Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 105–112 | Cite as

CTLA4 blockade in mesothelioma: finally a competing strategy over cytotoxic/target therapy?

  • Luana Calabrò
  • Giovanni Luca Ceresoli
  • Alessandra di Pietro
  • Ornella Cutaia
  • Aldo Morra
  • Ramy Ibrahim
  • Michele Maio
Focussed Research Review


No second-line treatment significantly prolongs the survival of malignant mesothelioma patients who have a high unmet medical need. Here, we comment on the therapeutic potential of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein (CTLA)4-blockade by the anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody (mAb) tremelimumab of refractory malignant mesothelioma patients. We also focus on the critical role of an accurate tumor assessment in the course of treatment with immunomodulating mAb. Finally, treatment with potentially effective, second-generation checkpoint(s) inhibiting mAb, as well future combination strategies in this deadly disease, will be discussed.


Mesothelioma Anti-CTLA4 mAb Tremelimumab Immunotherapy NIBIT-2013 



Area under the curve


Computed tomography


Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen4


Disease control rate


DNA hypomethylating agent


Inducible costimulator






Monoclonal antibody


Malignant mesothelioma


Magnetic resonance imaging


Overall survival


Progressing disease


Programmed cell death 1


Programmed cell death ligand 1


Programmed cell death ligand 2


Response evaluation criteria in solid tumors


Response rate


Time to progression







This work was supported by unrestricted grants from the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Istituto Toscano Tumori, and MedImmune.

Conflict of interest

Luana Calabrò served on Advisory Boards for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Giovanni Luca Ceresoli declares no conflict of interest. Alessandra di Pietro is a full time employee of MedImmune. Ornella Cutaia declares no conflict of interest. Aldo Morra declares no conflict of interest. Ramy Ibrahim is a full time employee of Astrazeneca. Michele Maio served on Advisory Boards for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche-Genentech, and MedImmune.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luana Calabrò
    • 1
  • Giovanni Luca Ceresoli
    • 2
  • Alessandra di Pietro
    • 3
  • Ornella Cutaia
    • 1
  • Aldo Morra
    • 4
  • Ramy Ibrahim
    • 5
  • Michele Maio
    • 1
  1. 1.Immunoterapia Oncologica, Dipartimento di Oncologia Medica, Istituto Toscano TumoriAzienda Ospedaliera Universitaria SeneseSienaItaly
  2. 2.Thoracic and GU Oncology UnitCliniche Humanitas GavazzeniBergamoItaly
  3. 3.Clinical Development Oncology-MedImmuneGaithersburgUSA
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyEuganea Medica Diagnostic CenterPaduaItaly
  5. 5.Clinical, Immuno-Oncology, Global Medicines DevelopmentAstraZenecaGaithersburgUSA

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