Mesothelioma

  • Medical Author:
    George Schiffman, MD, FCCP

    Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Is there any promising research or are there promising drugs for mesothelioma?

New approaches being studied

New approaches to treat malignant mesothelioma are currently being tested. They often combine traditional treatments or include something entirely new. They include:

  • 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 like Cisplatin. NOTE: A recent trial produced remission in two patients.
  • Endostatin has been shown to work with angiostatin in destroying a tumors' 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 anti-cancer 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. A September 1999 study found that interferon interleukin prevented the growth of mesothelioma cells in mice.

Research is being conducted at various cancer centers all over the United States.

A recent 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.

To learn more about mesothelioma clinical studies and journal medical journal articles, visit the Mesothelioma Web (http://www.mesotheliomaweb.org).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/8/2015
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