Emerging biological therapies for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma

Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs 2021 May 4 [Link]

Alexander P Davis, Steven C Kao, Stephen J Clarke, Michael Boyer, Nick Pavlakis


Introduction: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has limited treatment options with minimal new therapy approvals for unresectable disease in the past 15 years. However, considerable work has occurred to develop immunotherapies and biomarker driven therapy to improve patient outcomes over this period.

Areas covered: This review examines current standard of care systemic therapy in the first- and second line setting. The last 12 months has seen 2 significant trials (Checkmate 743 and CONFIRM) which establish evidence supporting the role of immunotherapy in the management of MPM. Further trials are underway to assess the role of combination chemoimmunotherapy and personalised therapy. Additionally, a large number of clinical trials are ongoing to assess the efficacy of oncoviral, dendritic cell, anti-mesothelin and chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy in the treatment of MPM.

Expert opinion: Recent Phase III trial results have established a role for immunotherapy in the management of MPM. The optimal sequencing and combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy remains to be determined. Novel therapies for MPM are promising however efficacy remains to be determined and issues remain regarding access to and delivery of these therapies.