Introduction: Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (MPM) is an uncommon but aggressive neoplasm and has a strong association with asbestos exposure. MPM has low survival rates of approximately 1 year even after (palliative) surgery and/or systemic chemotherapy. Recent advances in treatment strategies focusing on cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) have resulted in improved median survival of 53 months and a 5 year survival of 47%. However, recurrence rates are high. Current systemic chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting is of limited efficacy, while immunotherapy with dendritic cell based immunotherapy (DCBI) has yielded promising results in murine models with peritoneal mesothelioma and in patients with pleural mesothelioma.
Methods and analysis: The MESOPEC trial is an open-label single centre phase II study. The study population are adult patients with histological/cytological confirmed diagnosis of epithelioid malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.
Intervention: 4 to 6 weeks before CRS-HIPEC a leukapheresis is performed of which the monocytes are used for differentiation to dendritic cells (DCs). Autologous DCs pulsed with allogeneic tumour associated antigens (MesoPher) are re-injected 8 to 10 weeks after surgery, three times biweekly. Additional booster vaccinations are given at 3 and 6 months.Primary objective is to determine the feasibility of administering DCBI after CRS-HIPEC in patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. Secondary objectives are to assess safety of DCBI in patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and determine whether a specific immunological response against the tumour occurs as a result of this adjuvant immunotherapy.
Ethics and dissemination: Permission to carry out this study protocol has been granted by the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO in Dutch) and the Research Ethics Committee (METC in Dutch). The results of this trial will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Trial registration number: NTR7060. EudraCT: 2017-000897-12; Pre-Results.
Keywords: cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy; dendritic cell based immunotherapy; malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.
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