Background: Malignant mesothelioma is a largely incurable disease that is
refractory to current therapies. CD26 is a multifunctional cell surface protein involved in
autoimmune disease, diabetes, and cancer. It has a role in T cell function, extracellular
protein modification, as a prognostic factor for cancer, and as a therapeutic target for
malignant mesothelioma. New treatment strategies are urgently needed for malignant
pleural mesothelioma (MPM), and CD26-targeted therapy represents a novel approach.
Outline: In this review, the most current and up-to-date literature available was
reviewed and the current state of malignant mesothelioma treatment is described.
Throughout the review the need for new therapeutic approaches is highlighted in the
shortcomings of current therapy. CD26 is a target that is fit to take on these shortcomings.
In this review we discuss the structure and function of CD26, its role in malignant
mesothelioma and the future of anti-CD26 therapy as a versatile immunotherapeutic
Conclusion: This review highlights the areas of most promise in treating MPM, these
include immune checkpoint blockade, passive immunization, and based on our recently
published data, targeting of CD26 with its specific mAb. Finally we describe how the
anti-CD26 mAb YS110 was recently evaluated in the first-in-human phase I clinical
trial, showing prolonged disease stabilization and a favorable side effect profile.
Through better understanding of CD26, new pathways to treating and potentially curing
malignant mesothelioma may be discovered.