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Mesothelioma | Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Drug a Disappointment in Clinical Trial

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Amgen, a biotechnology company that develops human therapeutics, announced that their investigational drug motesanib did not improve the overall survival among patients with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  The drug would have offered new treatment options for hard to treat cancers such as NSCLC and possibly pleural malignant mesothelioma.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that invades the lining of the lungs.  Approximately 3000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma per year and symptoms of mesothelioma generally occur approximately 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure.  Chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma typically involves the combination of two chemotherapy drugs, namely gemcitabine and cisplatin.  Other chemotherapy drugs used in treating mesothelioma include carboplatin and doxorubicin.

Amgen’s phase III trial evaluated motesanib administered in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in 1090 patients with advanced stage NSCLC.  The chemotherapy drugs paclitaxel and carboplatin are typically used in treating lung cancer patients.  In explaining the results, Roger M Perimutter, M.D., PhD., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen, said “We are disappointed with the results from the trial, but look forward to further analysis of the data which may ultimately help inform future research in this area.”

“We thank the patients, caregivers, and investigators for their participation and engagement in the clinical evaluation of motesanib worldwide,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., chief medical officer, Millennium.  “These disappointing results support the need for new treatments to address the unmet need in advanced non-squamous NSCLC.”

Clinical trials for mesothelioma patients offer the patients the opportunity to receive new therapies with potentially more effective results.  Generally speaking, doctors conduct clinical trials to find out whether the treatment is safe for patients and effective against the disease.  The clinical trials are done before the treatment is ready for general use.  Participation in clinical trials is an important consideration for treatment options for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma.  To find a detailed list of meosthelioma clinical trials go to ClinicalTrials.gov.  Mesothelioma patients, of course, also have the option of searching for clinical trials on their own.

Source:  Motesanib Clinical Trial

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