The MD Anderson Cancer Center is conducting a study on an immunotherapy drug that is specifically for rare, advanced tumors. Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma are both included in the study. The clinical trial is looking for effectiveness and safety of vudalimab. The treatment, also known as XmAb20717, was created by Xencor, a pharmaceutical company located in California. Vudalimab works by blocking the PD-1 and CTLA-4 proteins. T-cells are also created by the body in response to the treatment. Researchers are looking for a good efficacy and good response after the person is given the treatment.
Researchers believe that vudalimab could be an improvement on Opdivo and Yervoy while also having less side effects. Opdivo and Yervoy have been approved as a first line treatment for pleural mesothelioma. Opdivo and Yervoy target PD-1 and CTLA-4 surface proteins respectively, while vudalimab targets both proteins by itself, which is a first for mesothelioma. Researchers want to find an effective treatment that controls cancer without affecting the patient’s quality of life. Previous studies of vudalimab were spread across multiple locations, looking at the safety and effectiveness of the treatment and the correct dosage level. Researchers found that the treatment was well tolerated and there were complete and partial responses to the treatment, warranting further study of the treatment in solid tumors.
MD Anderson has been the number one cancer hospital in the United States for the past seven years. There are six ongoing trials looking at the use of immunotherapy for mesothelioma. One study is looking at the use of Opdivo and Yervoy being combined with surgery for treating mesothelioma. The vudalimab trial is looking for 20 patients with pleural mesothelioma and 20 patients with peritoneal mesothelioma to see how effective vudalimab is for the disease.
Patients who have either been treated or untreated are eligible to enroll in the clinical trial. Patients with small cell lung cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, cervical carcinoma, neuroendocrine carcinomas, and microsatellite high cancers are also being accepted into the trial. The treatment consists of patients receiving the drug on days one and 15 of a treatment cycle. Blood and tissue samples will then be taken to see if the treatment is working on the different cancers and to figure out why they are effective.