Tuesday, 22 February 2011

New Articles

With my recent downfall of disease the following info has been received and I hope it helps others as well as me.

Mesothelioma Treatment with Gene Therapy Remains in Experimental Phase

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Gene therapy was originally developed to treat genetically inherited diseases, but in the last decade, it has been integrated into the fight against cancer. Mesothelioma is notoriously resistant to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, yet gene therapy strives to make the cancerous cells more receptive to traditional treatment. Gene therapy shows promise in the treating the disease, yet further research is required before it is accepted for clinical use.

One form of gene therapy demonstrating potential as a form of mesothelioma treatment uses genetically altered viruses to deliver cytokines to cancerous cells. Cytokines direct the immune system’s efforts, and when delivered to cancerous cells, these proteins may help the immune system attack a mesothelioma tumor.

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Researchers Test Gastric Cancer Drug for Treatment of Pleural Mesothelioma

Monday, January 10th, 2011
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive respiratory cancer and remains difficult to control. Researchers keep searching for new treatment options to help mesothelioma patients live longer with the disease.

In a recent article in the medical journal Cancer, Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, Japanese researchers explore the effectiveness of a new anti-tumor drug known as S-1 for treating malignant pleural mesothelioma, which is closely associated with breathing asbestos.
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Clinical Trial of Novel Cancer Agent for Lung Cancer Patients May Prove Effectiveness of Drug for Mesothelioma Patients

Friday, January 7th, 2011

by Nancy Meredith

Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer typically affecting the lining of the lungs, is highly aggressive and is resistant to many standard cancer treatments making it a difficult disease to treat effectively. As a result, continued research is critical to find a cure or new treatment options for the close to 3,000 Americans diagnosed with the disease yearly.

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Gendicine - A New Gene Therapy

Read on to find out about how and where to receive the latest great hope for cancer - Gendicine. Also, learn about how to possibly have your costs paid for.

A new weapon in the fight against cancer may be on the horizon. Even though gene therapy is not approved for use in the U.S. or Europe, China became the first and only country to approve it for use in 2003. Many scientists believe that gene therapy could be the next great cure for cancer and there is much research around the world being done in this field.

Mesothelioma: Finally, a cure called NGR-hTNF?

Posted by Terry Hetiedor (HetiedorT) on 14 November 2010.

Mesothelioma, widely known as asbestos cancer has proven to be fatal in the past few years. More than 3,000 people are diagnosed with the condition and it is one type of cancer which is extremely difficult to detect and diagnose. With no possible cure or hope for prevention, it was a lost case, but not anymore. The drug that is being developed is called NGR-hTNF and is a potent cure for not only mesothelioma but also liver cancer.

The drug is being known to target cancer cells and disrupt their blood cell formation thus eliminating the growth prospects of the cancer. The manufacturer of the drug, Italy-based MolMed S.p.A is currently on a patient-hiring spree to conduct the final stage of the testing.

The CEO of the company, Claudio Bordignon explains, “We now have evidence of clinical activity of NGR-hTNF in five different types of solid tumors, adding two more indications, ovarian and small-cell lung cancer to those observed in completed Phase II trials as a single agent in colorectal cancer, liver cancer and mesothelioma.”

In high doses the medicine can also prove a cure for tumours on arms and legs.

With a possible cure in the kitty, the drug which currently has an orphan status both in the US and the European Union will be able to eliminate suffering and death from mesothelioma.


Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Aims to Block Cancer Growth

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Researchers are currently recruiting mesothelioma patients for a Phase II study that is aimed to test the safety and effectiveness of IMC-A12 in patients who have previously been treated with standard chemotherapy methods.

IMC-A12 is an antibody that is designed to block the effects of a protein called Type I Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1R), which is thought to play a role in helping cancer cells grow and divide. IMC-A12 is a new cancer treatment that has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, the clinical trial will hopefully determine if the new treatment can block malignant mesothelioma cancer cells from growing and dividing.


As supplied by Linda of  Do something positive.

Unfortunately no link for the following article but some other links for different information follows,  supplied by a W Szymanski who is researching the illness for his mother and kindly sent this.

2010-11-26Gene Therapy for Malignant Pleural M…

Gene Therapy for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Written by Masatoshi Tagawa (A),(B), Yuji Tada (C), Kenzo Hiroshima (D) and Hideaki Shimada (E) Friday, 20 March 2009 12:42

