Tag Archives: Verastem

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 »

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 »