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Mesothelioma patients may benefit from the results of the clinical trials being conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Recently, researchers have tested a Wilms Tumor-1 (WT1) vaccine to see if it delays or prevents malignant pleural mesothelioma from growing back after surgery and now pleural mesothelioma or lung cancer patients may be eligible to participate in another clinical trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering to test the safety of a drug known as GL-ONC1. GL-ONC1 is a vaccinia virus, or modified virus, used to target and destroy malignant cancer cells without harming healthy tissues or cells. According to a February 5, 2013 press release by Genelux Corporation, the biopharmaceutical company that develops GL-ONC1, the first patient was treated in Phase I of the clinical trial in New York with GL-ONC1 which will be administered at different dosages intrapleurally to determine the recommended dosage for future treatment.

Dr. Aladar A. Szalay, founder and CEO of Genelux Corp., stated recently in a press release that, "For the first time, this will allow us to examine the feasibility and effects of administering GL-ONC1 directly into the chest cavity to some of the most aggressive cancers of the thoracic cavity - including mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer." Pleural effusion, or a build-up of fluid between the thin layers of the tissue lining the lung, is a complication in approximately 30% of the patients diagnosed with lung cancer or pleural mesothelioma. "GL-ONC1 has been well tolerated and shows encouraging human results", according to the February press release.

Mesothelioma, caused by exposure to asbestos has limited treatment options and no known cure. Clinical trials such as these at Memorial Sloan-Kettering may lead to more effective treatments and ultimately a cure. Patients should contact their physicians about trials that exist for your particular case. Participation may benefit your specific needs and the community as well.

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