The Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine is recruiting patients who have pleural mesothelioma to carry out clinical trials of an experimental drug named anetumab ravtansine. The trials are intended to compare the efficacy and safety of the drug compared to Navelbine (also known as vinorelbine) for patients whose disease continues to progress after chemotherapy treatments. The clinical trial will involve 210 test patients.

One of the biggest problems related to pleural mesothelioma treatment is the fact that it is usually not detected until 20 to 40 years following the initial exposure to asbestos — and by this time the disease tends to be particularly advanced. At this time, treatment options for these patients is limited, so clinical trials and research are important for the purpose of identifying new treatment strategies.

The anetumab ravtansine drug is a a new kind of antibody, and it works by attaching itself to a chemotherapy drug. It then binds itself to mesothelin proteins found in the mesothelioma cancer cells, and then it delivers the chemotherapy drug directly inside the cells while leaving the other cells unharmed. The treatment has thus far shown good results for patients with mesothelioma, and it has also helped patients who have ovarian cancer.

New drug research into mesothelioma is always welcomed with open arms, but the waiting can be difficult to endure, especially for those who need help now. At the very least, most workers suffering from this occupational illness will be able to get money through the Illinois workers’ compensation system to pay for their medical treatment.

Source: mesotheliomaresearchnews.com, “Phase 2 Study of Potential Treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma Now Recruiting Patients,” Dr. Ines Martins, Sep. 19, 2016