Trials begin for two new mesothelioma treatments

For decades, scientists and physicians have known that the inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, a cancer that develops in the inner lining of a person's chest wall. Up until relatively recently, however, doctors have struggled to develop treatments to improve and prolong the lives of mesothelioma patients. Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Leicester in the U.K. announced that they would soon begin trials on two new treatments that could prove to be essential in treating patients with mesothelioma.

Trials examine efficacy of two drugs

The first new treatment is a drug called ganetespib, which is designed to prevent the production of a particular protein in the body's cells. The protein, known as HSP 90, is required for the production of other proteins that play an important role in the growth of tumors. Approximately 140 mesothelioma patients in the U.K. will be involved in the ganetespib trial.

The second new treatment is a drug called defactinib, which inhibits the production of a protein called focal adhesion kinase. FAK plays a role in the adhesion and spreading processes of cells in the human body - that is, it helps cells stick to each other and affects how they move in the body. Researchers believe that FAK is also essential for the growth and spreading of mesothelioma tumors, particularly in cases where patients have responded to chemotherapy. The defactinib trial is part of a global study known as Control of Mesothelioma with MAiNtenance Defactinib, also known as COMMAND. It will involve up to 400 mesothelioma patients throughout the world.

It will, of course, take time before medical researchers know whether either one of these drugs will prove effective in combating mesothelioma. Nevertheless, trials such as these are essential to developing new drugs and treatment regimens that could prove to be life saving for thousands of people. Even if neither ganetespib nor defactinib proves successful in helping mesothelioma patients, what researchers learn about the mechanisms of these drugs could be the key to finding other treatments in the future.

Fortunately, those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma may have a claim against those responsible for their exposure to asbestos. Medical treatment for mesothelioma can be extremely expensive, and those who file successful claims can receive compensation for their medical bills.

For more information about the legal rights of those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney.