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Drug Trial for Mesothelioma Patients Who Haven’t Responded to Standard Therapies

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For patients with mesothelioma that has not responded to chemotherapy, there are still some options, such as clinical trials involving experimental drugs.

The National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland is currently testing the effectiveness of a new drug known as IMC-A12 in a clinical trial for mesothelioma patients who have previously undergone chemotherapy.

Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that develops in the lining of the lung and abdominal cavity. Patients who develop mesothelioma typically inhaled asbestos earlier in their lives, often 20 years to 40 years before the symptoms of mesothelioma appear. Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.

IMC-A12 is an anti-body drug made in the laboratory that blocks the action of a protein believed to play a key role in the growth of cells, including mesothelioma cancer cells. Researchers are testing the effectiveness of IMC-A12 in the treatment of several types of cancer. The drug, also known as cixutumumab, is still in the development stages and has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Chemotherapy involving platinum-based drugs is the standard treatment for advanced, inoperable malignant mesothelioma. But mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to treat and often progresses despite chemotherapy. So researchers are trying to develop alternative treatment for mesothelioma cancer.

Through the study, the researchers aim to determine how effective IMC-A12 is in controlling mesothelioma, how long the cancer responds to the drug and how safe it is for patients. The trial is being conducted at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

Patients who have inoperable pleural mesothelioma or peritoneal mesothelioma  may enroll in the clinical trial if they meet other eligibility criteria. To be eligible, patients must not have had major surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy within four weeks of enrolling.

Participants in the study will receive a full physical examination and receive IMC-A12 intravenously once every three weeks. Treatments will continue as long as need, unless severe side-effects develop.

For more information about Clinical Trials. You can also contact the National Cancer Institute Referral Office at 1-888-NCI-1937.

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