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Alimta is a chemotherapy drug made by American pharmaceutical company Eli Lily. It is a chemotherapy drug for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic (cancer cells that are transferred throughout the body via the blood or lymphatic vessels) non-small cell lung cancer after prior chemotherapy attempts have failed.

Alimta is the first and only chemotherapy drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) when surgery is not an option. Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is the most commonly diagnosed and studied form of Mesothelioma. When people say “Mesothelioma” they generally mean Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. This type of Mesothelioma occurs when one of the pleura in the chest cavity becomes malignant. There are two pleurae in the chest cavity that secrete a fluid to allow the lungs to move within the chest cavity without issue. When one of these becomes cancerous, one is said to have Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM). One of the pleurae can be removed via surgery quite easily. The other one cannot. In cases where surgery is not an option Alimta is approved to help in the treatment of Mesothelioma.

When Alimta was helpful in clinical studies, patients also received cisplatin, a platinum agent that is commonly used as a chemotherapy drug. Side effects exist from Alimta, just like any other drug whether it is used in chemotherapy or not. These include patient-felt toxicities which are felt by the patient. They include nausea, tiredness, and vomiting. Paper toxicities, which are not felt by patients, are monitored by lab tests. They include variation in blood cell type, among other things. These side effects were reduced when chemo patients took folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements during and right before and after their chemotherapy sessions. A few steroid tablets during treatment reduced the occurrence of side effects as well.

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a serious disease and Alimta is making great strides to help. However, new cases are being discovered all the time and, as of yet, there is no cure. If you or someone you know has been exposed to asbestos (the fiber that has been linked to Mesothelioma) or diagnosed with MPM, there may be legal options available. Contact a mesothelioma lawyer at Williams Hart at 800-781-3955 in order to discuss these legal options and to schedule an initial consultation.

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