IMMUNOTHERAPY

Immunotherapy trials in mesothelioma — promising results, but don’t stop here

In the past few years, several studies have addressed the possibility of using immunotherapies to treat patients with mesothelioma. Herein, we discuss two recent trials, one testing the immune-checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab and the other testing a mesothelin-directed therapeutic vaccine, and reflect on the advances and challenges remaining in this research area.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Vogelzang, N. J. et al. Phase III study of pemetrexed in combination with cisplatin versus cisplatin alone in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. J. Clin. Oncol. 21, 2636–2644 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Zalcman, G. et al. Bevacizumab for newly diagnosed pleural mesothelioma in the Mesothelioma Avastin Cisplatin Pemetrexed Study (MAPS): a randomised, controlled, open-label, phase 3 trial. Lancet 387, 1405–1414 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Okada, M. et al. Clinical efficacy and safety of nivolumab: results of a multicenter, open-label, single-arm, japanese phase II study in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MERIT). Clin. Cancer Res. 25, 5485–5492 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Byrne, M. J. & Nowak, A. K. Modified RECIST criteria for assessment of response in malignant pleural mesothelioma. Ann. Oncol. 15, 257–260 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Alley, E. W. et al. Clinical safety and activity of pembrolizumab in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (KEYNOTE-028): preliminary results from a non-randomised, open-label, phase 1b trial. Lancet Oncol. 18, 623–630 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Disselhorst, M. J. et al. Ipilimumab and nivolumab in the treatment of recurrent malignant pleural mesothelioma (INITIATE): results of a prospective, single-arm, phase 2 trial. Lancet Respir. Med. 7, 260–270 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Scherpereel, A. et al. Nivolumab or nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with relapsed malignant pleural mesothelioma (IFCT-1501 MAPS2): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, non-comparative, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 20, 239–253 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Metaxas, Y. et al. Pembrolizumab as palliative immunotherapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma. J. Thorac. Oncol. 13, 1784–1791 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Calabro, L. et al. Tremelimumab combined with durvalumab in patients with mesothelioma (NIBIT-MESO-1): an open-label, non-randomised, phase 2 study. Lancet Respir. Med. 6, 451–460 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Hassan, R. et al. Live-attenuated, listeria monocytogenes expressing mesothelin (crs-207) with chemotherapy for treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Clin. Cancer Res. https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-0070 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Le, D. T. et al. Safety and survival with GVAX pancreas prime and Listeria Monocytogenes-expressing mesothelin (CRS-207) boost vaccines for metastatic pancreatic cancer. J. Clin. Oncol. 33, 1325–1333 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The research of A.K.N. is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence Grant.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anna K. Nowak.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

A.K.N. has been a paid consultant or adviser for Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, MSD and Roche; has been a consultant or adviser with fees to her institution for Atara, Douglas and Pharmabcine; has received travel funding from AstraZeneca and Boehringer Ingelheim; and her institution receives research funding to institution from AstraZeneca and Douglas Pharmaceuticals. P.M.F. has been an unpaid consultant or adviser for Abbvie, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), EMD Serono, Inivata, Janssen, Merck and Novartis, and his institution receives research funding from AstraZeneca, BMS, Corvus, Kyowa and Novartis.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Nowak, A.K., Forde, P.M. Immunotherapy trials in mesothelioma — promising results, but don’t stop here. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 16, 726–728 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41571-019-0291-4

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing