Mesothelioma Patients See Positive Results from Secondary Chemotherapy Drug

Though mesothelioma researchers’ primary goal is identifying a cure for the rare and fatal form of cancer, they view any incremental progress as a positive. This week cancer researchers attending the virtual ASCO meeting heard news that UK scientists had obtained superior progression free survival in patients already treated with standard chemotherapy when they combined a secondary chemotherapy drug called vinorelbine with active supportive care.

Researchers Hear News of Superior Progression Free Survival in Mesothelioma Patients

The good news about the latest mesothelioma research was presented at the ASCO virtual meeting by Dean A. Fennell, FRCP, PhD, chair of thoracic medical oncology at University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in the UK. He reported that in a phase 2 study, vinorelbine had provided superior progression free survival for patients who had relapsed following treatment with pemetrexed and cisplatin.

“All patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma eventually relapse following standard chemotherapy with pemetrexed and cisplatin. However, there is no standard treatment option in this patient setting,” he explained. “Vinorelbine exhibits useful clinical activity but has not been formally evaluated in a randomized clinical trial, despite its widespread off-label use worldwide.”

154 Patients with Pleural Mesothelioma Enrolled in Study

The phase 2 trial included participation from 154 patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma and treated between May 2016 and October 2018. Patients were randomly assigned either active support care alone or active support care combined with regular dosing of vinorelbine after having their disease progress following first-line chemotherapy treatment. The results showed that median progression-free survival of those treated with vinorelbine was 4.2 months compared with 2.8 months for those who did not receive the treatment. According to Fennell, the team concluded that “Vinorelbine is a safe and effective treatment and should be considered a treatment option for patients with relapsed mesothelioma.”

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you need information on treatment options, the Patient Advocates at can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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