Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy – MesoPher®

At Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, a unique personalized form of immunotherapy has been developed. This therapy ‘trains’ the immune system of a patient to work against the mesothelioma tumor.

To this end, a specific type of immune cells, so-called dendritic cells, are obtained from the patients’ blood. Subsequently these cells are exposed to PheraLys®. PheraLys® is prepared from mesothelioma ‘cell lines’: cells originating from a variety of mesothelioma tumors, which have been cultured and characterized extensively in the laboratory.

PheraLys® equips the dendritic cells with a broad spectrum of capacities to attack the patients’ mesothelioma tumors. The final drug product MesoPher®, consisting of the patients’ own dendritic cells exposed to PheraLys®, is given back to the patient in a series of injections.

Read more about the DENIM Clinical Study

What is mesothelioma?

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleura, the lining of the lung and is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers. It is a fatal disease with a poor prognosis. There is only one therapy registered for mesothelioma, a combination chemotherapy (Alimta®/ cisplatin) with limited clinical benefit.
In 2010, 8,100 deaths caused by mesothelioma were registered in the EU. Although use of asbestos has been banned for many years, the incidence of mesothelioma is still rising. This is mainly due to the long period between exposure to asbestos and manifestation of the disease in combination with an ageing population.