Posts Tagged ‘clinical trials’

Measles virus may be used to fight mesothelioma

12 Jul 2017 by under Research/Treatment

595px Measles virus 100x100 Measles virus may be used to fight mesothelioma Vaccination programs to protect Americans from the measles virus began in 1963, and since then, the number of measles cases has dropped 99 percent. Now researchers have turned their attention to finding uses for the disease and are actually trying to harness it in the fight against mesothelioma. (more…)

Significant progress in mesothelioma clinical trials indicates a bright future ahead

21 Aug 2014 by under Organizations, Research/Treatment

MARF logo square Significant progress in mesothelioma clinical trials indicates a bright future aheadMary Hesdorffer,  executive director of the ( Foundation), spoke during the organization’s July 2014 board meeting about the advances in clinical trials for mesothelioma patients, which is allowing them to aid mesothelioma patients more effectively. Ms. Hesdorffer is a nurse practitioner with more than 16 years of experience in mesothelioma treatment. (more…)

New mesothelioma drug granted orphan status from EU

26 Jun 2013 by under News, Research/Treatment

Verastem banner 100x100 New mesothelioma drug granted orphan status from EUDrug maker Verastem Inc. has obtained approval from the European Commission to proceed with the development of a potential new treatment, which has been granted orphan status. (more…)

Mesothelioma clinical trial in UK recruiting participants

19 Aug 2009 by under News, Research/Treatment

A clinical trial for patients with malignant mesothelioma is currently recruiting participants. The trial is sponsored by Papworth Hospital in the UK, although it is open to any mesothelioma patient that meets the criteria. This study will evaluate video-assisted surgery to see how well it works compared with talc pleurodesis in treating patients with malignant mesothelioma.

According to information on, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, this is a randomized phase III trial. Video-assisted surgery removes part of the tissue layer covering the inside of the chest cavity, which researchers think may be effective in treating pleural effusion and cause less damage to normal tissue. Talc pleurodesis may keep fluid from building up in the chest cavity. It is not known at this time which thereapy is more effective.

The primary objective of this study, as stated in the project outline, is to compare the effectiveness of these two modes of treatment in terms of 1-year survival, in patients with suspected or proven malignant mesothelioma.

Secondary goals of the study include comparing the control of pleural effusion, comparing procedure-related complications, comparing symptoms and quality of life of these patients at 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment, comparing the length of hospital stay, the exercise tolerance level of these patients at 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment, and to determine the cost to the health service, in terms of resources used for procedures, hospital bed usage and cost of primary and secondary care over 12 months.

Recruiting locations in the UK are Basildon University Hospital, Gelnfield Hospital (Leicester), Guy’s Hospital (London), Papworth Hospital (Cambridge) and Royal Hallamshire Hospital (Sheffield). Principal investigator for the study is Robert Winter, MD, Papworth Hospital.

This study is identified in the U.S. at by ID number NCT00821860.

For contact and recruiting information, visit the Clinical Trials information page at

Clinical trial for pleural mesothelioma

24 Jul 2009 by under News, Organizations, Research/Treatment

nci logo 100x100 Clinical trial for pleural mesotheliomaThe National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Bulletin on July 14 featured a new clinical trial for a combination immunotoxin and chemotherapy regimen to treat pleural . This is a Phase I Study of SS1 (dsFv)-PE38 Immunotoxin in combination with Pemetrexed Disodium and Cisplatin in patients with unresectable malignant epithelial pleural (NCI-08-C-0026).

The principal investigator for the studay is Dr. Raffit Hassan of the NCI Center for Cancer Research.

According to the NCI bulletin, researchers hope an experimental immunotoxin called SS1 (dsFv)-PE38 (or SS1P) can improve the outcome of patients with unresectable (or inoperable) mesothelioma. Clincial trial information says that SS1P is a “genetically engineered biological agent in which part of a bacterial toxin is linked to an antibody that recognizes the protein mesothelin.”

Mesothelin is the protein found on the surface of epithelial mesothelioma cells and other types of cancer cells. It is hoped that combining SS1P with chemotherapy will lead to increased antitumor activity, as compared with either treatment alone.

“Given the marked synergy between SS1P and chemotherapy in preclinical studies, combining them could potentially result in increased antitumor activity in patients,” Dr. Hassan is quoted in the Bulletin.

For more information, see the Entry Criteria.

Find trial contact information online or call the NCI Clinical Trials Referral Office at 1-888-NCI-1937. The call is toll-free and confidential.

Debbie hopes to make groundbreaking mesothelioma treatment more widely available

15 Jun 2009 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

I reported last week that , our friend in the UK, had another amazing report from Germany, where she has been undergoing chemoembolization to treat her . Her tumor has now shrunk a total of 83 percent! Debbie is sharing her experience with media in Britain, hoping to gain more widespread acceptance of chemoembolization as a treatment for meso, and to raise awareness that the therapy, currently in clinical trials, exists.

