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 trial looking at targeted drugs for mesothelioma (MiST)
This trial is looking at different targeted cancer drugs for mesothelioma that has continued to grow during chemotherapy or came back after chemotherapy.
More about this trial
One of the
Targeted cancer drugs work by targeting the differences that help a cancer cell to grow and divide.
In this trial researchers want to know if certain targeted drugs can treat mesothelioma that continues to grow or come back after chemotherapy.
There are 3 stages to this trial.
In the 1st stage the team looks at a piece of tissue from your mesothelioma. They are looking for certain substances (
In stage 2 the researchers are looking at different treatments for mesothelioma. Which treatment you have as part of the trial depends on which biomarkers are in your mesothelioma cells.
In the 3rd stage researchers are looking at the tissue samples (
The aims of the trial are to find out:
- how well these treatments work for mesothelioma
- how safe these treatments are
- what the side effects are of these treatments
Who can enter
The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this trial. Talk to your doctor or the trial team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.
Who can take part
You may be able to join this trial if all of the following apply. You:
- have mesothelioma and there is mesothelioma tissue (
biopsy) available for the trial team
- have had chemotherapy that included a
platinum drug, such as carboplatin or cisplatin.
- have a
CT scanthat confirms your mesothelioma has grown or spread
- are fully active, can do most everything apart from heavy physical work (performance status 0 or 1)
- are willing to use reliable contraception during treatment and for 6 months after if there is any chance you or your partner could become pregnant
- are at least 18 years old
Who can’t take part
You cannot join this trial if any of these apply:
- you have mesothelioma spread to the brain or spinal cord, you might be able to join if the spread has been treated with radiotherapy more than 28 days before starting treatment in this trial
- you have had another cancer apart from successfully treated
prostate canceror cervical cancerthat hasn’t come back, basal cell skin canceror superficial (early) bladder cancer
- you have moderate to severe congestive heart failure
- your liver isn’t working very well
- your kidneys aren’t working very well
- you are having long term oxygen
- you have any other medical or mental condition your doctor or the trial team think will affect you taking part
This is a phase 2 trial. The trial team are looking at different treatments arms.
The 1st treatment arm (MiST1) looked at rucaparib. This arm is now closed. There are enough people taking part.
The 2nd treatment arm (MiST2) looked at abemaciclib. This arm is now closed. There are enough people taking part.
The 3rd treatment arm (MiST3) is open for people to join.
The 4th treatment arm (MiST4) is open for people to join.
In MiST3 researchers are looking at the drugs bemcentinib and pembrolizumab.
Bemcentinib is a cancer growth blocker. It works by blocking a protein that cancer cells need to grow and survive.
Bemcentinib is a capsule. You have 4 capsules once a day for 3 days. You then have 2 capsules once a day for the rest of your treatment.
You take bemcentinib on an empty stomach. You shouldn’t eat for at least 1 hour after taking it. You continue taking bemcentinib as long as it is working and the side effects aren’t too bad.
You have pembrolizumab every 3 weeks. Each 3 week period is called a
You have a diary to write down when you take your bemcentinib and any side effects you might have. You must take this to all your hospital appointments for the doctor or trial team to see.
Atezolizumab is an immunotherapy. It works by helping the immune system recognise cancer cells.
Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody. It works by stopping the cancer cells from developing new blood vessels. And this can help stop the growth of cancer cells.
You have atezolizumab and bevacizumab as a drip into a vein. You have them once every 3 weeks. This is a cycle of treatment.
You have 8 cycles of treatment of each drug as long as they are working and the side effects aren’t too bad. At the end of the 8 cycles if they are still working you might be able to continue taking the treatments. Your doctor will talk to you about this.
The team will ask your permission to obtain a piece of cancer tissue from when you were diagnosed. If this isn’t available you must agree to give a fresh sample (
You might be asked to give another sample of tissue if your treatment stops working. You don’t have to agree to this if you don’t want to. You can still take part in the trial.
You also give blood samples during the trial.
Researchers will use these samples to find out more about mesothelioma and how to treat it.
You also give a poo sample before the start of treatment and at times during treatment. Researchers use these samples to help them understand more about the effect immunotherapies have on the natural
You have some tests before taking part. These tests include:
- a physical examination
- blood tests
- heart trace (
- CT scan
- chest x-ray
- urine sample
- poo sample
- heart scan (
ECHO) if you are in MiST3
You see the doctor often while having treatment. This is to see how you are and for blood tests.
You have a CT scan every 6 weeks for 24 weeks and then every 12 weeks.
In MiST3 you see the doctor:
- a month after finishing treatment then at
- 3 months and
- 6 months
You have a heart scan (ECHO) at 6 months.
In MiST4 you see the doctor a month after finishing treatment and then at 6 months.
After this your doctor will tell you how often they want to see you.
You have an emergency card (like a business card) that has the contact details of the trial team. You should contact them if you have any side effects.
Pembrolizumab and atezolizumab affect the immune system. They may cause inflammation in different parts of the body which can cause serious side effects. These could happen during treatment, or some months after treatment has finished. Rarely, these side effects could be life threatening.
If you have any of these side effects, you should tell the doctor or nurse as soon as possible that you are on or have been on an immunotherapy.
Side effects for MiST3
The most common side effects of pembrolizumab are:
- rash, itching, dry skin, red skin or loss of skin colour
- feeling sick
- infusion related reactions – while having or just after having pembrolizumab you might feel dizzy, faint, flushed, get a rash, have a fever, feel short of breath or feel pain at the infusion site
- an increased level of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism) – this can cause feelings of anxiety and anger, trouble sleeping, weakness, trembling, sweating, tiredness, diarrhoea or constipation, tummy (abdominal) pain, bowel pain (colitis) and loss of appetite
- painful joints, muscle and bones
- stiff and swollen joints
- loss of strength
- general swelling of the body
- high temperature (fever), flu like symptoms, chills
Bemcentinib is a new drug and there might be side effects we don’t know about yet. The side effects we do know about include:
We have more information about pembrolizumab and its side effects.
Your doctor or a member of the research team will talk to you about the side effects of pembrolizumab and bemcentinib before you agree to take part.
Side effects for MiST4
The most common side effects of atezolizumab include:
- tiredness and feeling weak (fatigue)
- joint pain
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- shortness of breath
- urine infection
- itching, rash
- feeling or being sick
- high temperature (fever)
- muscle and bone pain
The most common side effects of bevacizumab include:
- high blood pressure
- numbness or tingling in feet and hands
- a drop in the white blood cells causing an increased risk of infection
- a drop in the platelets causing an increased risk of bruising and bleeding
- tiredness, feeling weak and having no energy (fatigue)
- feeling or being sick
- tummy (abdominal) pain
We have more information about:
Your doctor or a member of the research team will talk to you about the side effects of atezolizumab and bevacizumab before you agree to take part.
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Anne Thomas
Professor Dean Fennell (Co Investigator)
British Lung Foundation
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
University of Leicester