Two UK clinical trials are underway, each with the goal to study the effectiveness of several drugs on patients suffering with pleural mesothelioma. The first trial “MESO 2,” is dedicated to studying a drug called “ganetespib.” Supported by Cancer Research UK, the National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN), Synta Pharmaceuticals, and University College London (UCL), the MESO 2 trial aims to find the best dose of ganetespib to administer alongside standard chemotherapy medicines including pemetrexed and cisplatin. Ganetespib is a type of biological therapy called “heat shock protein 90 inhibitor.”

Researchers believe that ganetespib stops signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow. If researchers are correct, ganetespib, given with pemetrexed and cisplatin, may improve the treatment of pleural mesothelioma.

MESO 2 trial researchers have been accepting patients since August 27, 2013 and will continue through January 1, 2015. The Trial takes place in 2 stages including phase 1 trial and phase 2 trial. According to Cancer Research UK, during phase 1 trial, researchers want find the best dose of ganetespib to give with pemetrexed and cisplatin. To do this, they will give the first 3 people a low dose of ganetespib with the usual doses of pemetrexed and cisplatin. If they don’t have any problems, the next 3 people have a higher dose of ganetespib, and so on, until they find the best dose to give. This is called a “dose escalation study.”

During phase 2 trial (randomized), Cancer Research UK states that patients are put into treatment groups by a computer. Group A will have ganetespib, pemetrexed and cisplatin, and Group B will have pemetrexed and cisplatin. They will ask for blood samples and a sample of tissue from the biopsy taken to diagnose mesothelioma. They will then use these samples to find out more about mesothelioma and how to treat it.

To find out how to join this trial, follow the link or you can contact the cancer information nurses at Cancer Research UK by phone (0808 800 4040), by email, or at:

The Information Nurses
Cancer Research UK
Angel Building
407 St John Street

The second trial on the list is called “COMMAND” and it will be conducted at hospitals and research centers around the world. This Phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study examines the effects of a drug called defactinib (VS-6063) in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma who have not progressed after four cycles of treatment with pemetrexed and cisplatin or pemetrexed and carboplatin. Outcome measures include:

  • Compare the overall survival (OS) in subjects with malignant mesothelioma receiving defactinib
  • Compare the progression free survival (PFS) in subjects with malignant mesothelioma receiving defactinib
  • To assess Quality of Life (QoL) in subjects treated with defactinib or placebo
  • To determine the objective response rate (ORR) in subjects receiving defactinib or placebo
  • Determine the time to new lesion in subjects receiving defactinib or placebo
  • Evaluate the relationship of defactinib pharmacokinetics (PK) and outcome
  • Evaluate the population pharmacokinetics of defactinib in subjects with malignant pleural mesothelioma
  • Evaluate the safety and tolerability of defactinib in subjects with malignant pleural mesothelioma

Estimated enrollment for the COMMAND trial is 372 patients and the study began September 2013. The estimated study completion date is sometime in December 2016, with an estimated primary completion date sometime in July 2016. U.S. trial locations include:

University of Chicago Medical Center
Chicago, Illinois
Contact: Jennifer Hull, RN, OCN (773-834-3137)
Principal Investigator: Hedy Kindler

Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland, Ohio
Contact: James Stevenson, MD (216-636-6888)
Principal Investigator: James Stevenson, MD

Abramson Cancer Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Contact: Mona Jacobs-Small (215-662-8632,
Principal Investigator: Evan Alley, MD

UT Southwestern
Dallas, Texas
Contact: Laurin Priddy (214-648-1688)
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Dowell

For more information about pleural mesothelioma, request a free copy of 100 Questions & Answers About Mesothelioma here or contact MRHFM legal team directly at 866-373-5000. MRHFM is the largest firm exclusively devoted to helping mesothelioma victims and their families.


Cancer Research UK

U.S. National Institutes of Health,