New clinical trials for mesothelioma are important because they can lead to treatments that can help patients live longer and improve quality of life. There are several new mesothelioma clinical trials that are ongoing as of November 2020. Learn more about these new clinical trials for mesothelioma.

New Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma Explained

Mesothelioma clinical trials are experimental studies conducted by professional researchers. These trials are done to see if new cancer therapies can combat this disease more effectively.

Clinical trials may test new combinations or doses of well-established treatments like chemotherapy, or treatment options that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but show promise.

Did You Know?

The goal of a clinical trial is to see if the benefits of the treatment outweigh the drawbacks (like side effects). Researchers will also determine how effective the treatment is. Some clinical trials may even test new ways to diagnose mesothelioma.

As of November 2020, new clinical trials for mesothelioma are enrolling new patients to participate across the entire country.

How Clinical Trials Help Mesothelioma Patients

Clinical trials are helpful for mesothelioma patients because:

  • They grant early access to new treatments: Currently, there are few FDA-approved treatments for mesothelioma. New clinical trials for mesothelioma offer patients first access to upcoming treatment options that are not regularly available.
  • They offer more treatments: Sometimes, mesothelioma tumors can stop responding to established treatments and continue to grow. Qualifying mesothelioma patients may be able to join a clinical trial and access new treatments that can slow the cancer’s progression.
  • They make real progress: Clinical trials have led to FDA approval of new drugs to treat mesothelioma. For instance, a recent clinical trial led to an immunotherapy drug combination — Opdivo® and Yervoy® — being approved by the FDA for public use.

New Mesothelioma Clinical Trials in 2020

Pleural Mesothelioma Biopsies and Prognosis Study

A study is researching a new way to determine both the stage and the prognosis of patients with pleural mesothelioma without having the patient undergo surgery or other mesothelioma treatment options, which isn’t currently possible.

The researchers, led by Dr. Raphael Bueno of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, are using a new biopsy method. A biopsy is where doctors take a sample of possibly cancerous tissue and study it to see if mesothelioma cells are present.

This new biopsy studies the tissue samples using different tests and will also study the gene expression of mesothelioma cells. If effective, doctors can determine the cancer’s stage and prognosis faster, allowing patients to get treated sooner.

The trial will have 240 participants, each of which must have been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.

New Immunotherapy Treatments for Pleural Mesothelioma

This clinical trial is investigating a new mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment: a combination of Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) and defactinib. The two immunotherapy drugs will use patients’ own immune systems to identify and attack the cancer.

Researchers are looking to find the highest dose of the drug that can be administered to pleural mesothelioma without side effects. The study is being led by Dr. Raphael Bueno of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

There will be 26 patients in this clinical trial, with a requirement being a prior diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma.

This trial was expected to start in September 2020 but has not begun accepting patients. Those interested can contact the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for more information.

Pilot Study of Keytruda and Mesothelioma

A pilot study of Keytruda on mesothelioma is being run by the University of Chicago. Keytruda will be administered for three weeks before patients undergo mesothelioma surgery. Patients may also be treated with Keytruda for one year after surgery.

The trial is open to 15 participants, all of which must have been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Cryoablation for Mesothelioma

A study on cryoablation in patients with mesothelioma will be conducted by the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. The researchers are interested in finding if cryoablation — the administration of extreme cold — will damage or destroy cancer lesions in patients with mesothelioma.

The investigators will also see if there is a local immune response after the cryoablation treatment. The trial will have 20 participants, all of which need to have a prior diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma.

As of September 2020, this trial is not yet recruiting. It will likely do so in the near future.

Olaparib for Mesothelioma

In this study, researchers are studying if the chemotherapy drug Lynparza™ (olaparib) can stop mesothelioma cancer cells from repairing themselves.

They are particularly interested in patients with mesothelioma with mutations related to the BRCA gene. Eligible patients will have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in the past, with some history of prior treatment.

This study is being conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center.

Learn More About Joining a Clinical Trial

Joining a clinical trial for mesothelioma can help you to get access to experimental drugs that you might not otherwise be able to receive.

Did You Know?

If you are interested in joining a clinical trial, talk to your doctor. They can help you see which clinical trials may be available to you.

Please keep in mind that you might not qualify for every new clinical trial for mesothelioma. Clinical trials are limited based on cancer stage and type being studied, as well as where patients live.

However, there are always treatment options available no matter your diagnosis. To learn more about clinical trials and other mesothelioma treatment options, contact our team today. Our caring and knowledgeable patient advocates can help you find top cancer treatments.

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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. Cryoablation for the Promotion of Local Tumor Infiltration in Patients With Mesothelioma – Full Text View. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2020, from

  2. Pembrolizumab + Defactinib In Pleural Mesothelioma – Full Text View. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2020, from

  3. A Pilot Window-Of-Opportunity Study of the Anti-PD-1 Antibody Pembrolizumab in Patients With Resectable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma – Full Text View. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2020, from

  4. Prospectively Collected Pleural Biopsies for Validation of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Prognostic Biomarkers – Full Text View. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2020, from

  5. Olaparib in People With Malignant Mesothelioma – Full Text View. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2020, from

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