Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study looking at a new drug to treat mesothelioma (ADAM)
More about this trial
Treatment for mesothelioma usually aims to control the disease and keep symptoms under control for as long as possible. But unfortunately, mesothelioma can be difficult to treat. So, doctors are always looking for new ways to treat it.
Researchers have found a new way of destroying mesothelioma cells in the laboratory, by removing an amino acid called arginine. Arginine helps with many different jobs in the body, including
Our bodies can make arginine using an
This study looked at a new drug called ADI-PEG 20, which removes arginine. Doctors use it to treat people with liver and skin cancer, but they would like to see if it may also help people with mesothelioma. The main aim of this study was to look at how well ADI-PEG 20 controlled mesothelioma in the chest.
Summary of results
The trial team found that ADI-PEG 20 did help people with mesothelioma of the chest whose cancer cells didn’t have the ASS1 enzyme.
This was a randomised trial. The 68 people who took part were put into 1 of 2 treatment groups:
- 24 people had
best standard careonly
- 44 people had ADI-PEG 20 and best standard care
After treatment the trial team looked at the average length of time people were alive and free of mesothelioma. They found that it was:
- just under 2 months for people who had best standard care only
- just over 3 months for people who had ADI-PEG 20
They also found that those who had ADI-PEG 20 on average lived about 2 months more than those who didn’t. This could have happened by chance and so was not
The worst side effects of ADI-PEG 20 were
The trial team concluded that ADI-PEG 20 was safe and helped people with mesothelioma of the chest. Based on these results the trial team have started a second trial combining ADI-PEG20 with the standard of care of pemetrexed and cisplatin.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Peter Szlosarek
Barts Health NHS Trust
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Polaris Pharmaceuticals Inc
Queen Mary University of London
UCL Cancer Trials Centre
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/07/026.