Chemotherapy is one of the most widely used treatments in cancer, Mesothelioma is not an exception. Mesothelioma is a cancer that will affect three areas of your life, it will affect your movement, your sense of reality and your rest. These are the most crucial issues in human development. The best treatment for mesothelioma, which has no cure, is to make the patient as comfortable as possible.
Most medication available though are aimed at inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, they also inhibit in part some of the good cells. This causes weakness and fatigue. Still there are some of the best medications in the market that will help ease a lot of pain and discomfort. Here are some of the most effective medications in the market.
Vegin is a new experimental drug manufactured by VasGene Therapeutics, Inc. Veglin inhibits VEGF proteins, halting the formation of blood vessels and limiting the ability of tumors to grow and spread. Veglin had positive findings from its phase I clinical trial of VEGF-AS (Veglin). The results demonstrate that the anti-angiogenesis drug lowers levels of a key protein required to grow tumors and has shown to be safe in patients with a wide variety of cancers. Veglin has shown in some instances, the ability to periodically stabilize or reduce tumors in early human clinical trials.
ALIMTA® (pemetrexed disodium)
ALIMTA® was the first U.S. mesothelioma drug approved by the FDA on February 4, 2004, and is now available for people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Alimta manufactured by Eli Lilly, is a chemotherapy drug that interferes with three folic acid related enzymes that work feed the cancer cell, the process that allows mesothelioma cells to spread.
Although it cannot cure mesothelioma, Alimta® has prolonged life and reduced pain for some mesothelioma patients where surgery is not an option.
In the clinical trials, the most common side effect from Alimta was a decrease in infection fighting white blood cells. Under the expanded access program, Alimta will be given free of charge to patients who meet medical eligibility requirements.
L-NDDP is used as a Therapeutic Option. The creamy platinum compound administered intrapleurally and cleared very slowly from the pleural cavity. Its lipophilicity and creamy nature enhances its local tumor penetration. L-NDDP is intended to exceed the usefulness of other platinum drugs like Cisplatin that are limited by toxicity and drug resistance. Patients are eligible if they have had prior surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy. All patients must have a free-flowing pleural effusion.
Cisplatin is a platinum-containing compound drug used to treat various types of cancers including mesothelioma. It is in a class of drugs known as platinum-containing compounds that are designed to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. In its initial form it is a white powder which, when prepared for use, becomes a clear, colorless liquid. It is passed into the body intravenously. Cisplatin is an effective mesothelioma treatment, especially when combined with Alimta, but care must be taken to monitor and control side effects. Cisplatin can be toxic to humans if levels get too high.
Onconase is an early first line anti-cancer drug that has had life prolonging results for malignant mesothelioma patients. Onconase is made from the enzymes of purified leopard frog eggs. Studies showed that some malignant mesothelioma patients responded well to Onconase treatment. Mesothelioma patients treated with Onconase had increased survival times and experienced a reduction in tumor size or stabilization of malignant mesothelioma tumor growth. It has also been noted that Onconase resulted in lower toxicity levels and fewer side effects than patients treated with the established chemotherapy drug doxorubicin.
Gemcitabine is a newer chemotherapy drug. It is used most commonly to treat cancer of the pancreatic cancer and lung cancer (including mesothelioma). Gemcitabine is a clear liquid administered by an infusion that usually takes no longer than half an hour. It is also administered through a central line into a vein near the collarbone. Also known by its brand name Gemzar
Gemcitabine was also shown effective in treating mesothelioma in studies where the drug was combined with cisplatin in patients who did not undergo surgery. It is currently in clinical trials with many mesothelioma patients in combination with Cisplatin, Alimta and Epirubicin.
Endostatin is an anti-tumor drug that attacks a process called angiogenesis (sometimes also called an Angiogenic Inhibitor). This mesothelioma treatment focuses on depriving tumors and cancer cells the nutrients needed to grow by not allowing adequate blood supply to feed the tumor. Researchers believe that Endostatin will be most effective treating fast growing cancers with tumors that rely on a larger number of blood vessels such as mesothelioma.
INTRAPLEURAL INTERFERON GAMMA®
The anti-cancer drug, Interferon Gamma is directly administered into the affected area in early stage malignant pleural mesothelioma. Intrapleural injections have shown some efficacy in reducing tumor growth in early stages of diffuse malignant mesothelioma (DMM).