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A novel approach to identify and treat mesothelioma

Project Member(s): Cheng, Y., Liao, J., Lee, K., Khan, J., Jin, D., Bao, G.

Funding or Partner Organisation: iCare (iCare Dust Diseases Care Grant)
iCare (iCare Dust Diseases Care Grant)

Start year: 2024

Summary: Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Currently there are no effective treatment options and most patient responses to treatment are short-lived. Despite the recent advancement in mesothelioma treatment with the introduction of immunotherapy, the average survival time of mesothelioma patients remains poor, with a median survival of around 18 months. Novel treatment agents and approaches are desperately needed to improve mesothelioma patient survival outcomes. Our preliminary studies showed that our newly developed photodynamic (PDT) molecule IR1Gd can identify mesothelioma cells and suppress its growth with subsequent near infrared (NIR) light induction. We have developed this as the next treatment option for mesothelioma. Whilst many other PDT agents have been established, they are not suitable for mesothelioma. To increase the deep penetration property that is essential to achieve the tumour suppression action for mesothelioma, our newly designed and synthesised IR1Gd molecule showed anti-mesothelioma activity in preliminary results. We anticipate that the successful validation of this new molecule in mesothelioma will lead to an early clinical trial to treat mesothelioma patients. The results of this proposal will provide important information to implement this new molecule to treat mesothelioma. The successful completion of this project will provide the foundation to plan a clinical trial to treat mesothelioma. The investigators of this project have extensive experience in translational research. We will utilise the results of the proposed experiments to show the efficacy of IR1Gd for treating mesothelioma. We will therefore seek further funding to carry out a clinical trial to treat mesothelioma.

FOR Codes: Treatment of human diseases and conditions, Human pharmaceutical treatments , Diagnosis of human diseases and conditions, Cancer therapy (excl. chemotherapy and radiation therapy), Cancer cell biology, Cancer diagnosis