Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal form of cancer that has presented numerous challenges to those trying to find a cure. The fact that the rarer a condition is, the fewer the patients available to test potential treatments is just one of the things making it difficult. Other aspects include the fact that it is not diagnosed until it is far advanced and patients tend to be older and in poorer health, and the fact that various available treatments tend to generate offsetting side effects that work against their effectiveness. To counter the last of these, biopharmaceutical company Selecta Biosciences has been working towards combining a drug called LMB-100 that targets the protein expressed in mesothelioma and a drug called SVP-Rapamycin which fights anti-drug antibodies. The resulting drug, called SEL-403, is now available for Phase 1 human testing and has already been administered to one patient.
The announcement of the clinical trial comes with an invitation for other patients with mesothelioma to participate. The clinical trial is seeking patients with either malignant pleural mesothelioma or malignant peritoneal mesothelioma who have undergone at least one regiment of chemotherapy. The goal for Phase 1 is to enroll a total of 18 patients to determine whether the medication is safe and tolerable.
According to senior investigator Raffit Hassan, M.D. of the Thoracic and GI Oncology Branch in the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research and principal investigator of the trial, “Mesothelioma remains one of the deadliest and most challenging-to-treat forms of cancer. Recombinant immunotoxins hold the potential to induce marked anti-tumor activity if anti-drug antibodies are prevented and sufficient cycles of therapy can be administered. We are pleased to get this clinical investigation underway to determine if patients may indeed benefit from a combination therapy consisting of LMB-100 and SVP-Rapamycin.”
While clinical researchers continue to work towards a cure, other advocates are pursuing justice on behalf of mesothelioma victims. For information on how we can help you, contact us at 1-800-966-2244.