Researchers from The University of Teas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston recently concluded a study of a drug called Cediranib to determine whether it could provide any benefit to patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Though they found that cediranib did offer a small survival benefit to patients when combined with chemotherapy, the researches concluded that the small advantage that the drug provided was not worth the significant topic impact suffered by patients who had been given the drug.
Researchers hoped that drug would starve mesothelioma tumors of blood supply
The clinical study, which was led by noted mesothelioma researcher Dr. Anne S. Tsao, was among the first to try combining cisplatin and pemetrexed with cediranib. Cediranib is classified as an antiangiogenic, which means that it stops the growth of new blood vessels. Scientists have great hope for these types of drugs in the treatment of solid tumor cancers like mesothelioma, because they hope they will stop the growth of the tumors, or even shrink them, and a prior phase 1 study had provided reason for optimism.
According to a report on the phase 2 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers found that the combination of cediranib and chemotherapy provided a small survival benefit in mesothelioma patients diagnosed with unresectable tumors and who had not previously been treated with chemotherapy, but they also noted that patients exhibited severe diarrhea, dehydration, hypertension and weight loss.
Cediranib/chemotherapy combination found to be too toxic
Their study evaluated the impact of the drug in 92 mesothelioma patients who were randomly assigned to receive either the antiangiogenic drug or placebo in combination with chemotherapy for 6 cycles, followed by either maintenance cediranib or placebo. Measuring the period of progression free survival and overall survival, as well as disease control and toxicity, the researchers found that the group that had been given cediranib had only a modest improvement of 1.6 months in progression free survival, and that it was not enough to warrant putting patients through the extreme discomfort and illness that the combination evoked.
Writing on their decision not to move forward with further studies combining cediranib and chemotherapy in mesothelioma patients, Dr. Tsao and colleagues said “Whereas adding antiangiogenics to chemotherapy has been a successful strategy for some patients, the cediranib toxicity profile and small incremental survival benefit precludes additional development in MPM.”
The search for effective treatments for malignant mesothelioma will continue until a cure for the disease is found. If you need information on clinical trials or other resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.