Mesothelioma clinical trials are studies that gauge the safety and effectiveness of new medical treatments on people suffering from this serious disease. These are cutting-edge, new treatments that explore novel methods of treating, preventing and/or diagnosing mesothelioma. Many of these clinical trials are sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, mesothelioma centers and other high quality cancer groups who are engaged in the noble work of advancing cancer treatment science.

Clinical Trials In This Section

Below are details about some of the most promising mesothelioma clinical trials.

Pleural Mesothelioma Vaccine Study

A new clinical trial that aims to train our immune system to attack pleural mesothelioma tumor cells opened with great optimism in five European countries this year.

The randomized phase II/III study is intended to measure the efficacy and anti-tumor activity of MesoPher. This is a vaccine that combines the patient’s dendritic immune cells with an engineered cell line.

The multicenter study, which is slated for up to 235 patients, opened in Antwerp, Belgium; Lille, France; Ancona, Italy; Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Netherlands and Leicester, England

According to clinical trial principal investigator Dr. Dean Fennell, there is a great deal of hope with this clinical study.

Amphera is the company that is developing the MesoPher vaccine. It is a biological company that focuses on dendritic cell therapies for cancer. The vaccine has shown great results in a phase 1 study that took place earlier.

Fennell, who also directs the Mesothelioma Research Program at Leicester, has used an unusual analogy when explaining to cancer patients about the therapy. He uses the term ‘sniffer dog,’ which is the type you see at airports looking for drugs. These dogs have been trained to recognize certain smells and focus on them. That is what is being done with this vaccine. It primes them outside the body to recognize what the cancer cells look like. So, when they go into the body, they can bring on an immune response to attack the tumors. (

Lumicell Imaging for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

A physician at Massachusetts General Hospital has started using a novel imaging system for peritoneal mesothelioma patients that could help to identify tumor cells better during surgery. This could reduce chances of the cancer recurrence.

Dr. James Cusack, who is associate professor of surgery at Harvard University Medical School, also is studying molecular imaging technology with certain cases of appendiceal, ovarian and gastrointestinal cancers.

This is a single-center trials that began April 3, 2019. Its aim is to determine the safety and efficacy of the procedure for peritoneal metastases, Cusack said.

The Lumicell System has been studied previously who were having a lumpectomy for breast cancer. The system has been lauded for the ability to target hard to find tumor cells beyond the margin of the cancer specimen.

Cusack said this initial feasibility study is a vital first step to decide if the Lumicell System can be effective to improve life quality for people who have the peritoneal form of mesothelioma. The study will be comparing imaging results that are found at the molecular level with regular microscope evaluation. The idea is to enhance surgical outcomes for patients who have peritoneal malignancies. (

The Lumicell System has a reportedly ‘excellent ability’ to identify tiny tumor cells for the surgeon and possibly avoid the need for more surgery down the road.

At least 2100 breast cancer patients were treated with the Lumicell system in a previous clinical trial. It indicated direct identification of the residual tumor in surgery that would not have been seen otherwise.

Johns Hopkins Conducts Clinical Trials for the Rarest of Diseases

People who get mesothelioma are generally older males who worked in a mine, factory, shipyard or the US military. But this is not always the case.

Raya Bodnarchuk, an artist and sculptor who was an art instructor at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC, was surprised to find that she got bronchitis in 2012 and then pneumonia. But the condition was far more serious.

After the pneumonia resolved, her lungs continued to fill with fluid, or frequent pleural effusions. It was determined at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center that she had mesothelioma.

The disease has weakened her body so now she has to focus on making smaller sculptures. But she is participating in several mesothelioma clinical trials and they are helping to control her disease for now.

Mesothelioma patients in the Baltimore and Washington DC region can participate in clinical trials at Johns Hopkins and at the University of Maryland. Both colleges have been called ‘centers of excellence’ for clinical trials in mesothelioma. (

WT1 Immunotherapy Drug with Nivolumab for Recurrent Mesothelioma

Clinical researchers have discovered recurrent rates for mesothelioma can vary a great deal. Some studies have indicated recurrence rates post treatment can be from 10-72%. Even patients who are diagnosed in earlier stages and are able to have aggressive treatment still have elevated levels of recurrence. That is why a great amount of mesothelioma research is to find second and third line treatment options for those who have been treated and have recurrence or the cancer is unresponsive.

A new clinical trial being run at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center aims to test a new immunotherapy drug called galinpepimut-S, or the GPS vaccine. It will be tested in combination with nivolumab, another immunotherapy drug, both of which are showing promising results to extend life expectancies in earlier clinical studies.

The GPS vaccine is noted for focusing on the WT1 protein, which also is called the Wilms tumor-1. In healthy tissue, humans usually have the WT1 protein in low amounts. Over years of research, it has been found that mesothelioma patients usually overexpress the protein. That is why this protein is considered a good target for a possible cancer vaccine. (

T-Cell Study Opens for Mesothelioma Patients

Sarah Cannon Research Institute and MD Anderson Cancer Center opened in May 2019 a clinical trial that involves novel T-cell therapy for patients suffering from mesothelioma. The two cancer centers are setting dosage levels and measuring efficacy for TC-210, which is a type of immunotherapy that is targeting mesothelin. This is a cell surface protein that is expressed in several cancers.

This study also is open to people who have bile duct, ovarian and non-small cell lung cancer. Possible participation in the study is based upon the patient’s level of mesothelin expression. Researchers at the two cancer centers hope to enroll as many as 90 patients, which should begin in 2012.

TC-210 therapy involves genetically modifying the T-cells of the patient, which is a sort of white blood cell that is separated from the rest of the blood through leukapheresis. (