France is paving the way for the future of mesothelioma treatment. In 2016, a team of researchers managed to increase survival rates by twenty-three percent. Patients were treated using the VEGF inhibitor Avastin in combination with two traditional chemotherapy drugs. After a careful review of the study, doctors at Paris’ Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital determined that the research was sufficient to make the three-drug combo the new standard of care in France.
Mesothelioma is a rare yet deadly form of cancer most often appearing in the lining or pleura of the lung. Although France has lower rates of mesothelioma than the United States, it is leading the global effort to combat the disease. In 1997, France even went as far as to completely ban the use and manufacturing of asbestos and asbestos products.
The 2016 study demonstrated that combining the two traditional chemotherapy drugs cisplatin and pemetrexed with the VEGF inhibitor bevacizumab (Avastin) sizably increased survival rates. Following the study, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network in the United States also included the three-drug combo as a treatment option in first-line mesothelioma cases.
VEGF inhibitors are important because they slow the growth of cancerous tumors. In U.S. trials, the VEGF inhibitor Ofev (nintedanib) made industry headlines after one study showed that it helped extend the lives of mesothelioma patients by an average of five months.
Other VEGF inhibitors of note are cediranib (Recentin) and sorafenib (Nexavar). Both have shown promise in clinical trials and continue to be further examined for their potential in treatments.
VEGF is an acronym meaning vascular endothelial growth factor. It is a protein which exists in the body for the sole purpose of growing new blood vessels as needed. Inhibiting the expression of the VEGF protein in the body will naturally slow the growth and regeneration of blood vessels.
Normally, restricting the growth of blood vessels in the human body would not be healthy as the body needs access to blood to grow and function. Organs rely on the growth of new blood vessels after others become damaged in some way.
However, cancerous tumors also need blood to grow. By using drugs that slow the growth of new blood vessels, the growth of the cancer is inhibited. This buys treatment teams time to combat mesothelioma using the traditional chemo-therapy drugs.
If you or someone you love has been impacted by mesothelioma, contact a Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyer at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. To set up an initial consultation, complete our online form or call 215-569-4000 or 800-369-0899. For more than three decades we have served the people of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.