Latest Chemotherapy Updates to Treat Mesothelioma

 By Kathy Cooke.  28th November 2016

There was a recent study in the USA presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
The study investigated the treatment of more than 1,600 mesothelioma patients that concluded that those treated with chemotherapy tend to live longer than those who aren't.

The study was carried out from 2005 to 2009 and included data about the size and shape of the mesothelioma tumours as well as the age, sex and level of asbestos exposure. They analysed types of treatments to determine which chemotherapy treatment patterns lead to the best mesothelioma survival rates.

chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma

The Mesothelioma Treatment Results

The study found that:

  • The average age of the patient was 78 when first diagnosed
  • 45% of patients were treated with chemotherapy, 30% had surgery
  • Most common chemotherapy treatment (67%) was Pemetrexed combined with Cisplatin or Carboplatin
  • Pemetrexed with Cisplatin or Carboplatin was most often used for second-line chemotherapy treatment
  • Average survival rate was 7 months for patients who had chemotherapy
  • Average survival rate was 1 year for those treated with second-line chemotherapy

The study concluded that chemotherapy still offered the best chance at a longer life following a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Jennifer Lynn Beebe-Dimmer (Wayne State University Medical School) added:

Irrespective of surgical resection, mesothelioma patients receiving some form of chemotherapy survived longer than patients who did not, with an additional survival benefit among those patients receiving multimodal treatment

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) and Mesothelioma

Researchers in Japan have manipulated RNA in mice to see if it can boost chemotherapy and prolong life in victims of mesothelioma.

Ribonucleic acid is a molecule that acts as a messenger, carrying and translating instructions from DNA that control critical cellular processes, from metabolism to replication and cell death (apoptosis).

The team of doctors at Tokushima University’s Institute of Health Biosciences reprogrammed the RNA using specially designed molecules to improve the effectiveness of the chemotherapy agents such as Pemetrexed. This was given to the mesothelioma-infected mice by embedded the RNA molecule in a tiny fat bubble which was then coated with polyethylene glycol and injected into the mice.

The team are speculating that injecting the treatment throughout the body as well as into the mesothelioma tumours may extend the clinical utility of Pemetrexed in treating mesothelioma. This, if proved, could improve the odds of survival for many victims of mesothelioma.

The Timing of Chemotherapy

The timing of chemotherapy can vary widely, particularly in patients who also have surgery. Chemotherapy can be used before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor before being surgically removed and after surgery to kill any mesothelioma cells that may be left behind.

Tests were carried out recently at the University Hospital in Leicester on over 200 pleural mesothelioma patients. 81 had lung-removing mesothelioma surgery, the rest had extended pleurectomy-decortication which leaves the lungs intact.

It was found that the timing of chemotherapy did not affect survival in patients with Epithelioid Mesothelioma, the most common subtype. However where patients had Sarcomatoid or Biphasic mesothelioma, where mesothelioma can spread to the lymph nodes, the timing did matter.

When the study included the 169 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy prior to surgery, the sickest non-epithelioid patients lived longer if their post surgical treatment was not delayed.

Asbestos Claimline 0800 923 0046
Asbestos Claim Form

Author

Kathy Cooke

Kathy Cooke   MA. BSc

Cancer consultant and advisor

Kathy has worked in the cancer field for over 30 years. She was course leader for the MSc in Radiotherapy and Oncology at University of Hertfordshire. Then pre-treatment radiotherapy manager at the Cromwell Hospital in London and Partnership Quality Lead for Macmillan Cancer Support..   Read more >

< Back to Latest News Index Page

Live Chat
Asbestos Callback Request

 

£298K Awarded

2021

£100K Awarded

2021

£140K Awarded

2021

Landmark case

2021

£120K+ Awarded

2020

£80K+ Awarded

2020

Substantial amount

2020

6 figure sum

2020

K. Cooke

Apr 2021

K. Cooke

Feb 2021

K. Cooke

Feb 2021

K. Cooke

Oct 2020

W. Miller

Sep 2020

K. Cooke

Sep 2020

K. Cooke

Sep 2020

W. Miller

Sep 2020

Apil Accredited