Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs and chest cavity. It is notoriously resistant to most standard cancer treatments, and many patients must undergo multiple forms of treatment which have no guarantee of success. Researchers are exploring numerous second line treatment options for mesothelioma patients, but so far none of them have proven to be an effective long-term survival solution. A team of Greek researchers has determined that this lack of focused research may be detrimental to finding an effective treatment.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma patients are often initially treated with a combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin, or other platinum-based drugs. This treatment is only effective for less than half of patients, however, and has failed to slow or reverse the progression of mesothelioma in the majority of cases. When this first line of defense fails, many patients undergo a second line treatment.
No Conclusive Pattern Establishing Effective Treatment
A research team at the University of Athens examined data from 98 mesothelioma patients in order to measure the effectiveness of various treatment methods. More than half of the patients in the study went through second line treatment. For 48 percent of them, that treatment consisted of a course of taxane and gemcitabine that failed to reverse the growth of mesothelioma tumors, but was able to prevent further growth in 22 percent of these patients. On average, it took three months for their mesothelioma to return, and the median overall survival was 15 months.
Another 18 percent of patients were treated with docetaxel. The median survival was longer for these patients at about 23 months, but approximately a third of this group had to stop the treatment due to complications. Eight of the patients who underwent second line treatment were given either another round of pemetrexed-based chemotherapy or treated with pemetrexed on its own. This group had the longest median survival at 29 months.
Despite some promising results, researchers said that the study was inconclusive, as the treatment methods and patients’ conditions were so varied. This variance in mesothelioma cases makes it difficult to interpret the results and apply them to a broader group. Still, the fact that these second line treatment methods were effective for some of the patients may indicate hope for the future.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Mesothelioma Patients
If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, call Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. Our knowledgeable, experienced legal team can help get you the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey we help mesothelioma victims and their families throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey. Call us today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online to review your case.