Eli Lilly recently announced promising results from clinical trial of one of its experimental cancer drugs, ramucirumab. The drug is designed to treat several different types of cancer, including lung and stomach. Mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm look forward to further advances in cancer treatment from Big Pharma.
Experts expect ramucirumab to be Eli Lilly’s next blockbuster drug, with sales expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2020. The latest trial, referred to as Revel, enrolled patients diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer and divided them into two groups. The first group received a combination of ramucirumab and another popular chemotherapy drug, docetaxel. The second group received docetaxel and a placebo.
Results showed that patients taking ramucirumab had significantly higher overall survival rates compared to patients who took the placebo. Ramucirumab patients also showed lower rates of cancer progression and spread. Full details from the Revel trial are will be released soon at an unnamed scientific conference.
Eli Lilly plans to send an application for ramucirumab’s approval to the FDA later in 2014. There have been two other studies conducted on the drug, one in colorectal cancer patients and the other in liver cancer. Results from these trials are also expected later this year.
Ramucirumab works by preventing the blood vessels that feed tumors from growing. Industry insiders note that ramucirumab will have to demonstrate that it improves overall survival by at least two months to be considered a meaningful new cancer treatment.
Lung Cancer and Asbestos Exposure
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Mesothelioma is a type of non-small cell lung cancer that is only caused by exposure to asbestos. A mesothelioma diagnosis can be incredibly confusing and devastating to families, because the disease has a particularly low survival rate. Mesothelioma patients have many questions, most poignantly how and why they were ever exposed to asbestos in the first place.
Most people are exposed to asbestos in the workplace – asbestos was commonly used as an insulator in pipes, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, friction products, and countless other industrial products. The occupations most at risk of asbestos exposure include those employed in shipbuilding, automotive repair, construction, or pipefitting.
Asbestos is a natural, white, fiber-like substance that can easily be inhaled. Once asbestos fibers enter the lungs, the often lodge themselves into the lung tissue, where they can remain permanently. Over time, often several decades, these asbestos fibers change the biology of the lungs and surrounding tissue to create cancerous tumors, and ultimately mesothelioma.
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This disease is particularly insidious because many people are exposed unknowingly – for example, if their father was employed at a shipyard and frequently brought asbestos dust home on his work clothes, the entire family was at risk for exposure to asbestos. This was the case in a recent lawsuit filed in Ohio. The plaintiff, John Panza, was diagnosed with mesothelioma when he was just 40 years old.
Panza never worked with asbestos materials himself, but was exposed from his father, who died of lung cancer at age 52. Panza’s father worked for three decades at Eaton Airflex Brake Company, where he frequently worked among peers who drilled and abraded asbestos-containing brake products. The products were largely made by the National Friction Products Corp., which is now the Kelsey-Hayes Company.
Panza and his father were very close throughout his life. Now, his father is dead from lung cancer and Panza has already lost one lung to the same disease. Panza’s trial lasted about 11 days, with the jury ultimately deciding he and his family is entitled to $27.5 million in damages. The Kelsey-Hayes Company is liable for the entire amount.
Cases like this are known as “second-hand asbestos” claims, and can often be very complex. The team of mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has extensive knowledge and experience in this area. We know that compassionate legal care is the top priority for families battling mesothelioma, and we are committed to fighting on behalf of victims of asbestos exposure. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness, contact our firm today. Our legal consultations are free and confidential, and available to families nationwide.