Tag Archives: mesothelioma drug

Putting the Newest Mesothelioma “Orphan Drug” Into Perspective

Last week, the FDA announced the approval of a new orphan drug for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. According to drug manufacturer MTG Biotherapeutics, MTG-201 is an “advanced biologic therapy” that targets a particular gene defect present in cancer cells. This defect prevents cells from producing a protein that is critical in apoptosis or programmed cell death. Without it, mesothelioma cells are free to replicate out of control and migrate to others parts of the body. MTG-201 also appears to trigger the immune system to produce mesothelioma-fighting T-cell lymphocytes that can target and destroy residual cancer cells. The two mechanisms together give it the potential to help combat mesothelioma in a new and potentially more effective way than conventional therapies. … Continue reading Putting the Newest Mesothelioma “Orphan Drug” Into Perspective »

Making Mesothelioma Cells More Susceptible to Chemotherapy

A potential new mesothelioma drug may have moved a step closer to gaining mainstream acceptance for use in sick patients. Doctors studying the drug say they have found a way to make cells more susceptible to its damaging effects. GDC-0980, also known as Apitolisib, is a class I inhibitor of two cell signaling pathways – P13 and mTOR – both of which play critical roles in regulating the life cycle of cells, including mesothelioma cells. Because mesothelioma is so difficult to treat with standard chemotherapy drugs, researchers around the world are exploring ways to improve treatment by manipulating the vital signaling pathways inside mesothelioma cells. Now, doctors at cancer research centers in the US, the UK, and Switzerland say they … Continue reading Making Mesothelioma Cells More Susceptible to Chemotherapy »

New Delivery System May Make Popular Mesothelioma Drug More Effective

There is new evidence that an advanced method of delivering medicine directly into diseased cells could help make the world’s only FDA-approved mesothelioma drug more effective. Pemetrexed (Alimta) was approved for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma in 2004 and remains the only drug specifically for the treatment of this intractable cancer. Because of its toxicity, pemetrexed can’t be given in very high doses and usually has to be combined with another drug, such as cisplatin, when it is given to mesothelioma patients. Unfortunately, even this “gold standard” drug treatment is only effective about 40 percent of the time. But a new drug delivery system may boost the effectiveness of pemetrexed and improve outcomes for pleural mesothelioma patients.  Researchers in Egypt and … Continue reading New Delivery System May Make Popular Mesothelioma Drug More Effective »

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 »

Can Statins Enhance Mesothelioma Treatment?

The cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin may boost the cancer-killing power of the mesothelioma drug pemetrexed. That news, released by a team of Korean scientists, comes on the heels of another published study showing that the statin drug atorvastatin did not kill mesothelioma in either mice or humans. Although they are primarily used to lower high cholesterol, statin drugs have been shown to have pro-apoptotic properties, meaning they can trigger the dying process in certain cells. An Australian team that recently tested atorvastatin alone found no effect on mesothelioma. But the newest test of a statin for mesothelioma paired the drug simvastatin with the gold-standard chemotherapy drug pemetrexed with more promising results. “We found that the combination of pemetrexed and simvastatin induced more … Continue reading Can Statins Enhance Mesothelioma Treatment? »

Overall Survival “Significantly Higher” After Second-Line Chemotherapy

Researchers in a country especially prone to mesothelioma say second-line chemotherapy with a drug called gemcitabine can significantly improve survival. Turkey is home to several cities with some of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world. It is also the site of aggressive mesothelioma research. Doctors in the Department of Medical Oncology at Acibadem Kayseri Hospital in Kayseri, Turkey, have just released their findings on second-line treatment with gemcitabine (Gemzar) and the results contain some encouraging news for patients struggling with malignant pleural mesothelioma. A total of 73 mesothelioma patients from four different Turkish institutions were evaluated based on whether or not they had second-line chemotherapy with gemcitabine, an antimetabolite that prevents cancer cells from making new DNA and … Continue reading Overall Survival “Significantly Higher” After Second-Line Chemotherapy »

Red Wine Compound and Leukemia Drug Target Mesothelioma Cells

The Korean researchers who were the first to study the mesothelioma-fighting effects of a chemical in red wine say combining it with a drug normally used to treat leukemia may enhance the effect. Resveratrol is a phenol derived from the skin of red grapes and found in red wine and grape juice. In 2013, researchers at Soonchunhyang University in Cheonan, Korea found that it may help fight mesothelioma by making cancer cells more sensitive to the tumor-fighting effects of chemotherapy. In their latest study, the team combined resveratrol with clofarabine, an antimetabolite marketed under the brand name Clolar and used to treat relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. The researchers found that, when they exposed mesothelioma cells and healthy cells … Continue reading Red Wine Compound and Leukemia Drug Target Mesothelioma Cells »

Mesothelioma Drug Side Effect Relieved by Surgery

A team of plastic surgeons in New York have had good luck dealing with one of the bothersome side effects of the mesothelioma drug, Alimta. Alimta (pemetrexed) is considered the gold standard chemotherapy drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma. It is often combined with the platinum-based drug cisplatin as a primary mesothelioma treatment or to help shrink mesothelioma tumors before or after surgery. It is also used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. But, like other powerful chemotherapy drugs, Alimta causes certain side effects, one of which can be swelling of the eyelids. While not life-threatening, eyelid swelling or “edema” can impact quality of life for mesothelioma patients and others on Alimta. But a new article in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive … Continue reading Mesothelioma Drug Side Effect Relieved by Surgery »

Platinum Drug Beats Antibiotic for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment

two surgeons

A team of surgeons in Nebraska have determined what they say is the best chemotherapy drug to pair with surgery in patients with peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare form of the asbestos cancer that affects the lining of the abdomen. A treatment approach that involves removing as much of the cancer as possible with cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and then rinsing the abdomen with heated chemotherapy drugs (HIPEC) seems to produce better outcomes than systemic chemotherapy. But there is debate over the best drug to use in CRS/HIPEC treatment. Surgeons at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha conducted a retrospective study of peritoneal mesothelioma patients that spanned from 2003 to 2010. A total of 44 patients were treated with … Continue reading Platinum Drug Beats Antibiotic for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment »

Trial Drug May Boost Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Success

Targeting Mesothelioma Stem Cells with FAK Inhibitors

There’s more evidence that experimental mesothelioma drugs that inhibit focal adhesion kinase (FAK) may have the ability to dramatically improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy for thousands of mesothelioma patients. Verastem, Inc., the developer of the FAK inhibitors VS-6063 and VS-4718, has just published a new paper on the mechanism by which these drugs work in the medical journal Science Translational Medicine. The research describes how FAK inhibitors make certain mesothelioma cells more susceptible to common chemotherapy drugs like Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin. About half of mesothelioma patients are missing a tumor suppressor called merlin, which can be both good and bad news. Unfortunately, cancers that demonstrate merlin loss tend to be particularly aggressive and mesothelioma is known for its aggressiveness. … Continue reading Trial Drug May Boost Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Success »