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$10.7 Million Grant Announced for Mesothelioma Research

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has announced a $10.7 million grant to fund research by the Translational Center of Excellence for Lung Cancer Immunology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The grant “will support research into improving the effectiveness of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy at fighting solid tumors,” reports Penn Medicine News. “Specifically, the program will evaluate approaches in lung cancer and mesothelioma.”

Principal Investigator for the project, William Maul Measey Professor of Medicine, and member of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies in the Abramson Cancer Center Steven M. Albelda, MD, said, “although CAR T cells have revolutionized the treatment of leukemia and bone marrow cancers, we have not yet had the same success in treating solid tumors like lung cancer.”

“The goal of this program project is to solve this problem, and we’re grateful to the NCI for supporting our efforts to expand this approach to more patients around the world,” he said.

The grant will include three interrelated projects that will focus on exploring the ability of CAR T cells to stimulate other immune cells to respond against the tumor in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The project will also explore ways in which CARs can be combined with other therapies to enhance efficacy.

“The stakes of these projects are incredibly high,” says Albelda. “Achieving the success rates for CAR T therapy in solid tumors that we’ve already seen in leukemia and lymphoma would be a major paradigm shift in the treatment of these cancers.”

The $10.7 million NCI grant will support the research program for the next five years.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, talk to your doctor about new or experimental treatments such as CAR T cell therapy. Innovative treatments such as this could be helpful in treating your specific type of mesothelioma. Talk to your doctor today.

 

Sources

“Abramson Cancer Center receives $10.7 million to study CAR T cells in solid tumors.” Penn Today Health Sciences. Office of University Communications, Penn State University, Perelman School of Medicine, 22 Oct. 2018. Web. 07 Jan. 2019.

Infanti, John. "Abramson Cancer Center Receives $10.7 Million to Study CAR T Cells in Solid Tumors." Penn Medicine News. Office of University Communications, Penn State University, 22 Oct. 2018. Web. 07 Jan. 2019.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has announced a $10.7 million grant to fund research by the Translational Center of Excellence for Lung Cancer Immunology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. National Cancer Institute. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), 06 Apr. 2018. Web. 07 Jan. 2019.