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Bayer’s Mesothelioma Drug Provides Disappointing Results in Clinical Trial

A clinical trial looking into the effectiveness of a new investigational drug against the rare and fatal form of cancer known as malignant mesothelioma has yielded disappointing results, according to the Interim Chief Scientific Officer overseeing the study. According to Dr. Markus Enzelberger, “The outcome of this phase 2 study with anetumab ravtansine in recurrent malignant pleural mesothelioma is disappointing, in particular for the patients suffering from this serious and extremely difficult to treat disease.” Enzelberger is part of the MorphoSys AG team that has partnered with drug manufacturer Bayer to determine the safety and effectiveness of the drug when compared to vinorelbine, a chemotherapy drug that is currently being used in treating lung cancer. The test was to determine whether either drug was able to extend the survival of patients diagnosed with stage IV malignant pleural mesothelioma.

The particular action that the clinical study was addressing is the over expression of the protein mesothelin in patients with advanced stage mesothelioma. This protein is normally present in tissue, but when mesothelioma tumors form it is produced in much larger concentrations. Anti-cancer drugs have been developed specifically to target the mesothelin to see whether doing so would help patients to live longer than the current prognosis of less than one year.

Malignant mesothelioma strikes roughly 3,000 Americans each year. The victims have been exposed to asbestos at some point during their lives, usually in an occupational setting. The condition has a long latency period, which means that patients don’t generally begin to show symptoms until it has been well established in the body. This makes it much treatment much more challenging than in other forms of cancer, which tend to respond better to chemotherapeutic agents. Though the scientists who were behind this clinical trial had hoped that the drug would offer a viable second line of treatment for mesothelioma patients, their results have led them to believe that it will not perform as anticipated.

Staying up to date on the results of mesothelioma clinical trials is an essential part of making sure that you are getting the very best care. If you need current information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at  1-800-692-8608 today.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an experienced blog writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of expertise include health, medical research, and law.

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