Approaches being studied
Newer approaches to treat malignant mesothelioma are being tested. They often combine traditional treatments or include something entirely new. They include:
- Promising drugs:
- L-NDDP (Platar): Intrapleural administration of this platinum product is designed to overcome the toxicity and drug resistance currently limiting the usefulness of platinum drugs such as Cisplatin. Note: A trial produced remission in two patients.
- Endostatin has been shown to work with angiostatin in destroying a tumor’s ability to grow blood vessels without harming normal cells.
- Lovastatin is a cholesterol drug shown in a recent study to potentially inhibit mesothelioma cancer cell growth.
- Intrapleural interferon gamma is the direct administration of the anticancer drug interferon gamma.
- Photodynamic therapy kills cancer cells using the energy of light.
- Immunotherapy treats cancer by helping the immune system fight the disease.
- Gene therapy treats cancer by correcting the genetic deficits that allow tumors to develop. One study found that interferon interleukin prevented the growth of mesothelioma cells in mice.
Research is being conducted at various cancer centers all over the U.S.
A study involving L-NDDP produced two cases of remission in mesothelioma patients. Another study found that a drug known as Lovastatin may hold promise for mesothelioma patients.
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