Sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma are two rare cell types of the disease, and some of the most hardest types to treat. However, there’s new hope for mesothelioma patients with these unique cell types after a medication has shown promise in clinical trials in Italy.
According to Dr. Diego Luigi Cortinovis of Monza, Italy’s San Gerardo Hospital, the drug Trabectedin showed effective treatment for mesothelioma patients in Phase II clinical trials. The medication, which was derived from maritime sea squirt in 1969, has been used primarily to treat ovarian cancer. Yet, in recent years, the medication has been tested and researched on how effective it will be to treat mesothelioma patients.
Trabectedin works as a second-line treatment for mesothelioma. Second-line treatment is important when traditional treatment methods fail to work, which in many instances, sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma patients do not respond well to first-line treatment options (such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy).
There hasn’t been enough research done on rare mesothelioma cell types, and in turn, the prognosis for these patients stays grim. However, the new medication, even though it’s second-line, per Dr. Cortinovis, finally provides a way to help sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma patients.
“Mesothelioma patients usually do not respond to second-line treatments so the preliminary data we observed here is encouraging. This study also adds to the scarce evidence-based science in this disease, as the use of trabectedin is based on its direct effect on tumor-associated macrophages and its efficacy in different tumors, including soft tissue sarcomas.”
Per the clinical study, backed by the bio-pharmaceutical company PharmaMar, 41.2% of the patients treated with Trabectedin showed no disease progression after three months. The patients in the study, which included 14 men and 3 women, were all in the advanced stages of mesothelioma. Side effects in many of the patients included fever, nausea, and vomiting. Ten of the patients developed hepatic toxicity.
Yet, the results are still promising for rare cell type mesothelioma victims. Patients with sarcomatoid and biphasic have the lowest survival rates out of mesothelioma types. Despite the harsh side effects, Trabectedin can help these patients extend their lives.
The entire study results were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 51st Annual Meeting, on June 1.
Clinical Trials for Trabectedin
Currently, clinical trials for Trabectedin are only available in Monza, Italy. With the new results of the medication, however, there is a possibility that clinical trials for Trabectedin may open up in the United States.
In the meantime, there are other mesothelioma clinical trials available. Clinical trials give physicians the opportunity to determine if new treatment options will be effective on mesothelioma patients. Although there are no guarantees of success with clinical trial, the potential for groundbreaking treatment options is there.
For more information on clinical trials near you, visit the U.S. National Institute of Health’s (NIH) official government clinical trials website. If you need assistance, feel free to contact us toll-free at 800-694-4856.
Additional Information for Mesothelioma Patients
It’s important to note that most causes of mesothelioma stem directly from asbestos exposure at job sites. A myriad of mesothelioma victims were exposed to the harmful mineral by manufacturing companies that knew the dangers of asbestos, yet still continued to ship asbestos-related products to job sites.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for significant compensation from negligent companies that are responsible for a plethora of mesothelioma cases. Right now, there is more than $30 billion set aside in asbestos trust funds for victims of asbestos. We invite you to fill out our contact form today to get free brochures from the leading mesothelioma lawyers in your area, who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
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