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Additional Research Shows Drug in Clinical Trial Stops Growth of Pleural Mesothelioma

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In January, Mesothelioma Help reported that the UK Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency designated nintedanib a Promising Innovative Medicine for the treatment for mesothelioma lung cancer. Prior results of a Phase II clinical trial for the drug, that will now move into a Phase III trial, showed “promising activity” against pleural mesothelioma. Now, researchers conducting a separate study with the drug report it “shows promising effectiveness” in stopping mesothelioma tumors.

Researchers from Austria, Germany and Hungary conducted preclinical testing of nintedanib in human mesothelioma cell lines in vitro as well as in mouse models, according to a May 16 article in Medical Xpress. The team reported various benefits of the drug against the mesothelioma cells including inhibition of cell growth and reduction of the spread of the cancer. When they combined the drug with cisplatin, a standard mesothelioma chemotherapy, they found increased benefits such as tumor shrinkage and prolonged survival.

“Now we demonstrated, for the first time, that human mesothelioma cells express the target molecules of nintedanib and, furthermore, that this drug inhibits the growth and migration of mesothelioma cells,” said study first author Viktoria Laszlo from the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria. “Moreover, we showed that nintedanib potently reduces the growth and vascularization of human mesothelioma tumors implanted into the thoracic cavity of mice.”

Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive cancer that often evades even the strongest of cancer drugs. The asbestos-caused cancer is diagnosed in more than 3000 Americans each year, but worldwide nearly 15,000 people die from the cancer.


Nintedanib works by cutting the oxygen supply to the tumors, thus interfering with the tumor’s growth.  According to Dr. Frank Hillberg, Senior Scientific Expert at Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of the drug, the drug directly influences the aggressiveness of mesothelioma tumors and has been shown to immediately slow down the migration of the cancer cells.

“By preventing the growth of new mesothelioma blood vessels and thus starving tumors of nutrients and oxygen, the novel targeted medication called nintedanib is a promising candidate for helping patients with mesothelioma,” concluded the researchers.

Find out more about the LUME-Meso trial here and at ClinicalTrials.gov.


Find out more about the study in the May 3 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.


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