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Treating Mesothelioma With Non-Chemotherapy Drugs

Mesothelioma, more precisely malignant mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs, the mesothelium. It is known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart), or the tunica vaginalis (a sac that surrounds the testis).

The most common form of treatment for mesothelioma is radiation and chemotherapy, but the side effects are severe. According to the National Cancer Institute, side effects from chemotherapy include:

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  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Joint Pain
  • Swelling
  • Skin irritation

These are only to name a few.

Anti-angiogenesis drugs are relatively new. Those that have been used in animal studies have been successful in shrinking and killing cancerous cells. Although anti-angiogenesis drugs are yet to prove as successful in human studies, they are expected to yield similar results with significantly fewer side effects. Two anti-angiogenesis drugs receiving a great deal of attention are Veglin and Avastin. Veglin is designed to target a wide range of cancers, including malignant mesothelioma and renal cell carcinoma, while Avastin is designed primarily to target cancers of the colon and rectum. Learn more about Anti-Angiogenesis.

VEGLIN is a newly developed anti-angiogenesis non-chemotherapy drug that is in phase II of its ongoing clinical trial at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. As an anti-angiogenesis drug, Veglin’s aim is to prevent angiogenesis, the physiological process by which new blood vessels are formed from pre-existing vessels. Angiogenesis plays a key role in growth and spread of tumors because the newly developed blood vessels feed tumors oxygen and nutrients necessary for metastasis. Learn more about Veglin. Veglin lowers the levels of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors (VEGF – proteins that instigate angiogenesis), inhibiting cellular growth and stabilizing / reducing cancerous tumors. Phase I clinical trial results showed that Veglin was successful in lowering blood levels of VEGF in a significant number of patients.

PXD101 is an orally administered histone deacetylase inhibitor that is being used as a second line therapy in treating patients with mesothelioma that cannot be removed with surgery. It is an anti-angiogenesis drug treatment that is being used in clinical trials across the United Stated including the Yale Cancer Medical Center. Heading the research into this drug at Yale is Dr. Scott Gettinger, a medical oncologist in the Thoracic Oncology Program (TOP) at Yale who has gotten PXD101 into Phase 1 of FDA clinical trials. Although not the same for every patient the most common side effects of PXD101 include being tired and/or fatigued, along with low-grade nausea, which can be treated with medications. These side effects have proven to be minimal and less severe than the effects of chemotherapy or radiation.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we can help you. Our experienced asbestos lawyers at Reyes, O’Shea & Coloca, P.A are dedicated to the fight for the rights of these individuals stricken with mesothelioma, who were unknowingly exposed and put at risk. Each case is handled individually and given the attention and priority it deserves by our carefully trained legal team.

medical reference books.jpgREFERENCES:
Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment By The Yale Medical Cancer Treatment Center