From the blog

Study finds new treatment boosts chemotherapy results in mesothelioma

Published: July 8, 2014

Researchers with the National Cancer Institute recently found an immunotoxin may increase the efficacy of chemotherapy. When combined with popular treatments cisplatin and pemetrexed, SS1P caused antitumor activity in patients.

SS1P is an immunotoxin, a protein made by humans with a large targeting section linked to a toxin. Specifically, SS1P was created to attack an abundant protein in mesothelioma cells called mesothelin. Originally used a standalone treatment, this new combination further represents the benefits of SS1P.

To complete the research, 24 patients were selected. Criteria included no prior chemotherapy treatment and stage III or IV mesothelioma. From this group, 60 percent showed partial response and 13 of the 20 evaluable patients experienced tumor size reduction. A few noticed side effects included back pain, fatigue and low blood pressure.

While surgery remains the best option for those diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is often too late for the patients because the disease progressed too far. Using SS1P with cisplatin and pemetrexed provides an effective alternative with positive results and minimal side effects. The next steps involve testing the combination on a larger sample of mesothelioma patients.

Resilient to most treatments, mesothelioma kills almost of all of its victims within one year of diagnosis. It takes decades to fully develop and many don’t realize they have it until it’s too late. This deadly cancer claims the lives of almost 3,000 Americans each year and is primarily caused by asbestos exposure.

To read the complete study, click here.


Hassan, R. et al. (2014). Phase 1 study of the antimesothelin immunotoxin SS1P in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin for front-line therapy of pleural mesothelioma and correlation of tumor response with serum mesothelin, megakaryocyte potentiating factor, and cancer antigen 125. Cancer. [Link]

Wikipedia. (2014). Immunotoxin. [Link]

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