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UK Ruling Means that Nintedanib May Begin to be Used for Mesothelioma Treatment

A recent decision by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom may lead to malignant pleural mesothelioma patients in that country being treated with nintedanib, a promising cancer drug that has not yet been approved for public use. As is true in the United States, the UK offers the possibility of special designations for drugs that have not yet completed all clinical testing but which may benefit patients with life threatening or seriously debilitating conditions. In the United Kingdom, this special status is known as a PIM, or Promising Innovative Medicine.

Nintedanib, which is made by Boehringer Ingelheim, has been shown to have a significant clinical impact in malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment. The drug has already received approval in the UK for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer following the use of chemotherapy, and the new designation follows the results of the drug manufacturer’s phase 2 LUME-Meso trial. The trial showed that patients who receive nintedanib plus chemotherapy had longer progression-free survival time than those treated with chemotherapy alone, a difference of just under six months.

According to Professor Dean Fennell, the Chair of Thoracic Medical Oncology at the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, the decision represents a potential sea change for mesothelioma patients, as there have been no new drugs introduced for mesothelioma since 2003 when pemetrexed was approved for its treatment. Though the decision to change nintedanib’s status is not the final stage of the process, it is a hopeful sign that it will receive a status of Early Access to Medicine which can result in patients within the UK being able to receive the drug a full year and a half before it is officially brought to market.

People who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma look to this type of clinical breakthrough with great hope. For information on other strides that have been made in the treatment of this asbestos-related disease, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at  1-800-692-8608.


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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