Tag Archives: mesothelioma drug

Immunotherapy Drug May Be Option for Advanced Mesothelioma


Advanced malignant mesothelioma patients who have not responded to standard chemotherapy may have an alternative in a new drug called tremelimumab. An open-label, single-arm, phase 2 trial of the drug has found it to be safe and tolerable and to have “encouraging clinical activity” in advanced malignant mesothelioma that cannot be surgically removed. Tremelimumab is a monoclonal antibody that acts on a particular downregulator of the immune system called cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4). The goal of tremelimumab is to inhibit the immune system tolerance to tumors, which tends to allow them to grow unchecked. When CTLA4 is reactivated with a drug like tremelimumab, it regains its ability to attack tumors. The new published study on tremelimumab for mesothelioma was … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug May Be Option for Advanced Mesothelioma »

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 »

Scientists Test New Skin Delivery for Mesothelioma Drug

Topical ointment

Researchers at Griffith University are working on a new kind of mesothelioma treatment – one that could be delivered through the skin. The report in the Courier Mail makes reference to animal research on “certain small molecules” that reportedly have the potential to penetrate the skin and target the mitochondria of mesothelioma cells. Mitochondria are one of the most important power sources for cells, producing adenosine triphosphate, a source of chemical energy. The Griffith University project, under the leadership of Medical Professor Jiri Neuzil, is focusing on a drug that would be applied to the skin as a patch or cream. The drug would enter the blood stream through the skin and would target only mesothelioma cells. Studies of the … Continue reading Scientists Test New Skin Delivery for Mesothelioma Drug »

FDA Approval Could Mean New Choice for Mesothelioma Patients


A newly-approved drug for late-stage lung cancer may have implications for people with malignant mesothelioma, as well. The FDA recently announced its approval of afatinib, a drug which blocks epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression in cancer cells. Many types of cancer, including about half mesothelioma cases, express a specific type of mutation on the EGFR gene that causes tumors to grow even faster. Because of this, EGFR has been a focus for biomarker research in mesothelioma, as well as in a number of other cancers. In clinical trials, afatinib (brand name Gilotrif), significantly extended progression-free survival in non-small cell lung cancer patients versus the more common pemetrexed/cisplatin chemotherapy combination. Over a 12-month period, the progression-free survival of lung cancer … Continue reading FDA Approval Could Mean New Choice for Mesothelioma Patients »

Studies Confirm Success Factors for Mesothelioma Surgery

Black American Patient

Completeness of surgery, tumor grade, and the use of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin all have an impact on survival after peritoneal mesothelioma surgery and heated intraoperative chemotherapy, according to recent studies. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer of the abdominal wall. This type of mesothelioma is often treated by surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible (Cytoreductive surgery or CRS) followed by a wash of heated chemotherapy drugs through the open body cavity (HIPEC). Two recent studies – one conducted in the U.S. and one in Singapore – have independently confirmed a list of factors that contribute to survival after CRS and HIPEC for peritoneal mesothelioma. The first study included 211 peritoneal mesothelioma patients treated with CRS and HIPEC at … Continue reading Studies Confirm Success Factors for Mesothelioma Surgery »

New Drug Combo May Fight Mesothelioma


A new study finds that the combination of a naturally occurring protein and a drug used to treat multiple myeloma may offer a promising new approach to treating mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung lining caused by asbestos exposure, is known to be difficult to treat using standard cancer therapies. The newly-tested combination of TNFalpha-Related Apoptosis Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) and the cancer drug bortezomib appears to kill mesothelioma cells by triggering “robust apoptosis” (programmed cell death). Both compounds have been studied on their own for their cancer-killing properties. The protein TRAIL is a part of the immune system secreted by most normal tissue cells. It triggers apoptosis in tumor cells by binding to what are called ‘death receptors’ in … Continue reading New Drug Combo May Fight Mesothelioma »

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 »

Orphan Drugs Increase for Mesothelioma

There is some good news for mesothelioma sufferers in a recent report from Thomson Reuters on the orphan drug market. According to Reuters, rare diseases like mesothelioma are “winning unprecedented attention” from drug manufacturers. More than a quarter of the 39 new drugs approved by the FDA in 2012 were granted orphan drug status because they were designed to treat diseases (such as mesothelioma) that affect fewer than 200,000 people a year. Mesothelioma is an aggressive asbestos-linked cancer of internal membranes. It is considered an orphan disease because it claims the lives of about 2,500 Americans annually. The Reuters report on orphan drugs is good news for mesothelioma patients because few treatment options currently exist for them and their prognosis is … Continue reading Orphan Drugs Increase for Mesothelioma »

New Drug May Slow Spread of Mesothelioma

The first trials of a new drug for mesothelioma show it might be able to help slow the progression of the disease in patients with a certain genetic abnormality. About half of mesothelioma patients have been found to be lacking a gene responsible for suppressing the growth of tumors. The gene, called NF2, produces a protein called merlin which, in turn, regulates another protein called focal adhesion kinase (FAK). When NF2 is inactivated, merlin is lacking and unchecked FAK activity can cause mesothelioma cells to become active and spread. But a multi-center Phase I study of a compound called GSK2256098 suggests that it may be able to slow or even stop the spread of this cancer by restoring the activity of NF2 … Continue reading New Drug May Slow Spread of Mesothelioma »