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Trio of drugs can extend life in mesothelioma patients

New hope for mesothelioma patients may be on the horizon. Those suffering with malignant pleural mesothelioma may experience progression-free survival with a new treatment regimen.

A recent Phase III trial developed by the French Cooperative Thoracic Intergroup discovered that adding the drug bevacizumab produced by Genentech and known as Avastin to standard therapies using pemetrexed (Lilly's Alimta) together with cisplatin increased the median overall survival rate by approximately three months. There was a minor but manageable toxicity increase with the drug trio.

The findings were presented by an oncologist at France's Caen University Hospital during the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting.

For more than 10 years, researchers have been stymied by the failure of clinical trials seeking to improve the standard of care for mesothelioma patients.

The oncologist reported that, "Drug delivery was excellent, with nearly three-quarters of patients receiving at least six cycles of the allocated treatment."

Mesothelioma has been definitively linked to asbestos exposure that causes the terminal cancer to develop in otherwise healthy individuals. The points of exposure can be difficult for layman to discover in some cases, which makes pursuing litigation harder. Below are some of the common occupations at risk of asbestos exposure:

-- Refinery workers

-- Shipyard employees

-- Chemical plant employees

-- Plumbers and pipefitters

-- Boilermakers

-- Railroad workers

-- Foundry workers

-- Mechanics

Those with suspected exposures and diagnoses of mesothelioma may wish to pursue their legal options. A civil jury award or settlement can potentially provide funds to seek life-extending treatments with these expensive new drugs.

Source: Clinical Oncology News, “New Regimen Identified for Mesothelioma,” Kate O’Rourke, June 23, 2015

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