COMMAND study investigates mesothelioma drug

August 26, 2014

Research to discover whether an experimental drug called defactinib could be effective in treating mesothelioma has been launched by the drug company Verastem.

Called the COMMAND study, the research will look at whether people with malignant pleural mesothelioma could benefit from defactinib, a drug which is being developed to target cancer stem cells – cells which may cause tumour growth.

Patients who are interested in enrolling in the COMMAND Study will need to have had first-line therapy of ALIMTA ® (pemetrexed), and cisplatin or carboplatin (platinum).

Participants in the study will be assigned at random to either a defactinib group or a ‘placebo’ group and will take two pills twice a day. A placebo pill looks like real medicine, but is a pretend medicine and, for the research to be effective, it is important that participants and their doctors don’t know if they are getting the drug or the placebo. This is one of the best ways to determine what defactinib does in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

An estimated 350 to 400 patients will participate in this study at centres worldwide and, in the UK, 13 hospitals are taking part. Full details of the study, including information about who is eligible to take part, can be found at:, or by searching for ‘Command’ at and