Study to Test New Three-Drug Treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma

The makers of a VEGF-inhibitor called nintedanib are recruiting patients with unresectable pleural mesothelioma for a Phase III clinical trial of the drug in combination with standard chemotherapy. The multicenter trial sponsored by drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim will eventually include a total of 450 mesothelioma patients, but preliminary results from the first 87 patients look promising.  According to data presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, adding nintedanib to pemetrexed and cisplatin improved the progression-free survival of pleural mesothelioma patients by almost four months over placebo. In a 2016 study that went by the acronym ‘MAPS’, French researchers found that giving another VEGF inhibitor, called bevacizumab, along with pemetrexed and cisplatin lowered the risk of death from malignant mesothelioma … Continue reading Study to Test New Three-Drug Treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma »

Scrubbed Trial May Not Be the End for Mesothelioma Drug

The makers of the once-promising experimental mesothelioma drug defactinib have announced that they will stop a clinical trial of the drug early because, by itself, it does not appear to help. But this may not be the end of the road for defactinib in mesothelioma treatment. Defactinib (VS-6063) had been the leading compound for its manufacturer, Boston-based Verastem. While standard mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs like pemetrexed, cisplatin, gemcitabine and vinorelbine can sometimes shrink mesothelioma tumors, they also increase the percentage of stem cells which can give rise to new cancer. Defactinib was designed to help keep malignant mesothelioma patients from relapsing by inhibiting a crucial signaling pathway (FAK) inside the stem cells. Early studies were encouraging, but a recent review of … Continue reading Scrubbed Trial May Not Be the End for Mesothelioma Drug »

Orphan Drug Improves Mesothelioma Survival in Phase II Trial

T. Researchers with the National Cancer Institute report that, when administered along with the traditional chemotherapy, amatuximab appears to be able to enhance the effectiveness of treatment and extend survival. Amatuximab is a monoclonal antibody that targets the glycoprotein mesothelin. Many types of cancer overexpress this protein, including pleural mesothelioma. Studies have found that mesothelin plays a role in cell adhesion which allows tumors to take hold and ‘seed’ new tumors in other parts of the body. By binding to the mesothelin on the surface of mesothelioma cells, amatuximab prevents this adhesion and triggers an immune response against tumors. It was granted orphan drug status in the U.S. in 2012 for its potential to improve mesothelioma treatment. It received the … Continue reading Orphan Drug Improves Mesothelioma Survival in Phase II Trial »

Mesothelioma in Massachusetts

While mesothelioma is a problem in all states, the specific incident rate for Massachusetts is 1.3 / 100,000. This is above the average rate of 1.1 / 100,000. Click on the tabs below to find mesothelioma and asbestos research in MA, recent MA mesothelioma-related court cases, mesothelioma specialists in MA and potential asbestos hotspots in Massachusetts.

New Mesothelioma Drug Kills Cancer Stem Cells

test tube

Citing “significant enthusiasm within the mesothelioma community”, the manufacturers of a promising new mesothelioma drug say they have begun a major test of the drug in patients. Massachusetts-based Verastem, Inc. focuses on drugs that fight cancer by attacking the stem cells that give rise to them. Earlier this summer, the FDA granted orphan drug status to their stem cell inhibitor, defactinib, for the treatment of mesothelioma. The designation, which is reserved for drugs that fight the rarest of diseases, helps pave the way for testing and faster approval, depending on the results of clinical trials. “Development of a drug that preferentially kills cancer stem cells is a promising approach, as many standard-of-care treatments have been shown to either have no … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Drug Kills Cancer Stem Cells »

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