Research hospitals in Europe have successfully tested a new anticancer drug, “Vinflunine” (pronounced VIN-floo-neen). The October 20th issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology featured the news that Vinflunine has been shown to improve response and survival rates in patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, according to Reuters.
Mesothelioma is a rare, deadly form of cancer that affects the inside lining of the chest cavity and is directly associated with asbestos exposure.
Vinflunine was recently tested in Phase II clinical trials at hospital research centers in England and France. Dr. Talbot, from the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, and medical colleagues at seven European hospital centers, assessed the response rates of 67 patients who had not received prior chemotherapy or radiotherapy to determine the effectiveness of first-line Vinflunine treatment.
Doctors concluded that Vinflunine, when administered approximately every 21 days in high doses, improved patients’ response rates by 13.8 percent, and demonstrated such positive results that the drug therapy warrants further evaluation. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug for this condition, “Alimta,” which, when used in combination with cisplatin, has helped patients extend their lives by several months, according to the FDA.
About 2,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States every year, based on statistics from the National Cancer Institute. Current treatments are limited and usually include some form of surgery, combined with chemotherapy or radiation. The disease, which is often linked to industrial workplace exposure to asbestos, is usually contracted through employers’ disregard for health safety.
For more information, contact the Mesothelioma Lawyers at Williams Kherkher at 1.800.220.9341.