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Breaking down the barriers in mesothelioma research

Dr Tabi and her team are looking into finding a way to treat mesothelioma using immunotherapy. Read about their exciting research.

Dr Tabi (left), Professors Rachel Errington and Aled Clayton (middle), Dr Kate Milward (right)

Immunotherapy means that your own immune system is manipulated to help fight the cancer. This has been successful in some mesothelioma clinical trials, but this treatment doesn't work for everyone. Many people don't see any benefit at all. More research is needed to understand why this happens – then we can develop new ways to make immunotherapy work for more people. 
One of the problems is that we don't have the right methods for studying immunotherapy for mesothelioma in the laboratory. Dr Tabi and her team are changing this. They've set out to make a new laboratory model of mesothelioma. This means that they're creating something in the lab which mimics and represents the components and structure of a mesothelioma tumour so we can study and learn from it.
In the past, researchers focussed on studying mesothelioma cells alone, often growing them for years in the laboratory. But this means that other cells – like blood vessels and structural cells, were ignored. These cells can actually change the way the entire cancer grows or behaves.
Using this new model in the lab, Dr Tabi and her team are able to observe what might be preventing immunotherapy from working in some people. The study can help us find out why our immune system is not always effective fighting mesothelioma. 

The study can help us find out why our immune system is not always effective fighting mesothelioma. 

Further work is still needed, but the results are showing that different drugs can change the behaviour of our immune system when someone has mesothelioma. This gives us invaluable information into developing new immunotherapies which may later be tested in clinical trials. 

Find out more about our mesothelioma research

Want to help fund our research? Donate today:

Research is starting to make a real difference in the field of mesothelioma. But we can only fund research thanks to our supporters like the Victor Dahdaleh Foundation, Mesothelioma UK and the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund. Thanks also goes to our mesothelioma patrons Simpson Millar LLP, Leigh Day, Hodge Jones & Allen, Shield Environmental Services and ACMS UK. 

Thank you to the many individuals who donate to us every day. We are truly grateful. Every donation is crucial in helping us spearhead this work and ensure we can continue to make strides in fighting this disease.

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4 July 2018