New study reveals ovarian cancer drug may help mesothelioma sufferers

Last Updated on August 17, 2016 by

New study reveals ovarian cancer drug may help mesothelioma sufferers

Swiss researchers are raising hopes for asbestos victims and their families as a new study reveals ovarian cancer drug may help mesothelioma sufferers.

The researchers have carried out two different studies to date using a drug that would normally be used to treat ovarian cancer.  The studies have showed promise, in that the patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma had shown a significant improvement after being administered the drug.

The studies have indicated that this drug looks to be destroy the mesothelioma cells, while causing little damage to healthy cells nearby.

Two mesothelioma patients were treated with a combination of cisplatin (a chemotherapy drug used to treat mesothelioma) and lurbinectedin (used to treat ovarian cancer).  The results showed that both patients experienced a reduction in tumor size and the side effects were substantially less.

What is this wonder drug?

Lurbinectedin (a version of  trabectedin) is normally used as an effective treatment for ovarian cancer across Europe and Japan, and comes from sea squirts.  Mesothelioma is similar to ovarian cancer, in that it is very resistant to chemotherapy treatment. A lot of patients in the advanced stages of mesothelioma end up needing chemotherapy treatments to try and help alleviate the associated pain and symptoms, but many forms of chemotherapy result in horrendous side effects, which means those patients who are already very weak can’t progress with treatment

However, in the studies conducted using lurbinectedin, the research revealed a reduction in these harsh side effects.

Researchers carried out various tests in their laboratories on different mesothelioma cells, and found that the cancer drug was very successful in killing mesothelioma cells and a had a very small impact on the healthy cells.

This research therefore suggests that Lurbinectedin looks like it results in less harsh side effects when used to treat mesothelioma.

Promising results

These latest studies by Swiss researchers prove very promising and offer some hope to those suffering from mesothelioma and their families.  Especially when the tests revealed that trabectedin and cisplatin used together in conjunction were the most effective at destroying the mesothelioma cancer cells.

The researchers also reported “significant anti-tumor activity” when they tested trabectedin on cells from peritoneal mesothelioma tumors.

To summarise, the researchers state, “Together, these data suggest that trabectedin exerts strong activity in malignant pleural mesothelioma” and that this treatment “represents a promising new therapeutic option for malignant pleural mesothelioma.”


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Published Aug 17, 2016

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