A study looking at how the immune system affects the development of mesothelioma (EIM)

Cancer type:






This is a study to see if there are particular cells in the immune system that are related to the development of mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can develop in the tissue covering the lungs (the pleura Open a glossary item). People who have cancer affecting the lungs or the pleura may develop a build up of fluid in their chest. This is called a pleural effusion Open a glossary item. If mesothelioma is causing this, the fluid may contain cancer cells.

If you have a pleural effusion, you can have the fluid drained. Your doctor can use a sample of the fluid to look for mesothelioma cells. They may also take samples of tissue (biopsies Open a glossary item) from the lining of your lungs to look for mesothelioma.

Researchers want to learn more about the effect the immune system has on how and when mesothelioma develops. To do this, they want to look at samples of fluid drained from pleural effusions in people who have mesothelioma and from people who have a pleural effusion but who don’t have mesothelioma.

There is no direct benefit to you from taking part in this study. But the researchers hope the results will help them to understand more about how the immune system affects mesothelioma, and guide them in developing better treatments.

Who can enter

You may be asked to join this study if your doctors suspect you have mesothelioma and you are going to have a procedure to drain fluid that has built up in your chest, or surgery to remove the fluid and take biopsies Open a glossary item from the lining of your lung (the pleura Open a glossary item).

The study will also recruit people who are going to have fluid drained from a pleural effusion Open a glossary item, but their doctors don’t think it is caused by mesothelioma.

Trial design

If you agree to take part, the researchers will get a sample of the fluid from your pleural effusion. If you have surgery, they will also take an extra biopsy from the lining of your lungs.

They will also ask you to give a blood sample. They will try to take this sample at the same time as you have other blood tests.

If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, the study team will ask you to give more blood samples 3 months, 6 months and a year later.

The researchers will study the blood and fluid samples to look for markers that show them how the immune system is working in people who do have mesothelioma and in people who don’t have the disease.

Hospital visits

Taking part in this study doesn’t involve any extra hospital visits.

Side effects

There are no side effects from taking part in this study as the samples are taken during planned procedures.

If you have extra blood tests, you may have some discomfort, and bleeding or bruising where the blood sample is taken.



Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Christian Ottensmeier
Professor Gareth Thomas

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Southampton Cancer Research UK Clinical Centre

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

A picture of Wendy

"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

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