MSCTRAIL for mesothelioma
Clinical stage stem cell therapy for mesothelioma
Prof Sam Janes and his collaborators at UCL are currently investigating the use of MSCTRAIL cell therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in human clinical trials. This innovative allogeneic therapy consists of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that have been engineered to produce tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL); a molecule shown to preferentially induce cell death in cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. A UCLTF Licensing Project is now funding the use of MSCTRAIL in an additional biomarker-driven human clinical trial for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). MPM is mainly caused by exposure to asbestos and affects the pleura; a membrane that forms the outer lining of the lungs and the inner lining of the chest cavity. It is currently incurable and causes more than 2,300 deaths a year in the UK alone.