Mesothelioma vaccine, CRS-207, begins next phase of clinical trials

The makers of a therapeutic cancer vaccine - CRS-207 - recently announced the enrollment of the first patient in a clinical trial that will test the vaccine's ability to fight mesothelioma. Specifically, researchers will monitor the effects of the drug, used on conjunction with chemotherapy, on patients recently diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

According to a recent press release by the makers of CRS-207, Aduro BioTech, the clinical trial will take place at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland and the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.

CRS-207

Basically, CRS-207 is a weakened form of Listeria monocytogenes that has been genetically-altered to produce a strong immune response against cells that contain mesothelin. The National Cancer Institute reports that mesothelin is tumor-associated antigen that is often found at elevated levels in tumor cells such as mesothelioma.

Next Phase of Mesothelioma Clinical Trials

CRS-207 has already been tested in a Phase 1 clinic trial consisting of 17 patients with end-stage cancers such as mesothelioma. The Aduro press release states that while the average survival time for patients with these forms of advanced cancer is only 3 to 5 months, six out of the 17 patients in Phase 1 that were treated with CRS-207 lived 15 months or longer.

Given these positive results, a new phase of clinical testing - Phase 1B - was announced for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Ultimately, the goal of the most recent clinical trial is to observe whether giving CRS-207 with chemotherapy will generate any type of anti-tumor response.

Mesothelioma & Asbestos

Mesothelioma is deadly cancer often associated with exposure to asbestos fibers - a naturally occurring material that was often used in various consumer and building products due to its flexibility and insulating properties.

Tragically, many of those exposed to asbestos do not develop mesothelioma for years - sometimes decades - after the date of exposure. Many of those exposed to asbestos were even more shocked to find out that they were likely exposed while at work.

Since asbestos was routinely used in flooring and ceiling tiles, vinyl flooring, shingles, insulation, plaster, brake shoes, auto gaskets and bonding agents, many of those employed in the construction or auto repair industries were especially susceptible to asbestos exposure.

If you worked in these fields - or were exposed to asbestos in some other way - and have now developed mesothelioma, it is important to contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney in order to protect your rights and determine what your options are given your circumstances.