Mesothelioma Patients Who Use Chemotherapy Booster Live Longer
When you’ve been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you measure your life in weeks and months rather than in years. The rare and fatal form of cancer advances very quickly after it is diagnosed, claiming the lives of its victims within two years of the time that it is identified. Researchers are working hard to find a cure, and at this point in time, the greatest success has been a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. That approach has been able to offer patients a small extension on the time they have available, but a recent study has shown that patient survival time can be extended even further through the use of a new medication that improves the effectiveness of the standard mesothelioma chemotherapy treatment.
The study was sponsored by drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim. It followed 87 mesothelioma patients who had not previously received any form of chemotherapy and who were judged to be in reasonably good physical condition, without major health concerns. The patients were given a combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin – the only chemotherapy treatment known to work on mesothelioma – with some also being given an additional dose of a booster drug known as nintedanib. Nintedanib is generally used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and has also been found to be helpful in treating non-small cell lung cancer.
The initial results of the study showed that patients who had been given the nintedanib gained significant amounts of time added to their initial prognosis. According to one of the study’s authors, Federica Grosso, “Benefit was evident in epithelioid histology, with a median overall survival gain of 5.4 months and median progression free survival gain of 4 months.” Though a small percentage of the patients did experience side effects that were severe enough to force them to drop out of the study, the number of patients who dropped out due to reported side effects from a placebo was even higher. The researchers will continue their evaluation of nintedanib, extending the pool of patients to include 450 people diagnosed with mesothelioma.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, its important to keep up to date on the latest research. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma. net are dedicated to providing you with current information and the resources you need to make sure that you are getting the best care. Call us today at 1-800-692-8608.
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