An exciting worldwide clinical trial has just been announced by drug giant Boehringer Ingelheim to see whether patients diagnosed with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma are able to get benefit from a new combination of drugs. The combination would pair the company’s nintedanib – a drug used in the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis – with the standard mesothelioma chemotherapy treatment of both Platinol (cisplatin) and Alimta (pemetrexed) to see whether the addition of the drug to that already accepted therapy provides any additional effectiveness of extension of survival.
Malignant mesothelioma is one of the rarest forms of cancer. It is also one of the deadliest. The condition is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was widely used in occupational and industrial settings throughout much of the 20th century, and which is still being used in some environments today. Because mesothelioma has an extremely long latency period, several decades can go by between the time a person is exposed to the material and when the condition begins to exhibit symptoms. Unfortunately, by that time it is too late and the cancer has generally spread to a point where it is nearly untreatable. When mesothelioma has gone beyond the point of being operable, it is referred to as being unresectable and can generally only be treated using radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Patients who have not started these types of therapies may be eligible to participate in this new clinical trial.
According to a paper published in the journal Clinical Lung Cancer, the combination of nintedanib and Alimat and Platinol has already been the subject of a Phase 2 study. The results of that research showed that the combination gave a 64 percent longer time without the disease progressing than had been experienced through the use of the chemotherapy drugs alone. This new study represents an extension of the original and will give patients the chemotherapy treatment on the first day with nintedanib for the remaining days in a 21-day cycle. The maximum number of cycles a patient can receive will be six. For those whose cancer does not progress, there will then be a maintenance treatment provided to determine whether side effects are a concern as well as whether the cancer beings to advance again. After the study is complete researchers will assess the impact of the combination on quality of life. Information on the study, visit Clinicaltrials.gov.
If you need information on your rights in the face of a mesothelioma diagnosis, we can help. Contact us at 1-800-966-2244 to speak to a legal professional and learn more.