Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Gets High Marks

Treatment & Doctors

Written by Tim Povtak

Reading Time: 3 mins
Publication Date: 05/03/2016
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 is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at 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

  • 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


"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."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite’s Article


Povtak, T. (2020, December 22). Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Gets High Marks. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from


Povtak, Tim. "Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Gets High Marks.", 22 Dec 2020,


Povtak, Tim. "Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Gets High Marks." Last modified December 22, 2020.

Syringe poking into a vaccine vial

Immunotherapy vaccine CRS-207 is moving closer to changing the way malignant pleural mesothelioma will be treated in the future.

CRS-207 produced a startling 94 percent disease control rate when combined with a chemotherapy cocktail of cisplatin and pemetrexed in a recent, multicenter clinical trial.

Thoracic oncologist Dr. Thierry Jahan of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center detailed the results last week at the 2016 European Lung Cancer Conference.

“We’ve seen a really impressive response,” Jahan said. “It’s an impressive signal for a study like this.”

The CRS-207 vaccine is a form of Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that is weakened and genetically modified to produce an anti-tumor response without causing disease or serious side effects.

The study involved 38 patients with advanced, unresectable pleural mesothelioma. Each patient received two doses of CRS-207 every two weeks, then six cycles of pemetrexed and cisplatin every three weeks. They were followed by two more vaccine infusions in three-week intervals.

Patients were assessed every eight weeks until disease progression and given maintenance doses of CRS-207. There was stable disease in 35 percent of the patients and partial response in 59 percent.

Pleural Mesothelioma Tumor Shrinkage

Tumor shrinkage was reported in 85 percent of the patients. Median progression-free survival was 8.5 months, compared to the 5.7 months previously reported with only the chemotherapy regimen. One patient experienced progressive disease.

“CRS-207 is an exciting agent for patients with mesothelioma,” Jahan said. “Our preliminary results are encouraging, suggesting superior clinical activity when added to standard chemotherapy. We have data suggesting that this immunotherapy works synergistically with chemotherapy.”

The vaccine is designed to target mesothelin, an over-expressed antigen in several types of tumor cells such as mesothelioma. Higher levels of mesothelin are found in virtually all cases of epithelioid mesothelioma but rarely in sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

scientists researching in lab
Find Immunotherapy Clinical Trials
Learn how to access mesothelioma clinical trials utilizing immunotherapy.

Randomized Clinical Trial Is in the Works

Patients in the study were required to have the epithelioid mesothelioma or the biphasic form with less than a 50 percent component of sarcomatoid.

The study involved patients from the UCSF’s cancer center, the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, the University of Chicago Medical Center, the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia and the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

In the presentation, Jahan told the audience that a randomized clinical trial already is in the planning stages, which could move the vaccine toward U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and make it part of standard-of-care treatment for the disease.

Before the study was complete, an earlier presentation at the International Mesothelioma Interest Group conference reported similar impressive results.

“It could change the paradigm in the management of mesothelioma. It is very promising,” said oncologist Dr. Tawee Tanvetyanon at the Moffitt Cancer Center. “This is an exciting therapeutic avenue that will save lives and provide extra quality time for mesothelioma patients.”

The FDA in 2015 granted orphan drug designation to CRS-207, which provided a variety of incentives for pharmaceutical companies to speed the drug’s development. The designation encourages the development of drugs for rare cancers.

Mesothelioma, caused by inhaling asbestos fibers, is diagnosed in an estimated 3,000 people annually in the U.S. By comparison, lung cancer is diagnosed in more than 200,000 people every year.

Jahan emphasized the minimal side effects from the vaccine, making it a low-risk, no-downside venture for anyone considering a future clinical trial.

Several trials with other tumor types and other combination of drugs already incorporate the vaccine, and no significant side effects were reported.

“It really does appear to be safe and was well tolerated,” Jahan said.

open book icon vector illustration
Medically Reviewed by Top Mesothelioma Doctors
Free Mesothelioma Guide