Introduction: Tremelimumab demonstrated therapeutic activity in different malignancies, including malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM); however, continued research could improve the therapeutic index of this agent.
Areas covered: This review describes tremelimumab's clinical efficacy, administration and safety in patients affected with MPM and reports the state of the art clinical trials of tremelimumab. A literature search using the PubMed database was conducted using the search terms tremelimumab, MPM, current therapy, immune checkpoint blockage and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4. Data was also obtained from meeting abstracts and clinical trial registries.
Expert opinion: The use of immunotherapy has been extended from melanoma to thoracic malignancies or lung cancer and MPM. The first clinical trials for MPM with drugs modulating immune checkpoints have been tested or are currently being tested with the first results now under critical consideration. Among these drugs, tremelimumab has been attracting attention as a potential new treatment for MPM. Nevertheless, even though clinical efficacy has been preliminarily demonstrated, the cost/benefit ratio of this drug for this neoplasm is yet to be ascertained.
Keywords: CTLA-4; immunotherapy; malignant pleural mesothelioma; tremelimumab.