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Clinical advances in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Mesothelioma

A vaccine used in research in the US has been shown to be encouraging in treating one of the world’s deadliest cancers linked to asbestos, with good results.

In a trial 94 per cent of mesothelioma patients responded to the drug which is designed to harness the body’s own immune system to fight the disease. 

Dr Raffit Hassan, world leading expert on mesothelioma at the National Cancer Institute, in Bethesda, in the US, who led the research, said: “This is a breakthrough and these preliminary results are very exciting…”

Mesothelioma kills thousands of people a year and survival rates have not improved over recent years. In the vaccine study of 38 patients, 86 per cent had significant shrinkage of their tumours. 

In almost 60 per cent, tumours were reduced by more than 30 per cent and in 30 per cent of patients tumours shrank by an average of 80 per cent.!

In one patient the cancer completely disappeared.

The treatment, CRS-207, has now been granted orphan drug status by US drug regulators the Food and Drug Administration, which means it can be fast-tracked on to the market. 

The drug is delivered in the form of an injection and is made up of a weakened, non-infectious version of the bacteria listeria

This bacteria is engineered to release a protein which is also present on the mesothelioma cancer cells.   This triggers the immune system to kill the cancer cells along with the bacteria without the risk of listeria-related illness listeriosis. 

Dr Hassan said:
“When the listeria bacteria are killed the immune response is then increased and in turn this kills the cancer tumour.
Our goal is to put patients in long-term remission and based on this small study.
I think this is possible.” 

Research shows the same protein expressed on mesothelioma cells is also present in ovarian, stomach and pancreatic cancers and trials are now underway to explore whether the same treatment technique could be used to treat these cancers too. 

James Murray Solicitors act for clients and families who are affected by disease caused by asbestos exposure including:

  • Diffuse Pleural Thickening
  • Asbestosis
  • Asbestos Related Lung Cancer
  • Mesothelioma

Our specialist asbestos solicitors assist clients with asbestos claims and keep abreast of any developments in research that may assist their clients understanding of current treatment and developments. 

If you want to discuss any potential claims please call one of our specialist team for free advice on:

 0151 933 3333, Ask for Emma, Jean or Sarah. (Specialist Asbestos Solicitors).

or email us on

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