In the battle against mesothelioma, a new clinical trial spearheaded by Baylor College of Medicine and Duke University offers a glimmer of hope.

This collaborative study will investigate whether a combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy regimen before surgery can extend patient survival.

Learn more about the trial and how Mesothelioma Hope can help you enroll.

Chemoimmunotherapy for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer with a less than 10% survival rate at 5 years.

Surgery with chemotherapy is often considered the best way to extend survival, but recent advances in immunotherapy offer evidence that it can prolong life expectancy.

For example, the combination of the two immunotherapy drugs nivolumab and ipilimumab improved overall survival by 4 months compared to standalone chemotherapy, according to results from the CheckMate 743 clinical trial published in 2020.

The new clinical trial, which is already recruiting patients, will combine chemotherapy and immunotherapy (also known as chemoimmunotherapy) before surgery to see if this three-pronged approach is more effective than surgery and chemotherapy alone.

“I don’t see a single agent or a single approach as being adequate to beat this disease. We have to take a multi-prong attack to ultimately provide patients with much better survival with this disease,” Dr. Ripley told Mesothelioma Hope.

By studying this treatment combination, researchers hope to achieve the highest possible survival rates and a reduction in cancer recurrence.

More About the Baylor/Duke Study

Leading the study are Dr. R. Taylor Ripley from the Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Jeff Clarke and Dr. David Harpole from Duke University. They aim to get the trial up and running at both Baylor and Duke and potentially expand it to other centers.

The trial is set to enroll 23 pleural mesothelioma patients, offering a chance at a more hopeful prognosis for those facing this formidable disease.

“My hope is that with the combination of preoperative therapy, surgical resection, and adjuvant immunotherapy that we start seeing patients survive multiple years after this treatment approach.”

- Dr. Taylor Ripley, Director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center

Prospective participants will undergo thorough pre-treatment evaluations to assess their overall health and the stage of their cancer to make sure they can safely undergo the combined treatment.

If they qualify, patients will either receive the new chemoimmunotherapy treatment or a control treatment of immunotherapy.

“For patients who have disease that can be removed by surgery, we will randomize them to one of the two arms. One of which is dual-agent immunotherapy tremelimumab with durvalumab, and the other one is those two immunotherapy agents combined with cisplatin and pemetrexed chemotherapy.”

- Dr. Taylor Ripley, Director of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center

Once they’ve had mesothelioma surgery, patients will continue to receive immunotherapy for one year.

See If You Can Enroll in This Trial

By potentially improving survival rates, the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy prior to surgery could set a new standard in the treatment of this devastating illness.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, joining a clinical trial can help give you access to next-generation therapies and provide a beacon of hope in your fight against cancer​​​​.

Mesothelioma Hope’s team of nurses and Patient Advocates can see if you’re eligible to join this new trial and help you find other active trials in your area.

Call (866) 608-8933 now to get started.

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Laura WrightWritten by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

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  1. Baylor College of Medicine. (2023). “BCM, Duke University to study surgery treatment for mesothelioma.” Retrieved November 9, 2023, from
  2. Oncology Live. (2020). “Nivolumab/Ipilimumab Demonstrates Durable OS Benefit in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.” Retrieved November 9, 2023, from

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