Navelbine (Vinorelbine) for Mesothelioma Patients
The chemotherapy drug Navelbine also called Vinorelbine may turn out to be a more effective treatment of mesothelioma cancer than other chemotherapy treatments such as Cisplatin. Recently researchers in Great Britain found that vinorelbine produces significantly less toxic effects than other chemotherapies when used to treat the symptoms of mesothelioma. Additionally, the results of the clinical study conducted at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London strongly suggests that Navelbine may also prolong the lives of people with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to treat, and most chemotherapy treatments have a response rate of less than twenty percent. In the vinorelbine study, which consisted of 29 patients, 7 of the patients, (nearly twenty five percent) responded to vinorelbine treatment, while the disease was stabilized for a time in 16 patients. Additionally, over half (16) gained significant relief from the drug. Furthermore the treatment produced fewer side effects than other more popular forms of chemotherapy.
Vinorelbine study also showed good survival rates. The median survival rate for patients participating in the trial was 11 months, and over forty percent of the patients the participated in the trial were alive a year later. Some of the patients survived two years after the study which is very unusual for mesothelioma.
Doctor's have found these studies very encouraging because generally mesothelioma is considered resistant to treatment. For instance, radiation therapy has been shown to reduce symptomatic pain but usually can not affect the progress of the disease and surgery is usually not an option. While other chemotherapies have shown limited effectiveness in slowing the progress of the disease, the vinorelbine trial has shown the most promising results to date.
Researchers decided to test Navelbine because it had shown effective in the treatment of non small cell lung cancer and breast cancer. The 29 patients that participated in the trial acquired mesothelioma by asbestos exposure either at ship yards and construction sites.
The finding are important because the number of mesothelioma cases are growing every year. In American alone, new cases of mesothelioma are appearing at a rate of 5,000 a year. This cancer usually develops thirty to forty years after asbestos exposure and is often fatal with in one year.
The good news is that clinical trials like the one conducted at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London are ongoing and new techniques and medicines are constantly being developed. Patients who are interested in medical financial aid and assistance are invited to contact us.
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