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Combination Mesothelioma Therapy Shows Promise

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The National Institute of Cancerologia in Mexico City, Mexico will shortly be releasing results of a 30-month study to determine the efficacy of a combination drug therapy designed to improve the response and survival rates of pleural mesothelioma patients undergoing chemotherapy.
The study, which followed 30 pleural mesothelioma patients from September 2007 to April 2009, was conducted to determine whether a combination of two chemotherapy drugs, liposomal doxorubicin and Cisplatin®, would improve survival rates of these patients.
Most single-drug chemotherapy regimes have resulted in response rates of less than 20 percent. Combination therapies, including therapy with non-liposomal doxorubicin and cisplatin, have produced only slight higher response rates of about 25 percent.
Researchers hope the liposomal form of doxorubicin will be more readily absorbed by cancer patients, improving survival rates and helping patients remain comfortable longer. Liposomes are “bubble-like” structures composed of the same material as cell membranes, and are often sued to deliver drugs in certain conditions where normal delivery might result in toxic side effects, or where deeper penetration of the affected cells is required.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the lungs and developing as a result of asbestos exposure. Pleural mesothelioma develops as the tissue which surrounds the lungs becomes embedded with tiny fibers of inhaled asbestos, and can occur decades after initial exposure. The most prevalent mesothelioma causes include direct or indirect workplace exposures. Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma, although symptoms can be treated to improve comfort in those affected by the condition.
University of Wisconsin Professor Dr. H. Ian Robins, an oncologist who specializes in the treatment of mesothelioma and other cancers, is one of the many US-based physicians who specialize in the study of asbestos-caused cancers. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but many oncologists like Dr. Robins are devoted to the study of this disease and have the hope that a cure is not far off.

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