A new hope for improved mesothelioma treatment

Ian from our research team talks about CheckMate 743, a study offering hope to those with mesothelioma. As one of his focus areas in research, news of progress in this study was something he was pleased to hear about.

Mesothelioma is one of the main priority disease areas we focus our research activities on. In my role, I take a keen interest in any positive developments for people affected by this disease.

More about mesothelioma

To go back a little, mesothelioma is a type of cancer that begins to grow in the thin layers of cells in the chest that cover the lungs (called the pleura). The main cause of mesothelioma is breathing in asbestos dust. Mesothelioma is a huge health issue in the UK and around the world. Every year in the UK, around 2,700 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma and around 2,500 people die from the disease.

Sadly, the outlook for mesothelioma tends to be poor. Chemotherapy has been the first line treatment for the condition for decades, but its effectiveness is limited. And while better initial treatments are desperately needed, little progress has been made…. until very recently.

CheckMate 743

I was delighted to learn about the CheckMate 743 study conducted by Professor Paul Baas, based at the University of Leiden and the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.

Paul and his team have shown that a combination of new treatments called nivolumab and ipilimumab can improve survival for people who have mesothelioma compared to the usual chemotherapy.

This promising work was presented in August 2020 at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Virtual Presidential Symposium. You can read more about it and watch a video from the conference of Dr Baas explaining the research (warning: scientific language used!).


What is mesothelioma? 

Our information explains what mesothelioma is. It provides information on diagnosis and treatment, and what to expect if you’re referred to a hospital cancer clinic. You can also find information on financial help and emotional support. 

Read more about mesothelioma


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26 November 2020