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MSK Recruiting Mesothelioma Patients for Phase I Immunotherapy Study

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) is seeking mesothelioma patients for a phase I study that involves a treatment that utilizes a patient’s own T cells and genetically modifying them in the laboratory to recognize mesothelin. The modified T cells, known as CAR T cells, are then returned to the patient to find and kill cancerous cells throughout the body. This approach is a form of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer.

“Researchers have observed that the protein mesothelin is overexpressed in pleural disease from mesothelioma and lung or breast cancers,” explains MSK. In this study, “researchers are seeking to find the highest dose of genetically modified T cells (a type of white blood cell) that can be used to treat patients with pleural cancers that have continued to grow despite standard therapy.” All treatments in the trial will be given intrapleurally (directly into the chest cavity) via a catheter (thin flexible tube).

Patients must be 18 years of age or older to be eligible for the study and they must have mesothelioma, or breast or non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to the pleura, and has continued to grow despite prior therapy. In addition, the patients’ tumors must contain the mesothelin protein and four weeks must have passed since any major surgery or completion of prior chemotherapy or radiation therapy and entry into the study.

The study, titled A Phase I Clinical Trial of Malignant Pleural Disease Treated with Autologous T Cells Genetically Engineered to Target the Cancer-Cell Surface Antigen Mesothelin, will take place across six locations. They include Memorial Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital New York,  NY, Memorial Sloan Kettering Westchester, NY, Memorial Sloan Kettering Basking Ridge, NJ, Memorial Sloan Kettering Rockville Centre, NY, Memorial Sloan Kettering Commack, NY, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Monmouth, NJ.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, ask your doctor about currently recruiting trials such as the MSK study. Innovative clinical trials such as this could help treat your specific type of mesothelioma. Clinical trials tend to fill up quickly, so contact your doctor today.


"A Phase I Study of Immunotherapy with Genetically Engineered T Cells." Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 26 Oct. 2017. Web. 30 Nov. 2017.

"Malignant Pleural Disease Treated With Autologous T Cells Genetically Engineered to Target the Cancer-Cell Surface Antigen Mesothelin." U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Oct. 2017. Web. 30 Nov. 2017.