Mesothelioma and lung cancer patients may soon have a new resource for treatment. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center have been given a $10.7 million grant to explore the use of CAR-T cells to treat solid tumor cancers. Immunotherapy treatments, such as CAR-T cells, have shown remarkable success for leukemia patients and those with bone marrow cancers. Mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to treat, so the Penn study could be instrumental for victims of asbestos exposure.
Immunotherapy helps re-engineer the body’s own defense systems to better respond to cancerous cells. To make CAR-T cells, a physician removes the patient’s T cells, which are responsible for killing pathogens that invade the body, and genetically engineers them to produce chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). These receptors help the cells identify and attack the cancer cells. The bioengineered CAR-T cells are copied, and millions of them are reintroduced into the body.
CAR-T Therapy Successful for Other Cancers
Leukemia and lymphoma treatment has been revolutionized by the use of CAR-T cells, but those results have not been seen in solid tumor cancers. The Penn team is trying to change that; this five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will fund three projects at Penn’s Translational Center of Excellence for Lung Cancer Immunology, aimed specifically at adapting the treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer patients. The projects will explore the bystander effect, whether the re-engineered CAR-T cells can stimulate other immune cells, such as dendritic and remaining T cells, to attack the tumors.
The team at Penn understands the significance of this initiative and are hopeful about its results. If the researchers at Penn are successful, it could be some time before the treatment is made widely available to patients, but it would completely change the landscape of treatment for these two fatal diseases. This is great news for mesothelioma patients, who have very few treatment options.
Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal cancer infecting the lining of the lungs, heart, and chest cavity. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring fiber found in insulation, construction materials, and numerous manufactured products. When its particles become airborne, they can be inhaled and ingested and get lodged in the chest cavity, where they destroy the surrounding tissue. The disease can lay dormant in the body for decades before symptoms appear. Once patients receive a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma, they are often faced with a short life expectancy.
Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Shein Law Fight for the Rights of Asbestos Exposure Victims
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, call the Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Shein Law. Our knowledgeable, experienced lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at fault for your asbestos exposure and hold them accountable for their negligence. We are dedicated to obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled so you can focus on your treatment and recovery. Call us today at 877-743-4652 or contact us online to discuss your case. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.