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Mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm note a recent study in Italy that focused on identifying the best chemotherapy drug combination for treating mesothelioma. The results suggested that a neoadjuvant-chemotherapy combination (chemo drugs taken prior to surgery) may ensure a greater chance of surviving mesothelioma. This study proved that malignant pleural mesothelioma may be more effectively treated with a particular chemotherapy combination in addition to tumor-removing surgery.
Many studies suggest that patients undergoing multi-modal therapy along with a chemotherapy combination and surgery have the best chances of survival. The first ever chemotherapy drug specifically approved for mesothelioma treatment was Folate Antimetabolite Pemetrexed (Alimta) which can be administered before surgery in hopes of shrinking the tumor to make the operation more safe and efficient. The drug may also be given after the surgery (adjuvant) to destroy the residual mesothelioma cells. Pemetrexed is almost always administered in combination with some platinum drug.
The study focused on comparing the pemetrexed/cisplatin (AP), and the pemetrexed/carboplatin (AC) combinations to identify the best neoadjuvant drug combination for treating mesothelioma. Fifty one patients were studied and given either the AP or the AC combination in three cycles, which was followed by operation and then radiotherapy. The aim of this study was to assess the tolerability and eventual effectiveness of each of the combinations as a neoadjuvant treatment plan.
Patients administered the AC combination fared noticeably better than patients given the AP chemotherapy combination. The AP group had higher grade 3 anemia incidence, more grade 2-3 cumulative asthenia incidence and an overall worsened performance status. Among the 27 mesothelioma patients who were administered the AC combination, four% displayed a total response while none of the AP patients showed such a complete response.
The AC group also showed eighteen% partial response while 17% from the AP group showed the same. The AC group also showed a slightly slower rate of disease progression at 74%, against the AP group’s 79% progression. Doctors could remove at least 81% of mesothelioma cancer cells among the group of AC patients while in the AP patients the percentage was slightly less at 79%.
The conclusion of the research team was that both the neoadjuvant therapies are feasible and active – they have similar progression-free survival, resection, disease control and response rates. The AC combination did rate higher overall, however, and is recommended as a slightly superior option.
Researchers also noted that as a neoadjuvant treatment, the AP combination’s lower tolerability could impair the condition of patients before the surgery, which is why the AC combination is recommended.
Experienced mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm do extensive research to identify the best, most advanced forms of lung cancer treatment in order to update our clients on the latest mesothelioma news.