After several years of hopeful research, scientists have concluded that it is time to move on from investigating nintedanib as a potential cure for malignant mesothelioma. Writing in an article in The Lancet Respiratory Journal titled, “The Future of Mesothelioma Treatment: Time to Shift Gears,” authors Michele Maio, MD, PhD, and Luana Calabrò, MD, PhD, both from the department of oncology, medical oncology and immunotherapy at the Center for Immuno-Oncology, University Hospital of Siena, Italy, are recommending that the medication be abandoned for treatment of the asbestos-related disease.
Nintedanib made no improvement in progression-free survival
The mesothelioma study that the scientists were conducting focused on combining nintedanib with cisplatin plus pemetrexed, but they found that the treatment made no improvement in the progression-free survival of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
In summarizing their findings, they wrote, “Making significant improvements in the systemic therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma has proven to be quite challenging. Despite promising data from the phase 2 part of the LUME-Meso study, the primary endpoint (progression-free survival) was not met in the phase 3 part.”
Treatment also offered no boost to quality of life
Beyond measuring whether mesothelioma patients gained more time without their tumors returning, the study gauged whether the medication offered a boost to health-related quality of life. That test also failed to provide a measurable difference.
Though the group found the nintedanib had a similar safety profile to that of the standard chemotherapy treatments used in mesothelioma patients, they also found that a higher number of patients being treated with nintedanib (vs placebo) had worse adverse events.
The researchers noted that, at this point, it is time to look in another direction for the treatment of mesothelioma, writing, “This latest failure of an anti-angiogenetic drug in patients with mesothelioma fosters consistent doubts and skepticism and raises the questions of whether we should drop the anti-angiogenetic approach after so many trial failures; whether angiogenesis should still be considered an adequate therapeutic target in this disease and whether it should still be investigated in unselected patients; or whether identification and careful selection is needed of subgroups of patients who are the best candidates for this therapeutic approach on the basis of their pro-angiogenic tumor features.”
Though these results are disappointing, malignant mesothelioma patients have a wealth of other innovative treatments available to them. For information on where to find the state-of-the-art mesothelioma center nearest to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.