Tragically, mesothelioma continues to claim many new victims each year. This form of cancer is often diagnosed 20-50 years after initial asbestos exposure, and people have suffered exposure in locations that have only recently been identified — such as the taconite mines of northern Minnesota.
These factors and others make the continued efforts of innovative researchers to develop new, more effective treatments vitally important. The Mayo Clinic recently published information on two such research projects — one focused on using a genetically engineered virus to attack cancer cells and the other involving administration of a pharmaceutical drug that has already received FDA approval for treating kidney cancer.
Mesothelioma Treatment Deploying A Measles Virus Is Entering Clinical Trials
Applying prior research by Dr. Stephen Russell, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic and Robert Kratzke, M.D., of the University of Minnesota, Dr. Kratzke and Tobias Peikert, M.D., have planned a clinical trial set to include 12-36 mesothelioma patients. This trial will explore the effectiveness of using a converted virus called MV-NIS — which has shown promise in animal subjects — to attack tumors in the chest cavity.
Information released by Mayo suggests that this treatment has potential for combined use with chemotherapy to provide a “one-two” punch for killing and/or slowing the spread of cancer cells.
Cancer Drug Pazopanib Has Shown Promise In Lab Studies And Trials
Mayo Clinic oncologist Julian Molina, M.D., Ph.D., is leading a potentially much larger clinical trial to study treatment of mesothelioma with a drug currently marketed by GlaxoSmithKline under the name Votrient. A previous, relatively small-scale clinical trial with human subjects was encouraging, according to Dr. Molina, who has noted an increase in some patients’ survival by about six months.
Although Dr. Molina cautions against any hope that the drug cures pleural malignant mesothelioma, he is basing the study on the principle that taking this medication orally is a preferred treatment to chemotherapy and may alter the standard of care in positive ways.
Our dedicated mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer lawyers, based in Madison County, Illinois, and serving clients nationwide, applaud the doctors leading these efforts in mesothelioma research at the Mayo Clinic, as well as those involved in funding the studies and patients who courageously participate. We will provide a free attorney consultation if your life has been altered by mesothelioma and you want to understand your legal options.