Periodic Reporting for period 3 - H2020MM04 (DC-based immunotherapy to treat Malignant Mesothelioma)
Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-06-30
In Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam (ERA), a unique personalized form immunotherapy has been developed from the earliest laboratory experiments up to phase I clinical studies. This therapy is based on ‘training’ of the patients’ own immune system to equip it to work against the mesothelioma tumors. For this purpose, a specific type of immune cells, so-called dendritic cells, are obtained from the patients’ plasma. Subsequently the cells are treated in the laboratory by exposing them to PheraLys. PheraLys is a cocktail of factors prepared out of a so-called mesothelioma ‘cell lines’: cells originating from a variety of mesothelioma tumors, which have been cultured and characterized extensively in the laboratory. This equips the dendritic cells with a broad spectrum of capacities to attack the patients’ mesothelioma tumors. After the exposure to PheraLys, the patients’ own cells, now named MesoPher, are given back to the patient in a series of injections. The safety and tolerability of this PheraLys/MesoPher treatment has been demonstrated in a phase I clinical trial performed at ERA. Median survival of the 9 patients participating in this trial is 26 months and rising, since 7 of these patients are still alive in August 2017.
The objective of the H2020MM04 consortium is to demonstrate the efficacy of this dendritic cell-based immunotherapy in a randomized phase II/III clinical trial. For this purpose, a consortium has been composed of 6 mesothelioma expert centers in Europe, complemented with the company Amphera, which is responsible for the potential exploitation of the therapy, and the European Cancer Patient Coalition.