NCI Studying New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Combination

Research & Clinical Trials
Reading Time: 3 mins
Publication Date: 07/08/2020
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

Povtak, T. (2020, October 30). NCI Studying New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Combination. Asbestos.com. Retrieved February 5, 2023, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2020/07/08/nci-immunotherapy-lmb-100-keytruda/

MLA

Povtak, Tim. "NCI Studying New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Combination." Asbestos.com, 30 Oct 2020, https://www.asbestos.com/news/2020/07/08/nci-immunotherapy-lmb-100-keytruda/.

Chicago

Povtak, Tim. "NCI Studying New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Combination." Asbestos.com. Last modified October 30, 2020. https://www.asbestos.com/news/2020/07/08/nci-immunotherapy-lmb-100-keytruda/.

Immunotherapy attacking cancer cells

Patients with mesothelioma are being recruited by the National Cancer Institute for a phase II clinical trial using a novel immunotoxin prior to pembrolizumab, a combination that has shown preliminary evidence of efficacy.

This promising mesothelioma clinical trial involves the drug LMB-100, designed to make immunotherapy agents such as pembrolizumab, otherwise known as Keytruda, more effective.

NCI’s trial includes separate cohorts for pleural and peritoneal types of mesothelioma.

“This is a very good option for these patients,” medical oncologist Dr. Raffit Hassan, an acclaimed investigator at the National Cancer Institute, told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. “I always try and be a little cautious in raising hopes, but the response rate appears to be better than what you would have expected.”

Immunotherapy Combination Shows Promising Results

Science Translational Medicine, in its July issue, published results of a small, earlier study. Four of the 10 patients who received Keytruda for mesothelioma off protocol after receiving LMB-100 experienced significant tumor shrinkage.

Two of the four were still doing well after more than three years. The median overall survival was 11.9 months.

“We were surprised, especially by one patient who got a complete response. That patient had a lot of disease,” Hassan said. “But he is doing really well. Very encouraging.”

The study was originally designed to find safe dosage levels of LMB-100 and measure its anti-tumor activity.

It was accompanied by a study in mice that showed mesothelioma tumor shrinkage was greater when receiving both Keytruda and LMB-100, in contrast with receiving only one of the drugs.

“The future of mesothelioma treatment is in combination therapy using drugs such as Keytruda with other agents that boost the immune response against the tumors,” Hassan said.

Improving Keytruda Effectiveness with LMB-100

Keytruda has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use with different cancers, but its effectiveness alone with mesothelioma has been marginal, with less than a 20% response rate.

LMB-100 was designed to broaden its effectiveness. Dr. Ira Pastan, a scientist at the National Cancer Institute, led the drug’s development in targeting the cell-surface protein mesothelin, which is highly expressed by several cancers, including mesothelioma, pancreatic cancer and ovarian cancer.

Training the immune system to identify the protein and attack the cancerous cells is the goal.

The ongoing NCI clinical trial is for patients with inoperable disease and confirmed epithelial or biphasic types of mesothelioma cells.

Patients will be receiving LMB-100 intravenously on days one, three and five of two 21-day cycles. Beginning with the third cycle, they will receive Keytruda on day one of each succeeding cycle for up to two years.

NCI Exploring Other Drugs

LMB-100 is designed to bind to the tumor cells that have the mesothelin protein, kill them and help Keytruda work more effectively through the use of a patient’s own immune system.

It is one of the drugs that Hassan and the NCI are exploring for use in combating mesothelioma by targeting the surface protein mesothelin.

Hassan is also the principal investigator of other clinical trials that include:

  • A phase I clinical trial to evaluate the safety and anti-tumor activity of Bay2287411 in patients expressing the protein mesothelin.
  • A phase I/II clinical trial of genetically engineered T cells expressing a single-domain antibody that recognizes mesothelin.
blue medical health symbol
Connect with a Mesothelioma Doctor
Find a Top Specialist Near You