Tag Archives: chemotherapy

More Support for Novel Mesothelioma Drug Delivery System

Pharmaceutical researchers working on a way to make the most popular mesothelioma drug more effective have found more evidence that fat may be the answer. The team at Zagazig University in Egypt and Tokushima University in Japan have developed a fat-based coating for the antifolate drug pemetrexed (Alimta) that may help improve outcomes for patients. Pemetrexed is currently the only drug approved specifically to treat malignant mesothelioma and most patients will receive it at some point. Even so, like most mesothelioma therapies, pemetrexed is only marginally effective, in part because the dose has to be limited to avoid serious side effects. The new drug delivery system was designed to get around this problem by encapsulating molecules of pemetrexed in tiny … Continue reading More Support for Novel Mesothelioma Drug Delivery System »

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 »

Long Term Mesothelioma Survival with Immune System Activation

A small group of Australian mesothelioma patients have reportedly lived more than twice as long as expected with a combination of standard chemotherapy and immune system manipulation with the CD40 protein. The CD40 protein plays a role in a broad range of immune and inflammatory responses in the body. Studies in mice have found that activating CD40 with an activating antibody may work “synergistically” with chemotherapy drugs to fight cancer. To see whether CD40 activation could produce a similar response in human patients, researchers with the University of Western Australia and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth recruited 15 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients in the early stages of the disease. The patients all received both standard chemotherapy (pemetrexed and cisplatin) … Continue reading Long Term Mesothelioma Survival with Immune System Activation »

Clinical Trial May be Best Second-Line Approach for Mesothelioma

Doctor holding x-ray film

The best second-line treatment for mesothelioma patients who fail to respond to standard chemotherapy is probably to enroll in a clinical trial. The authors of a newly-published paper on the subject reached that conclusion after reviewing the results of 29 studies on potential second- or third-line mesothelioma treatments. Most patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive malignancy associated with asbestos exposure, will undergo chemotherapy, either as a stand-alone treatment or as part of a multimodal approach. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of mesothelioma patients treated with standard pemetrexed/cisplatin chemotherapy will show a response. Even those who respond to chemotherapy often relapse again later. Scientists around the world are searching for new drugs and drug combinations to offer mesothelioma patients … Continue reading Clinical Trial May be Best Second-Line Approach for Mesothelioma »