A recent study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology by the University Colorado Cancer Center reports that the chemotherapy drug, Pemetrexed, may be an effective form of treatment in some mesothelioma patients. The study suggests that those who will benefit from Pemetrexed must have two specific indicators for the chemotherapy drug to be most effective: low levels of the enzyme thymidylate synthase (TS) must be present in combination with high levels of a second enzyme, FPGS, in a mesothelioma patient.
Pemetrexed works by preventing the enzyme TS which cancer cells need to reproduce. The researchers opined that since mesothelioma tumors are already low in TS, they would be receptive to Pemetrexed. However, the study further found that for Pemetrexed to be effective in the low level TS patients, those same patients must have concurrently high levels of a second enzyme, FPGS. High levels of FPGS create an environment for the Pemetrexed to linger inside the cancerous cells, permitting the drug an extended time to fight and shrink a tumor. Patients with low TS and high FPGS had a more favorable response to Pemetrexed and longer survival rates.
This study provided sufficient scientific data to warrant further studies of TS and FPGS levels in mesothelioma patients. A better understanding of these indicators, and a standard protocol of testing for the two enzymes in mesothelioma patients, could lead to a means of predicting patients’ response to Pemetrexed as an effective chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease or illness, contact the law firm of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. Our Pennsylvania and New Jersey mesothelioma attorneys are compassionate and caring professionals who will fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. Call us at (215) 569-4000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.