Could Anti-Malaria Drug Become New Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment?

new pleural mesothelioma treatment

A new report  suggests an anti-malaria drug called quinacrine has potential as a new pleural mesothelioma treatment. Before chloroquine became more popular, quinacrine was widely used to treat malaria. Now doctors mostly use it for a diarrhea disease caused by a parasite. But a report published in the International Journal of Molecular Science says quinacrine also has anti-cancer properties. Laboratory tests suggest it has the makings of a powerful new pleural mesothelioma treatment. The Challenge of Pleural Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma starts on the membranes around internal organs. It can quickly spread to other parts of the body. Pleural mesothelioma grows on the lining around the lungs. It is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos dust.  Most people with mesothelioma … Continue reading Could Anti-Malaria Drug Become New Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment? »

FDA Approval of Keytruda will Help Some Mesothelioma Patients

FDA Approval of Keytruda

The FDA approval of Keytruda this month may help some patients in their battle against asbestos cancer.  Keytruda is the brand name for the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab. The FDA first approved Keytruda as a first-line treatment for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. That initial approval came in 2017. The new FDA approval of Keytruda is for treatment of specific kinds of malignant tumors. Eligible patients must have unresectable mesothelioma and no other treatment options.  How Keytruda Fights Mesothelioma Keytruda is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. It blocks a protein called PD-L1. Mesothelioma cells use PD-L1 to avoid immune system attack. Drugs like Keytruda unmask these hiding cells and make them more vulnerable to treatment.  But not all patients with mesothelioma will … Continue reading FDA Approval of Keytruda will Help Some Mesothelioma Patients »

Second-Line Mesothelioma Treatment with Ramucirumab

second-line mesothelioma treatment

A combination of ramucirumab (CYRAMZA) and gemcitabine creates a promising second-line mesothelioma treatment. New research shows the combination nearly doubled survival in a group of patients whose tumors kept growing with standard therapy.  Italian researchers shared their findings at the virtual annual meeting of ASCO. ASCO is one of the largest gatherings of cancer doctors in the US. First-Line Mesothelioma Treatment Failure For most mesothelioma patients, chemotherapy with Alimta is the first-line treatment. This does keep the cancer in check for some patients. But after a while, mesothelioma tumors almost always come back. Chemotherapy only extends survival by about four months.  Doctors have tested many different approaches to second-line mesothelioma treatment.  Some of the therapies tested are: Additional rounds of … Continue reading Second-Line Mesothelioma Treatment with Ramucirumab »

Promising Data on New Mesothelioma Pill Presented at National Conference

new mesothelioma pill

Doctors researching a new mesothelioma pill presented research on the drug at a national virtual conference in May.  The ASCO conference is one of the most important gatherings of cancer doctors in the country. This year’s online meeting gave them a chance to safely learn about new cancer research. Only the most notable research is presented at the conference. The new mesothelioma pill made the cut because research suggests it can help patients with asbestos cancer live longer.  How the New Medication Works Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Epizyme makes the new mesothelioma pill, called tazemetostat (Tazverik). The oral drug blocks the protein EZH2. This protein inhibits the genes that are supposed to suppress tumor growth. Over-expression of EZH2 has been linked to … Continue reading Promising Data on New Mesothelioma Pill Presented at National Conference »

Could ONCOS-102 Be a New First-Line Mesothelioma Treatment?

first-line mesothelioma treatment

A new first-line mesothelioma treatment has moved a step closer to becoming reality.  New data show that the immunotherapy drug ONCOS-102 continues to look promising, nine months into a Phase I/II clinical trial. The drug was especially helpful to mesothelioma patients who had not yet had any treatment.  Norweigian drug maker Targovax made the announcement earlier this month. ONCOS-102 is an experimental drug based on a modified virus. The virus helps it target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The latest results show ONCOS-102 helps standard mesothelioma chemotherapy work better. Targovax says the next step will be a larger test of the combination as a first-line mesothelioma treatment.  Clinical Trial of ONCOS-102 The power of ONCOS-102 comes from the … Continue reading Could ONCOS-102 Be a New First-Line Mesothelioma Treatment? »

Curcumin Treatment for Mesothelioma: Research is Encouraging

curcumin treatment for mesothelioma

The research on curcumin treatment for mesothelioma looks promising, but more hard science is needed before doctors can incorporate it into their treatment plans.  That is the message from a new multi-center international review of studies on curcumin for mesothelioma.  Curcumin is a phytochemical that gives the spice turmeric its distinctive yellow color. Phytochemicals are compounds produced by plants. Different phytochemicals help plants fight disease or protect themselves from other threats.  The new review summarizes the research on curcumin treatment for mesothelioma. It suggests that this compound may one day be a standard part of treating this intractable cancer.  What Do We Know About Curcumin? Practitioners of natural medicine have used the curcumin in turmeric to treat disease for hundreds … Continue reading Curcumin Treatment for Mesothelioma: Research is Encouraging »

PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study

PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab

A study of the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab showed “safety and efficacy” in mesothelioma patients who failed with other treatments.  Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy marketed under the brand name Opdivo. It is similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in that it blocks the tumor-promoting protein PD-L1. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.  A multicenter phase II Japanese study found the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab helped a group of pleural mesothelioma patients live longer. Just as importantly, the side effects of the drug were “manageable”.  Human Trial of PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin is the standard first-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma. But many patients either do not respond to chemotherapy or they stop … Continue reading PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study »

Possible New Drug for Mesothelioma Gets First FDA Approval

new drug for mesothelioma

A possible new drug for mesothelioma has received FDA approval for the treatment of advanced epithelioid sarcoma.  Tazemetostat (Tazverik) is an oral medication made by a company called Epizyme. It is a brand new kind of drug that blocks a protein called EZH2. Tazemetostat is in testing for several different types of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma.  The recent FDA approval is an encouraging sign that it could one day be a new drug for mesothelioma.  In Search of a New Drug for Mesothelioma  Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most serious consequences of exposure to asbestos. Once asbestos fibers get into the lungs and other tissues, they never leave. Their presence sets up a cascade of cellular reactions that can … Continue reading Possible New Drug for Mesothelioma Gets First FDA Approval »

Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study

second line mesothelioma treatment

Italian researchers say there is good news and bad news about a proposed second line mesothelioma treatment.  The good news is that the treatment did not cause major side effects in the patients who tried it. The bad news is that it also did not help them live any longer.  The treatment is a mixture of gemcitabine and imatinib. Animal studies suggested that the combination might improve mesothelioma survival.  The newly-published study shows the second line mesothelioma treatment did help control the disease in most patients. But the 23 patients who tried it only lived for a median of 5.7 months. That was not enough for doctors to recommend the combination. Mesothelioma Chemotherapy and Survival The most common first line … Continue reading Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study »

Injectable Pemetrexed for Mesothelioma Now Available for the First Time

injectable pemetrexed for mesothelioma

The FDA has cleared injectable pemetrexed for mesothelioma after two drug companies settled a patent dispute over the medication in December. Until now, the chemotherapy drug pemetrexed has only been available for infusion. In this form, it is called Alimta and is distributed by Eli Lilly.  But New Jersey-based Eagle Pharmaceuticals wanted to develop a form of injectable pemetrexed for mesothelioma. They received tentative approval for the drug in 2018, but it was not until the patent issue was settled that the final approval was granted.  The drug may shorten the duration of treatment for some patients with malignant mesothelioma.  Pemetrexed the Primary Mesothelioma Treatment Malignant mesothelioma is an intractable cancer that grows on the membranes around internal organs. Patients … Continue reading Injectable Pemetrexed for Mesothelioma Now Available for the First Time »

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