Published on September 26, 2022
Though chemotherapy is effective against many forms of cancer, the deadly asbestos-related form of the disease known as malignant mesothelioma has proven resistant to the protocol, leaving patients facing a grim prognosis. A California-based drug company is focusing on a protein that makes mesothelioma cells more susceptible to chemotherapy, and recently announced success in its phase 3 clinical trials.
Therapeutic Protein Blocks Nutrient to Mesothelioma Cells
The company, Polaris Group, has been exploring the use of a therapeutic protein called pegargiminase that blocks the supply of arginine to malignant mesothelioma cells. Arginine is required for cell survival, and is needed in particularly high amounts in cancer cells. Researchers at the company have been testing whether their therapy can create conditions within the malignant cells that lead to stress, altered gene expression, and cell death, all without affecting healthy cells.
Speaking to their work in treating both malignant pleural mesothelioma and hepatocellular carcinoma, company EVP of medical affairs John Bomalaski said, “Preclinical data revealed various biochemical mechanisms that provide compelling rationales for combining pegargiminase with other agents, and we are exploring these potential synergies in our global clinical trial program.”
Phase 3 Trials Extend Overall Survival in Malignant Mesothelioma
In pursuing this strategy, Polaris Group has recently announced that Phase 3 clinical trials for their mesothelioma treatment known as ADI-PEG 20 have been successful, and that it plans to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for marketing approval next year. They specifically found that median overall survival in 125 patients increased by 21.4 percent, from 7.66 months to 9.3 months, and that median progression free survival time also increased marginally. Adverse events and serious adverse effects were lower than that in the control group.
The successful mesothelioma trials were conducted across five countries, including the United States. The company had received fast-track designation earlier in the year and now plans to pursue marketing approval early in 2023.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, small improvements in treatment outcomes can make a world of difference. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.
FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.
Learn more about and contact Terri