A new cancer drug, Defactinib (VS-6033), is an orally administered compound designed to target and kill cancer cells in mesothelioma patients. The clinical trial named COMMAND (Control of Mesothelioma and Maintenance Defactinib) is a global clinical trial involving the U.S., U.K., Japan, Australia and other European countries and is expected to enroll between 350-400 patients to determine the effectiveness of VS-6033 for Mesothelioma patients. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Clinical trials may provide treatment for mesothelioma patients that is not available from their physician. Clinical trials are research studies involving people based on scientific research with strict guidelines and limitations. These trials are regulated by the scientists involved as well as the government.
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.
Patients suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other solid tumors may be eligible to participate in clinical trials at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda Maryland involving the use of immunotherapy agents which target the tumor antigen mesothelin. Dr. Raffitt Hassan, M.D., is the head of the Solid Immunotherapy Section and is currently conducting clinical trials involving two different immunotherapy agents for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The first trial, referred to as a Phase 1B study, is to evaluate the safety and immune response to the IV infusion of CRS-207 combined with Pemetrexed and Cisplatin in patients with pleural mesothelioma. The second trial is a pilot study of Pentostatin plus Cyclophosphamide Immune Depletion to decrease immunogenicity of SS1P in patients with mesothelioma. Like the first trial the agent, Pentostatin is administered by IV infusion. Both trials are being conducted at NCI in Bethesda by Dr. Hassan. For further information contact NCI and Dr. Hassan at www.nih.gov/.
Last week researchers reported that another important biomarker has been identified for treating mesothelioma and lung cancer patients.Researchers have discovered that the fibroblast growth-inducible 14 (FN14) gene plays a role in tumor growth and metastasis. When the FN14 gene was suppressed the spread of the metastasis was slowed.