Biologic Therapy & Surgery – New York University School of Medicine
This clinical trial started in November 2000 and was conducted at New York University School of Medicine by the renowned mesothelioma doctor, Harvey Pass. In this study, Dr. Pass tested a drug called Tetrathiomolybdate in pleural mesothelioma patients.
This drug removes copper. It was thought that it could help stop tumors from forming new blood vessels (anti-angiogenesis). Cancers used the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) to feed the cancer cells and grow the tumor.
From November 2000 and August 2003, 30 patients with pleural mesothelioma received this drug after their surgery. Patients with lower stage disease (stage I or II) had a median of 20 before their cancer grew versus 10 months for the mesothelioma patients who did not receive the drug. However, for more advanced stage patients (stage III), there was no difference. Both groups had a median of 7 months before their mesothelioma cancers grew.
The researchers concluded that the new drug had an anti-angiogenic effects in pleural mesothelioma patients (after surgery), and was as good as some other treatments.
Patients: This phase II study involved 30 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The average age was 66, ranging from 49 to 84 years of age. There were 25 men and 5 women.
Treatment: Patients had surgery and were treated with Tetrathiomolybdate. This is a biological therapy that affects copper levels and the development of new blood vessels (angiogenesis).
Toxicity: Many patients (53%) felt dizzy, but the dizziness was not related to any changes in blood pressure. Most (90%) of the patients reported grade 1 or 2 fatigue. Grade 3 granulocytopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia were also reported. The most common grade 3 toxicity was granulocytopenia, reported in 40% of the patients.
Results: The median overall survival was 23 months. For patients with stage I and II disease, the median survival time was 41 months, and for those with stage III disease, it was 15 months.
Support: This study was supported in part by funds from Attenuon LLC, a company which liscened the drug used in this study from the University of Michigan.
Correspondence: Dr. Harvey Pass
See all conventional treatment results for mesothelioma.