Innovative Treatment Increases Survival of People with Malignant Mesothelioma, Trial Shows


credit: Wikipedia

"I wouldn't want to miss all that."

That's how one man describes his five grandkids and two great-grandchildren after he was given just four months to live by doctors when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer linked to exposure to asbestos.

Now, a clinical trial led by Queen Mary University of London has found that a combination of chemotherapy and a drug that targets cancer's metabolism significantly increases the survival rate for patients, per a university press release.

malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has one of the lowest five-year survival rates of any solid cancer of around 10%.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that patients who received a drug called ADI-PEG20 and traditional chemotherapy saw their median survival increase by 1.6 months and quadrupled it to 36 months.

"This innovative approach marks the first successful combination of chemotherapy with a drug that targets cancer's metabolism developed for this disease in 20 years," says study co-author Peter Szlosarek, a professor at Queen Mary's Barts Cancer Institute.

MPM affects the lining of the lungs and is usually treated with powerful chemotherapy drugs that are rarely able to halt the disease's progression, per the press release.

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