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University of California Phase I Clinical Trial for Personalized Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

The University of California, San Diego Medical Center is conducting a Phase I clinical trial offering personalized immunotherapy for people suffering from mesothelioma. The trial will include a vaccine that is personalized based on the mutations found in the patient’s cancer.

Keytruda, a proven immunotherapy drug, will also be administered during the trial.

Researchers hope that through personalized vaccines, they’ll be able to enhance mesothelioma treatment for patients. Researchers claim that they still have a lot to learn and that the hope is to be able to identify foreign protein fragments in a cancerous tumor.

Vaccines will be administered during the trial with the hopes of inducing an immune response that is more sustainable and stronger.

The trial began in 2018 and will run through 2022. The patients in the trial are not candidates for curative standard therapy. Head and neck cancer, pancreatic cancer and gastrointestinal cancers are all being treated in the clinical trial already.

Mesothelioma patients are now being encouraged to enroll in the trial.

Initial results are encouraging, with participants in the trial already seeing positive results. Researchers claim that they’re on the right track and that the immune system is key to curing cancer.

The personalized vaccine is considered experimental at this stage and has not been approved by the FDA. The vaccine will require a tumor biopsy for proper sequencing and will take up to eight weeks to be created specifically to the patient’s unique needs. T-cells found in the blood samples will also be reprogrammed to allow for a better response to the person’s cancer.

Researchers believe that through the vaccine and Keytruda, it will be possible to enhance the T-cell response to tumor cells. Keytruda has been shown to be very effective at helping patients suffering from pleural mesothelioma, yet only a small number of patients have tried the drug.