Researchers in Japan recently stated that a new way to determine the effectiveness of the medication Alimta may have been discovered, and in turn, they can pinpoint which mesothelioma patients will respond more favorably to the drug.
According to researchers at the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, a total of six malignant pleural mesothelioma cell lines were tested during a recent study to determine how well patients react to Alimta, currently one of the most popular medications for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma.
Out of the six cell lines tested, three were extremely sensitive to the medication.
Per Susumu Takeuchi, the lead author of the study, osteopontin was the main target of the sensitivity. Two of the patients that responded well to Alimta were found to have a large osteopontin expression.
As a result, the researchers conclude that glycoprotein is the sole biomarker that can help predict how effective Alimta will work on mesothelioma patients.
“Pathway analysis revealed that osteopontin was an important target in pemetrexed (Alimta) sensitivity. Overexpression of osteopontin was observed in the sensitive cells by quantitative PCR and western blot analysis,” Takeuchi wrote in the study’s report.
What is Alimta?
Approved in 2004 by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), Alimta, also known by its generic name, pemetrexed, is a medication specifically used for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma. In September of 2008, Alimta was also approved as a medication for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) when used in conjunction with Cisplatin, another drug used in the treatment of asbestos-related diseases.
Mesothelioma has a history of being known as a rare but life-threatening disease that’s often difficult to treat. With this new study, however, scientists and researchers can now pinpoint which patients will respond favorably to Alimta, which in turn can help reduce the pain associated with mesothelioma and assist in metastasizing cancer cells.
If you or a loved one suffer from mesothelioma, it’s important to speak with your physician in regards to the treatment that will work best for you.
In addition, if your illness is a result of the negligence of another party, such as an asbestos manufacturer or supplier, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain, suffering, anguish, disfigurement, and much more.
You’ll need an experienced lawyer by your side to ensure that you have the best chance of success with your case. For more information, contact our leading mesothelioma law firm today for a free, no-obligation case consultation.
Takeuchi, S et al, “Significance of osteopontin in the sensitivity of malignant pleural mesothelioma to pemetrexed”, April 7, 2014, International Journal of Oncology, Epub