Our mesothelioma lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are pleased to report that a revolutionary treatment for mesothelioma may be in sight.
The progression of mesothelioma and lung cancer in the body can be detected more quickly and correctly now thanks to two tests introduced by Response Genetics. These tests enable doctors to predict the response of lung cancer patients to Crizotinib, the chemotherapy drug. Our mesothelioma lawyers share the hope of many patients that this could be a life-saving treatment for lung cancer and mesothelioma affecting the lungs.
The new tests search tissue samples for the ROS1 gene, and they must be administered along with the existing tests because patients with negative results on existing tests could test positive with the ROS1kits. This could be crucial in ensuring effective diagnosis. Those who display positive response on any test with the ROS1 kit are good candidates for the Crizotinib therapy. Patients responding to Crizotinib can now be offered the conventional diagnostic tests as well as the ROS1 gene trans-location marker.
The ROS1 gene is present in everyone, though patients with non-small-cell cancer are found to have an altered version with active fusion proteins. These proteins are responsible for causing cancerous developments in the metastasis and migration genes, which control the division of cells. The Crizotinib drug helps to restrain this activity.
The ROS1 gene can be identified in very small samples, including those taken from fine-needle aspirates. According to the manufacturer, the new marker is made available to oncologists and pathologists who demand quick turnaround on small biopsies.
The role of ROS1 in effective treatment of lung cancer was discussed at the Clinical Science Symposium in 2012, by Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center researchers. The altered ROS1 gene has been correlated with a good response to Crizotinib. Crizotinib generated a positive response rate of up to 57.1% in patients having the rearranged ROS1 gene.
Researchers applied one of the tests produced by the manufacturer for identifying patients having the altered pattern of genes. They assembled 13 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer in the advanced stage with the altered ROS1 arrangement. Among these patients, around 80% failed the initial treatment regimen.
They were then put on Crizotinib treatment. They were given the standard oral dose of 250mg for a period of 4 to 59 weeks with a 20-week median duration. The patients responded well to the treatment. In only eight weeks the disease was controlled by 85%. One patient received a total response, while six of them had a partial response. The one patient who experienced further progression of the disease at the first re-staging discontinued from the study.
The majority of the study group experienced only mild or tolerable side effects from the chemotherapy, though four among them experienced grade three complications.
Efforts are ongoing to enroll patients for the phase I clinical trial to
further investigate the role of the gene in predicting the treatment response.
The earlier tests conducted by Response Genetics identified 1 to 5 percent
of patients who could greatly benefit from Crizotinib. With the new test,
another 1 to 2 percent of patients are identified who could benefit from
This research, intended for lung cancer, could benefit related mesothelioma cases as well. There were over 226,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in 2012, all of whom could benefit from this advanced and unconventional Crizotinib therapy.
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