A promising new clinical trial takes a two-drug approach for treating pleural mesothelioma. The cancer occurs in the protective lining of the lung and is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. It is the most common form of mesothelioma.
The trial combines the well-known immunotherapy drug nivolumab (OPDIVO), and ramucirumab (Cyramza), a drug that stops blood vessels from forming, which can cause new tumor growth. The Food and Drug Administration has already approved both drugs for other cancer treatment.
Clinical trial is expected to run through 2021
The trial is the first time the two drugs have been used together and is a second-line treatment for patients who are not seeing progress after undergoing chemotherapy. Doctors say it’s too soon to determine the treatment’s benefits, but they say results have been positive.
Medical experts say both drugs have successfully treated other forms of cancer, which led researchers to have considerable optimism that they would be effective treating mesothelioma when combined. There is some hope that the treatment may replace chemotherapy as the primary treatment.
Clinical trial will measure two-year survival rates
The study will take place at four sites, and the goal is to accept up to 35 patients. Those participating will receive the combination intravenously every two weeks for two years, providing there are no complications, such as severe side effects or the disease worsening.
The treatment could mark significant progress in battling mesothelioma. Less than one-third of patients diagnosed are eligible for surgery and patients receiving chemotherapy typically survive less than 18 months.
Seek legal assistance if diagnosed with mesothelioma
Asbestos-related diseases are often the result of negligence on the part of employers and other companies who exposed their workers and other citizens to the cancer-causing substance. Those who are diagnosed suffer intense emotional and financial damages. An experienced attorney can help recover damages and hold companies accountable for exposing mesothelioma-sufferers to these harmful fibers.