Mesothelioma is relatively rare in frequency but is one of the intractable cancers linked with asbestos exposure. The patient numbers will increase in near future and current clinical outcomes with conventional treatment modalities are not satisfactory. Gene therapy is a possible therapeutic strategy because of easy accessibility of a vector system into the intrapleural cavity. Several preclinical studies demonstrated that the gene medicine produced anti-tumor effects, suggesting the clinical feasibility. In this review, we summarized the current status of clinical trials targeting mesothelioma.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a solid tumor developed in the thoracic cavity and extends into the vicinity organs to disturb the functions of vital organs such as lungs, large vessels and heart, which results in respiratory failure, cardiac tamponade and even spinal cord compression. These symptoms damage the patient’s quality of life. Development of malignant pleural mesothelioma has been closely associated with asbestos exposure in most of the cases and the latent period is extremely long beyond 30 years. Asbestos usage is inhibited in most of the Western countries but is being utilized in economically emerging countries. Statistical analyses based on asbestos consumption and the average latent periods imply that the incidence has reached its peak or will be maximal within next two decades in the major Western societies (1) and perhaps we will have more patients in the emerging areas. No effective prevention method is currently developed, which prompt us seek for novel treatment approaches. The prognosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma is poor with 6-9 months of the median survival time after the diagnosis. Conventional therapies for malignant pleural mesothelioma consist of surgery and chemotherapy. Extrapleural pneumonectomy, resection of pleura with lung, can be curative in the early stage but the eligible patient numbers are limited and majority of the patients results in local recurrence with no further effective treatments. malignant pleural mesotheliomacells are resistant to radiation and in fact clinical responses to radiotherapy proved to be disappointing. Malignant pleural mesothelioma cells are also resistant to chemotherapeutic agents and many clinical trials even in a combination of agents have failed to prolong the overall survival. Recently, pemetrexed, a multi-targeted anti-folate agent, has extended the survival period from 9.3 months with cisplatin treatment alone to 12.1 months in combination with cisplatin (2). The clinical outcome even with the updated combination chemotherapy is thus not satisfactory. A combination of three treatment modalities, surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, are now being investigated for the clinical benefits. Nonetheless, the patients are old and suffered from chronic respiratory failure after a long-term asbestos exposure and thereby a novel treatment is needed to favor the quality of patient life.

Clinical studies for malignant pleural mesothelioma

Two major phase I studies have been conducted in USA with replication-incompetent type 5 adenoviruses (Ad) expressing a herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSVtk) gene (Ad-HSVtk) (3) or interferon (IFN)-b gene (Ad-IFN-b) (4). HSVtk-positive allogeneic cells (5) and vaccinia viruses expressing the interleukin-2 (IL-2) gene were also tested in a phase I and a pilot study, respectively. The study with Ad-HSVtk is a representative suicide gene therapy, in which anti-viral prodrug ganciclovir (GCV) is used in the combination. GCV is phosphorylated by HSVtk but not by the mammalian tk and phosphorylated/diphosphorylated GCV are incorporated into DNA to terminate DNA synthesis. Expression of HSVtk followed by GCV administration thus produces cytotoxic effects to the mammalian cells expressing the gene. A phase I clinical trial with Ad-HSVtk and subsequent GCV administration was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, which enrolled 34 patients without prior chemotherapy (Table). Patients received single intrapleural injection of Ad-HSVtk and the dose escalation study showed that the patients tolerated well to high Ad doses. The study demonstrated that the gene therapy was safe with minimal adverse reactions and successful gene transfer into the tumors was observed in 17 of 25 evaluable patients. It is difficult to assess the clinical outcomes in a phase I study but the study showed 3 cases survived more than 5 years, which is extraordinary good in the prognosis of MPM patients. All the long-lived cases were in an early stage of the disease but 2 patients did not receive any other treatments besides the gene therapy. The clinical investigators showed that immune responses were generated in the patients and implied that immune responses played a crucial role in the anti-tumor responses. Repeated administrations of Ad-HSVtk induced humoral and cell-mediated immunity against the Ad but the humoral immunity did not deteriorate the efficacy of gene transfer nor induced serious adverse effects. Generation of anti-Ad antibody might be rather beneficial to prevent systemic distribution of Ad. Gene-modified ovarian cancer cells expressing HSVtk was administered into the intrapleural cavity of malignant pleural mesothelioma patients in a phase I trial (5). The clinical trial showed that the cell-based gene therapy was safe and the cells successfully homed to adhere to the malignant pleural mesothelioma lining the thoracic cavity. The clinical benefits were however not well demonstrated.

Future direction for malignant pleural mesothelioma

Administration of replication-incompetent Ad is safe in clinical settings but the efficacy was not great enough to prolong the survival in most of the cases. Oncolytic Ad is the next to be investigated, which replicate within tumors and infect to the tumor in the vicinity as the progenies released from the destroyed tumors. Currently Ad defective of E1B-55kDa molecules are commercially available in China and many types of oncolytic viruses are investigated at various development stages. Some of them have been clinically tested to demonstrate the feasibility in non-malignant pleural mesothelioma patients. These new typed vector systems can be another virotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma treatments. Correspondence: Masatoshi Tagawa, Division of Pathology and Cell Therapy, Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute. 666-2 Nitona, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8717, Japan Phone: +81-43-264-5431 ext 5101 Fax: +81-43-265-4459 E-mail: mtagawa@chiba-cc.jp


the above links were also sent from W Szymanski.

Without the help of each other many of us would remain in the dark, there is now so much information out there but reading every article is a full time job. 

Thank you both for sharing.

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