Mesothelioma is a type of incurable cancer that is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Men and women who worked in the construction and shipbuilding industries have been diagnosed with this terminal disease. Many asbestos manufacturers have had to set aside trust funds for the class-action lawsuits that have come in the wake of discovering the cause of the disease.
Despite the fact that it is considered incurable, there is hope in a current medication for helping mesothelioma sufferers.There is new evidence that a drug normally used to fight osteoporosis and cancer-related bone loss may also help to slow the growth of mesothelioma tumors.
As international research continues to try and find a cure for mesothelioma, oncology researchers from several Japanese universities state that a bisphosphonate drug called zoledronic acid prevented mesothelioma tumors in mice from growing. The drug had to be injected directly into the pleural cavity.
The medication, which is marketed under brand names Reclast and Zometa in the U.S., reduces high blood calcium levels by slowing the release of calcium from bones. The medication also helps with cancer-related bone loss and is used to treat osteoporosis.
Recent studies performed at Chiba University, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Toho University, and the University of Tsukuba report success when using zoledronic acid to improve mesothelioma survival in mice.
The drug is normally given via intravenous injection. However, this method of delivery had no effect on the outcome. Instead, the mice received injections directly into the pleural cavity, which is where the cancerous tumors grow.
Now that research has proven that the therapy has had success in trials with mice, it is time to begin human trials. The team is now recruiting patients who have not responded to first-line chemotherapy treatments. The study will divide patients into four groups and give each different doses of the zoledronic acid, ranging from .4mg to 16mg.
Based on the results of that study, the team has plans for further studies. The next study will involve mesothelioma patients who have never had treatment. That trial will combine zoledronic acid with chemotherapy treatment to see how effectively the two treatments work together.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of John Foy & Associates. The “Strong Arm” attorneys will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.