Stevens K, Vittorio O, Chee J, Yeow WS, Nelson D, Crowe A.
Funding: US Department of Defense Idea Award with Special Focus.
Synopsis: Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer. While new therapies that increase anti-cancer immune responses have shown promise, most patients do not benefit from immunotherapy. We show that metals such as copper accumulate in mesothelioma, are essential for tumour growth and help cancers evade the immune response. Using copper-binding drugs, we aim to reduce the copper available to the cancer, and understand how it improves the function of anti-cancer immune cells. As these copper-binders are clinically approved for use in other diseases, they are novel drugs that can be repurposed to improve immunotherapies for patients with mesothelioma.