Although mesothelioma is a relatively rare disease, many forms of cancer are far more common. Indeed, the American Cancer Society reported in 2022 that cancer continued to be the second leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease claims more lives each year.
While doctors and researcher must treat each unique form of cancer differently, the different cancers feature many similarities. These similarities include an antigen that appears in nearly all forms of cancer. And some researchers have recently developed a vaccine that focuses on that antigen.
The UV1 vaccine trials have been encouraging
After suffering an earlier setback, the researchers testing the UV1 vaccine were happy to report that more recent trials had been more promising. Specifically, the trial results seemed to offer some good news for mesothelioma victims.
Here are the key details from the UV1 trials:
- Researchers tested the UV1 vaccine in combination with two other drugs. They were used together as a second-line defense to platinum chemotherapy.
- The treatment extended the median overall survival (OS) for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) victims by more than 4 months. The OS increased from 11.1 months to 15.4 months.
- Researchers reported that the treatment reduced MPM victims’ risk of death by 27%.
- The treatment does not introduce new toxicities to the patients.
- The FDA recently awarded the vaccine an Orphan Drug Designation, meaning the developer will have greater financial incentive to continue its development.
These were the results of the Phase I clinical trial. As we have previously noted, clinical trials like this run through four different Phases. But the FDA tends to approve treatments after a successful Phase 3 trial.
Mesothelioma victims want the best available treatment
It is unclear if the UV1 trials will ultimately lead to FDA approval, but this is not the only clinical trial currently underway. Researchers continue to look for better ways to treat mesothelioma, as well as other cancers. Mesothelioma victims want to stay up to date with these trials and treatments so they can pursue the best available treatment.
You can ask your doctor for more information about the trials for which you may qualify, but not every doctor will know all the available options. That’s why you might consider talking to treatment teams and other professionals who work with mesothelioma on a regular basis. These professionals are more likely to know about the different places you can look for top-quality treatment.