Debbie was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2006, at which time her doctor gave her only a few months to live. That was when Debbie began looking for new treatments. She began chemoembolization in May 2008.

Chemoembolization, which is being pioneered by Dr. Thomas J. Vogl at J.W. Goethe University Hospital at Frankfurt University, introduces chemotherapy directly into a tumor, where it is basically sealed off so that it is concentrated in the area of need. The clinical trial started three years ago, and will continue for about two more years. The treatment is only available at the clinic in Germany.

Recently, BBC News featured Debbie and her efforts to bring chemoembolization to the UK, and beyond.

Watch the video.

Theo loves Germany – Debbie’s tumor continues to shrink!

9 Jun 2009 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

debbie june 09 100x100 Theo loves Germany   Debbies tumor continues to shrink!Today I heard from Debbie Brewer, our friend in the UK. She is just returned from another visit to Dr. Thomas Vogl in , where she had wonderful success with the clinical trial for chemoembolization. She first visited Vogl for the treatment in May 2008. In March 2009, she found that her tumor had shrunk an amazing 73 percent since her first treatment. This week, she reports that even Dr. Vogl was surprised to see that Theo – as she nicknamed the tumor – had shrunk an additional 10 percent! That’s a total reduction of 83 PERCENT for those of you keeping score!

This is truly wonderful and amazing news, particularly for a cancer like , which has no known cure. This sounds pretty darn close for Debbie, who is considered in remission with this amount of tumor gone.

Those who have been following Debbie’s story and have read the Q&A with Dr. Vogl we posted on this site know that chemoembolization is a procedure currently in clinical trials. The process involves introducing chemotherapy directly to the tumor, and basically trapping it there, concentrating it where it is most needed. Dr. Vogl is head of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at J.W. Goethe University Hospital at Frankfurt University.

The clinical trial is currently treating between 300 and 400 patients with primary and secondary lung cancer annually, and about 20 mesothelioma patients.

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

Read more of Debbie’s story at her blog, Mesothelioma & Me.

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 , with her tumor shrinking 53 percent, and now essentially “dead.” The trial is spearheaded by Dr. Thomas J. Vogl, 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

Contact telephone number: 0049-69-6301-7277

Find mesothelioma clinical trials at government web site

3 Dec 2008 by under News, Research/Treatment

Because of the nature of , and the fact that there is no known cure for it, many patients are particularly interested in alternative treatments or new medicines. There seems to be a willingness to try new things in an effort to find a cure, and also to help researchers learn more about so that they might help other people in the future. There is a government web site that can help meso patients find ongoing clinical trials that are recruiting patients. is a web site registry that provides current information about federally and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of conditions, with trial locations all over the world. The site is searchable by condition, drug intervention, sponsor and location. The site also provides information about a trial’s purpose, who may participate, locations and phone numbers for more details. The information should be used in conjunction with advice from a patient’s health care provider.

The web site is a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, through its National Library of Medicine (NLM), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. All data and search information on the site is provided by There is no charge for the service.

A clinical trial is a controlled study that allows physicians to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of new drugs or devices. Generally, investigators enroll a small number of patients or volunteers in a clinical trial in an initial pilot program, and then they may expand the program to include more patients or specific criteria as they gather more information. Clinical trials help researchers compare new treatments against other that are already established for treating a certain condition.

Here is a link to mesothelioma studies listed in

Clinical trial for mesothelioma at NY hospital

8 Jul 2008 by under News, Research/Treatment

A New York medical center specializing in the treatment of mesothelioma has announced a new clinical trial accepting patients. The Mesothelioma Center within the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center is launching a program of targeted radiation and chemotherapy protocol for pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung’s lining that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos.

It is hoped the new treatment will replace or delay the need for the standard treatment in these cases, a pleural pneumonectomy, which involves removal of the lung and which can be extremely debilitating to patients.

According to a press release from the medical center, Dr. Robert Taub, the study’s principal investigator, director of the Mesothelioma Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, says, “Current surgical and chemotherapy treatments of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma are unsatisfactory, and have not been shown to significantly prolong survival. In this study, we will investigate whether a combination of chemotherapy and radiation targeted directly at the lung’s lining can improve outcomes while avoiding surgery. In addition, this approach has shown to have minimal toxic side effects compared to systemic chemotherapy.”

The Mesothelioma Center is the only one nationwide that is offering this experimental therapy to treat pleural mesothelioma.

The study is being conducted at the Mesothelioma Center within the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center. According to the release, participating patients will receive several rounds of targeted chemotherapy using the drugs cisplatin and doxorubicin via surgically implanted catheters. Some patients will be randomly selected to receive additional systemic (intravenous) chemotherapy using the drugs cisplatin and pemetrexed. All patients will receive targeted radiotherapy using the P-32 radioisotope.

Patients may elect to receive additional surgical treatment, including removal of the affected lung lining or lung. Subsequently, patients will be offered outpatient systemic chemotherapy with cisplatin and pemetrexed.

For more information, visit