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
The study’s results are surprising because T-cell therapy has only been effective with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. The TC-210 therapy looks like it is going to be successful though. The treatment uses the patient’s own T-cells that are separated from the blood. After four weeks, the modified cells can find and eliminate tumor cells in the body.
The clinical trial is not just for mesothelioma. Patients with non-small cell lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and cholangiocarcinoma are also being tested, but they need a certain amount of mesothelin expression to be eligible. After the researchers find the right dose for patients, the study will move to Phase II. Patients will first receive chemotherapy then TC-210, and some patients will be receiving Keytruda to see if there is a synergy between the two treatments.
The treatment only involves one infusion of drugs, but the patients can receive another if a study physician orders it. Patients being studied will be monitored for 24 months and blood samples will be taken 30 times for each patient. If this clinical trial is successful, we could see more T-cell therapy treatments used on mesothelioma patients which could extend and improve the quality of many people’s lives.