Tag Archives: mesothelioma drug

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 »

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? »

Human Trials Planned for Promising New Mesothelioma Drug


The Australian Asbestos Diseases Research Institute says it is ready to begin human trials on what its lead researcher calls the first significant advance in mesothelioma treatment in a decade. More than three years in development, TargomiRs utilizes a unique ‘minicell’ delivery system to insert a synthetic form of missing genetic material into mesothelioma cells. Like a number of other types of cancer, mesothelioma cells are missing a family of microRNAs critical to regulating the cellular life cycle. TargomiRs restores these microRNAs. In mice with human-derived mesothelioma, TargomiRs produced a “remarkable inhibition of tumour growth”, according to the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute. “The last significant development in the treatment of mesothelioma occurred ten years ago,” ADRI director Nico van Zandwijk … Continue reading Human Trials Planned for Promising New Mesothelioma Drug »

Doctors Test New Intra-Pleural Mesothelioma Drug

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York have treated the first patient in a new trial that could offer hope to people with malignant mesothelioma and one of its most common complications. The trial is a dose-escalation test of a new drug called GL-ONC1, a genetically modified vaccinia virus produced by the California biopharmaceutical company Genelux Corporation. GL-ONC1 is designed to be both therapeutic – actually treating the cancer – and diagnostic (via green fluorescent proteins) in people with mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer who have a buildup of lung fluid called malignant pleural effusion. In the new mesothelioma trial, which is sponsored by Memorial Sloan Kettering in collaboration with Genelux, GL-ONC1 will be administered in a single … Continue reading Doctors Test New Intra-Pleural Mesothelioma Drug »

Biomarker Test Next Step for New Mesothelioma Drug

A company that makes stem cell-focused treatments for cancer has taken an important step closer to testing a promising new mesothelioma drug. The biopharmaceutical company Verastem, Inc. specializes in agents that destroy cancer by killing cancer stem cells. One of its lead medicines is VS-6063, a focal adhesion kinase inhibitor scheduled to be the subject of a mesothelioma study later this year. In a Phase I safety study of 36 patients conducted by Pfizer (original developers of VS-6063), the drug was “well-tolerated” and showed enough efficacy to warrant further, larger studies. A focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitor is an agent that regulates the growth and spread of tumor cells by inhibited a crucial signaling pathway. In preclinical cancer models, when this … Continue reading Biomarker Test Next Step for New Mesothelioma Drug »

Effectiveness of Mesothelioma Drug Improved by Other Compounds

Two new studies suggest that a popular mesothelioma drug becomes more effective when combined with other compounds. Pemetrexed (Alimta) is considered a gold standard chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma, a cancer of the membrane that surrounds the lungs and other internal organs. For mesothelioma, pemetrexed is frequently combined with the platinum-based agent, cisplatin. Although many drugs interact with each other or trigger drug resistance, there has been little study of the interaction between these two key mesothelioma drugs. To better understand the relationship between pemetrexed and cisplatin, a team of Japanese researchers used the combination to treat mesothelioma cells in the lab. Although the team did find resistance to either pemetrexed or cisplatin in the mesothelioma cell lines they tested, they confirmed … Continue reading Effectiveness of Mesothelioma Drug Improved by Other Compounds »

New Approach to Predict Mesothelioma Drug Response

In the ongoing worldwide effort to find better treatments for mesothelioma cancer, a group of Italian doctors believe they have a better way of determining which patients will respond to a cancer medication called Gefitinib. A cell protein called Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase is overexpressed in the cells of certain types of cancers, including mesothelioma.  EGFR overexpression can cause uncontrolled cell replication and faster tumor growth.  As an effective EGRF inhibitor, Gefitinib can sometimes help stop that uncontrolled growth.   But the treatment doesn’t work as well in all patients. In a study published in the Public Library of Science, the Italian researchers say the presence of estrogen and estrogen receptors may help determine which mesothelioma patients need Gefitinib most.  … Continue reading New Approach to Predict Mesothelioma Drug Response »