Anti-CTLA-4 therapy for malignant mesothelioma

Immunotherapy. 2017 Mar;9(3):273-280. doi: 10.2217/imt-2016-0123.


Immunotherapy is an emerging therapeutic strategy with a promising clinical outcome in some solid tumors, particularly metastatic melanoma. One approach to immunotherapy is immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as blockage of CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1. This special report aims to describe the state of clinical trials of tremelimumab in patients with unresectable malignant mesothelioma (MM) in particular with regard to the clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability. Criticism and perspective of this treatment are also discussed. Biological and clinical considerations rule out the use of tremelimumab as single agent for MM and, more generally, the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors for MM is still largely questionable and not supported by evidences.

Keywords: anti-CLTA-4; immunotherapy; malignant mesothelioma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • B7-H1 Antigen / immunology
  • B7-H1 Antigen / metabolism
  • CTLA-4 Antigen / immunology
  • CTLA-4 Antigen / metabolism*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mesothelioma / immunology
  • Mesothelioma / therapy*
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor / immunology
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CTLA-4 Antigen
  • PDCD1 protein, human
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • tremelimumab