For decades, advancements in treating mesothelioma have been making slow progress. Over the last few years that has changed and progress in diagnostics and treatments have started moving at a much more rapid pace. From diagnosing lung cancer using simple blood tests and breathalyzers, to immunotherapy and new chemotherapy drugs, the battle against this devastating cancer is rapidly advancing. The latest good news in the war on malignant pleural mesothelioma comes in the form of a new VEGF protein inhibition chemo booster called nintedanib.
The VEGF protein acts as a signaling agent in the body to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. New blood vessel growth is required for normal growth and the repair of damaged tissues and organs; it can even signal a need to reroute new vessels when others become obstructed.
However, at times, the VEGF protein overcompensates. This is most frequently seen when solid tumors begin to grow. To grow beyond a small size, tumors need an increased supply of blood and the VEGF protein makes this possible. In a process known as angiogenesis, the tumors grow and metastasize.
To combat this, drugs developed to inhibit the overexpression of the VEGF protein in cancer cells are making headlines. By developing drugs which prevent the VEGF protein from producing new blood vessels specifically in tumors, the spread of cancer (metastasis) to other organs slows. Slower growth of cancer means extended life for patients and a chance to send mesothelioma into remission.
Nintedanib inhibits the cancer-growth properties of the VEGF protein. The drug already treats small-cell lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. A recently completed Phase II trial combining nintedanib as a chemo booster to Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin has returned promising results. On average, patients receiving nintedanib experienced an increased life expectancy of five and a half months.
In the second trial, just under seven percent of patients had to cease treatment because of side effects, but this was less than those in the control group.
The maker of this chemo booster nintedanib, Boehringer Ingelheim is currently seeking participants for a Phase III trial. They are seeking 450 participants and hope that the drug can mimic or better the results experienced by patients in the Ketruda trial, which saw a 23 percent extension in life expectancy rates.
A chemo booster is a drug that opens the way for chemotherapy treatments to destroy cancerous cells.
The Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have helped clients and families dealing with the effects of mesothelioma for the past three decades. If you live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or New Jersey, call 800-369-0899 to arrange a free consultation. Callers from Delaware County, Chester County, or Philadelphia County may call 215-569-4000. You can also contact us through our online form.