MITOPE clinical trial brings a new treatment to patients suffering from Malignant Pleural Effusion and Malignant Mesothelioma

15% of cancer patients develop pleural effusion as their disease spreads to the lungs and accumulates excess fluid and this condition is common among mesothelioma patients. Earlier this year, RS Oncology, LLC, a US-based biotechnical company focused on the treatment of patients with malignant pleural effusion (“MPE”) and mesothelioma, initiated its MITOPE clinical trial, a first-in-human Phase 1/2 clinical trial in the United Kingdom.

This clinical trial offers a new treatment option for MPE and mesothelioma patients using RS Oncology’s novel drug known as RSO-021. This new drug targets a specific mitochondrial enzyme (PRX3) by regulating oxidative stress to eliminate cancer cells while sparing normal cells. RSO-021 is administered weekly locally into the pleural cavity using an intrapleural catheter immediately after the pleural effusion is drained.

This clinical trial is open and available to patients who are at least 18 years old suffering from MPE and/or mesothelioma, and have documented tumor progression after receiving at least one prior standard of care treatment. The MITOPE trial is currently offered at the University Hospital of Leicester and at Oxford University Hospital with additional sites set to open in the near term across the U.K.

“We’re excited to see the MITOPE trial open for the recruitment of patients and the continued treatment of the first two patients with RSO-021, our novel metabolic therapy. This trial is an important step in improving treatment for people living with this aggressive cancer,” said Jarrett Duncan, RS Oncology’s CEO. “We believe that RSO-021 works by selectively attacking a fundamental process needed for cancer growth. We hope that this novel therapeutic approach will help not only mesothelioma patients, but cancer patients of various types,” added COO and Head of Business Development, George Naumov, Ph.D.

“Mesothelioma remains a lethal cancer lacking effective treatments, particularly in patients with relapsed disease.  This exciting study of a first in class PRX3 inhibitor is anticipated to show promising signals that could lead to development of a new approach to tackle this cancer,” said the clinical investigator from Leicester Hospital, Dean Fennell, MD, Ph.D.

For more information visit NCT05278975, or email

The study is supported by NIHR.

September 29, 2022

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