Mesothelioma Research: Where 2012 Took Us, and What 2013 Has in Store

Research & Clinical Trials
Reading Time: 3 mins
Publication Date: 01/14/2013
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us

Testimonials

"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Lashawn
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article

APA

Franz, F. (2020, October 16). Mesothelioma Research: Where 2012 Took Us, and What 2013 Has in Store. Asbestos.com. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2013/01/14/mesothelioma-research-2012-2013/

MLA

Franz, Faith. "Mesothelioma Research: Where 2012 Took Us, and What 2013 Has in Store." Asbestos.com, 16 Oct 2020, https://www.asbestos.com/news/2013/01/14/mesothelioma-research-2012-2013/.

Chicago

Franz, Faith. "Mesothelioma Research: Where 2012 Took Us, and What 2013 Has in Store." Asbestos.com. Last modified October 16, 2020. https://www.asbestos.com/news/2013/01/14/mesothelioma-research-2012-2013/.

In a new year, it’s traditional to review recent achievements, then identify goals for the year that lies ahead.

In the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, mesothelioma expert Anne Tsao analyzed the recent — and upcoming — directions in mesothelioma research. The article focused on three main areas of development: anti-angiogenic drugs, immunotherapy and biomarkers.

These treatments have been in development long before 2012 — but researchers did make several breakthroughs in each of the fields. Experts with the Southwest Oncology Group, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and similar research organizations plan to take these findings to the next level, thanks to funds from the Department of Defense and national cancer research groups.

Anti-Angiogenic Agents

While summarizing the year’s clinical trial activity, Dr. Jessica Donington noted an emphasis on anti-angiogenic agents, or drugs that prevent tumors from creating new blood vessels (which allows the tumor to spread from its origin). Researchers are finding great promise in these drugs for mesothelioma patients who meet a very specific set of characteristics. These trials have produced positive responses for sunitinib, bevacizumab/gemcitabine/platinum-based chemotherapy regimens, and the tumor-specific peptide known as NGR-hTNF.

Moving Forward

Researchers have already identified vorinostat as a potential treatment for mesothelioma. This lymphoma drug has produced median survival rates of up to four weeks longer than placebo drugs, but further developmental trials are currently on pause. Once researchers can provide further analysis on the biomarkers that indicate a positive response to vorinostat, they may be able to launch additional studies.

Donington also mentioned a clinical trial that is currently wrapping up at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The study is one of the first efforts to incorporate pre- and post-treatment biopsies, personalized treatment plans and a novel targeted agent.

Immunotherapy

Dr. Ibrahim discussed relevant developments in immunotherapy, many of which focused on the use of tremelimumab. This human antibody is proving especially useful in patients who do not respond to traditional chemotherapy drugs. In one study of 22 patients, tremelimumab produced two partial responses, stabilized four patients’ progression and yielded an overall survival of 17.5 months.

Moving forward

In light of the recently completed phase II immunotherapy studies, researchers hope to advance to the next stage in tremelimumab testing. If certain results are achieved, the drug may become an ideal “salvage therapy” for mesothelioma patients who do not respond to first-line treatment.

Biomarkers

Dr. Anne Tsao concluded the article with an overview of biomarker research. In the last year, this research has included studies of genetic mutations, serum markers, blood-based markers and prognostic tumor markers. Most recently, researchers identified the biomarker, BAP1, which may contribute to patients’ genetic predisposition for non-asbestos-related mesothelioma.

Moving forward

The MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center will soon open enrollment for a WT-1 vaccine trial. This vaccine may prompt attacks on mesothelioma cells contaning the WT-1 biomarker.

Researchers also hope to identify a more accurate prognostic biomarker for mesothelioma. While one team in Boston has identified a four-gene ration test that has decent results, they must adapt the test to account for several limitations (including the lack of real-time results).

These advancements may certainly change the way doctors currently treat mesothelioma. Each trial brings us one step closer to an effective treatment, which the mesothelioma community will pursue this year, and each year that follows, until we find a cure.

Connect with a Mesothelioma Doctor
Find a Top Specialist Near You