A Q&A with Dr. Vogl about mesothelioma trial

16 Jan 2009 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

vogl portait 150x150 A Q&A with Dr. Vogl about mesothelioma trialI know a lot of people who follow this blog are excited about the wonderful results our friend Debbie Brewer has experienced as a result of her participation in a chemoembolization trial in Germany, with her tumor shrinking 53 percent, and now essentially “dead.” The trial is spearheaded by , who is head of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at J.W. Goethe University Hospital at Frankfurt University. He has developed the clinical trial to use chemoembolization to treat mesothelioma.

Because there is so much interest in this clinical trial, even though it is currently only available in Germany, I contacted Dr. Vogl to see if he could provide a little more information about the program.

Q: Explain the basic procedure of chemoembolization / locoregional therapy in the treatment of cancer. How does it work?

A: The basic principle of chemoembolization/locoregional therapy is to achieve a transarterial approach to the tumorous lesion. In the treatment of mesothelioma we have to find the direct supply to the cancer. Then the chemoembolization material can be selectively inserted directly to the lesion. A concentration of cytotoxic drugs of up to 20 times higher can be achieved compared to systemic chemotherapy with reduced adverse events. By cutting off the vascular supply, chemotherapy can be retained in the affected region for several weeks.

Q: How did you learn that this treatment is effective for mesothelioma?

A: During treatment of patients with primary and secondary lung cancer we learned that locoregional therapies are effective for the treatment of mesothelioma.

Q: When did this clinical trial begin? (or how long has it been going on?)

A: The clinical trial started three years ago and will be continued for the next two years.

Q: What are the goals of the clinical trial for this treatment?

A: The goals of the clinical trial are to improve local tumor control, to reduce clinical symptoms like breathing problems and pain, and to increase survival.

Q: How many people with mesothelioma are you currently treating in this clinical trial?

A: Currently we treat 300 to 400 patients with primary and secondary lung cancer per year, and we treat about 20 patients with mesotheliomas.

Q: What are the general / overall results you are seeing in the trials?

A: Clinical symptoms and clinical status of the patients have improved. Local tumor control has improved as well.

Q: What is involved in evaluating a person to see if they are a good candidate for this type of treatment? (What is a good candidate?)

A: Normally we need the following material from the patient before treatment: histology of the cancer, therapy protocols so far obtained, images showing the extension of the tumor. A patient with a localized pleuromesothelioma in one half of the chest is a good candidate.

Q: Explain the procedure for someone receiving this treatment – what happens during a typical treatment visit? How long does it take?

A: After local anesthesia, the femoral vein, which is located in the inguinal region, is punctured. Then a small femoral sheath is usually inserted in the vein through which different catheters can be inserted. After displaying the caval vein, a catheter is pushed forward into the tumor feeding vessels after trespassing the pulmonary arteries. For preventing pain analgetic drugs are administered. Then the chemoembolization as well as the embolizing material are applied. Towards the end of the procedure, the catheters and the sheath system are removed and a compression bandage is applied in order to prevent complications in the inguinal region such as hematoma. After surveillance of 6 to 24 hours, in which complications might be detected and treated, the patient will be discharged. Up to 24 hours after the procedure a CT scan is performed in order to evaluate response to treatment or complications.

Q: How often / frequently does a person receive treatment?

A: The patient normally receives the treatment three up to four times in a 1-month interval.

Q: What are typical side effects of treatment?

A: The typical side effects of the treatment are very low. Normally the patient suffers from fatigue. Nausea and an increasing shortness of breathing are also rarely observed.

Q: How would someone apply to participate in this clinical trial? (Is it still open to receive new patients?)

A: If you send me material (medical reports, MR images, CT scans) I can check it and provide a treatment plan thereafter.

If you are interested in learning more about chemoembolization, or being evaluated for possible inclusion in the clinical trial, you can contact Dr. Vogl here:

Prof. Dr. Th. J. Vogl
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
University Hospital
Theodor-Stern-Kai 7
D-60596 Frankfurt

Email: T.Vogl@em.uni-frankfurt.de
Contact telephone number: 0049-69-6301-7277

14 Responses to “A Q&A with Dr. Vogl about mesothelioma trial”

  1. Veronica White

    I have mesothelioma and would love to know if we are doing this treatment in the UK. As the desease is frankly a death sentence any progress fighting it is of utmost importance for us who suffer at the moment. Is it possible for other UK residents to get onto the German trial?

    Thanks

    Veronica White

  2. BeasleyAllen

    Hello Veronica,

    Thank you so much for your comments and your inquiry. Currently, as far
    as I know, the chemoembolization trial is not being done in the UK, only
    in Germany. However, due to the success of the procedure, I understand
    Dr. Vogl has been invited to the UK to discuss the possibility of
    expanding the trials.

    For now, those interested in the trials should contact Dr. Vogl's office
    directly. They can evaluate your case to determine if you can join the
    current trials in Germany. That information is as follows:

    Prof. Dr. Th. J. Vogl
    Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
    University Hospital
    Theodor-Stern-Kai 7
    D-60596 Frankfurt

    Email: T.Vogl@em.uni-frankfurt.de
    Phone: 0049-69-6301-7277

    I hope this helps, and blessings to you!

    Wendi

  3. Mesothelioma Blog: Theo loves Germany - Debbie’s tumor continues to shrink! | myMeso

    […] For more information, see the Q&A with Dr. Vogl. […]

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  7. Theo loves Germany – Debbie’s tumor continues to shrink! | Mesothelioma News

    […] For more information, see the Q&A with Dr. Vogl. […]

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    Dr. Thomas J. Vogl did his best and developed the clinical trial to use chemoembolization to treat mesothelioma.

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