The drug manufacturer, Aduro Bio Tech, Inc., recently announced that it will soon begin conducting phase II clinical trials on a new cancer vaccine known as CRS-207.  The company has already enrolled the first group of mesothelioma patients who will be given the experimental vaccine.

 The new drug is derived from a weakened version of Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that is the cause of a food-born illness known as Listeriosis.  Scientists have manipulated the bacteria in order to generate an immune response to stop cells from producing mesothelin, a tumor-associated antigen that is produced by various types of cancer cells including those produced by mesothelioma.

CRS-207 comes from a relatively new field of study that has recently been at the forefront of mesothelioma research. Immunology is the practice of working with the body’s natural immune system to succor the body and manipulate its ability to ward off cancer cells.  CRS-207 is classified as a type of immunotherapy.

The phase I trial of the vaccine has already been conducted on 17 mesothelioma patients, all of who were in various stages of the disease.  Although mesothelioma patients in the advanced stages face a life expectancy of only several months, six out of 17 patients who took the vaccine live 15 months or longer. 

During phase II trials, newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients will begin treatment by receiving two CRS-207 vaccinations in addition to the traditional mesothelioma chemotherapy treatment of cisplatin with pemetrexed.  Once chemotherapy has concluded, the patients with receive at least two more doses of CRS-207.  A group of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer will also participate in phase two trials.

Dr. Raffit Hassan of the National Cancer Institute and Dr. Scott Antonia of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida are leading the trial study.  Phase II trials of CRS-207 will focus on testing for safety and efficacy in order to create the best dosage profile. Patients in the early stages of mesothelioma are currently being recruited, with trials set to conclude by December 13th.

The study of Immunotherapy has been a burgeoning topic among the top mesothelioma researchers, with several recent developments yielding positive results among patients.  Asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma have long been plagued with staggeringly low survival rates. Several recent developments in Immunology have produced new hope among the mesothelioma community as well as other groups in the fight against cancer.

Baron and Budd has been committed to the advancement of mesothelioma treatment and has followed the advancements immunotherapy and the breakthrough medications that have resulted.  For over 35 years, the firm sought to deliver the most current, relevant and comprehensive information to the mesothelioma community in addition to fighting against the asbestos companies responsible for asbestos-related diseases.  For more in-depth information on mesothelioma, visit here.