Because malignant mesothelioma is such an exceedingly rare form of cancer, many patients diagnosed with the disease have expressed concern that it does not get the same amount of attention from researchers as other, more widely known cancers. But this is not the case. Mesothelioma shares many characteristics with other types of cancer, and as a result the innovative therapies that are being tested on cancers like lymphoma and breast cancer are also being administered to many victims of the asbestos-related disease as well. One of the most promising of these treatments is known as CAR T, or Chimeric Antigen Receptor.
In a 2017 report published in the journal Cancers, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine said that Chimeric Antigen Receptor had demonstrated anti0tumor efficacy in malignant pleural mesothelioma, and that cells that had undergone the process had been shown to induce the killing of tumor cells. Though the technology is state-of-the-art, it can best be described as removing the patient’s own immune cells, reprogramming them to recognize and fight their specific type of cancer, then putting them back into the patient and letting them do their work.
In describing CAR T, Dr. Babis Andreadis of the University of California San Francisco said, “It’s almost like a sci-fi work of fiction to try and make these cells, and it’s completely out of the realm of every other therapy we’ve ever done, not only for cancer, but for any other medical ailment.” There are roughly 300 patients that are currently undergoing CAR T trials, and some of them are patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. As indicated in the University of Pennsylvania study, “With an ever-evolving understanding of tumor biology and the recent exciting advances in tumor immunology, the use of the body’s own defense systems to fight disease is more current and relevant than ever. The exciting successes seen in hematologic malignancies have prompted development of CAR T cell therapy for solid tumors such as malignant pleural mesothelioma…. eventually leading, it is hoped, to adoptive T cell transfer as an important part of the malignant pleural mesothelioma therapeutic armamentarium.”
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we are here to help you with the answers you need. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.