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Cancer Center Recruiting Mesothelioma Patients for Clinical Trial Showing Encouraging Results

mesothelioma treatmentWhen it comes to medication, sometimes the way that doctors administer it is an important factor that can affect its effectiveness. One active area of scientific research aimed at developing better treatments for malignant mesothelioma involves exploring different methods of delivering drugs.

For example, Genelux, a pharmaceutical manufacturer based in California, is working in collaboration with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to evaluate the performance of GL-ONC1. The researchers want to know how effectively the agent can treat diseases such as mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer after doctors deliver it directly into the intra-pleural cavity of patients who develop malignant pleural effusions.

Current treatments fall short
Experts from the National Cancer Institute say that the treatments most suited for mesothelioma may partly depend on the stage of one’s disease. For example, if you are in the earliest stages of the illness, doctors may recommend surgery to remove the abnormal pleural lining and portions of other tissues in order to minimize the amount of malignant tissue that is present. This may be combined with radiation therapy as well as chemotherapy, both of which help further eradicate the cancerous cells.

In the advanced stages of the disease, surgery may no longer be an option.

Although these treatments may help alleviate the symptoms of your disease while extending survival time, they cannot cure mesothelioma. This underscores the need for better approaches to this illness.

Pleural effusions may provide a window
In order to develop a better treatment for respiratory malignancies caused by exposure to asbestos, scientists at Genelux created GL-ONC1, which is a modified form of the vaccinia virus that produces green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the body after it is activated. The GFP allows medical providers to track the medication’s activity.

Researchers at Genelux designed GL-ONC1 as a regimen for patients who develop malignant pleural effusions, which affect about 30 percent of individuals who have respiratory cancers. The NCI described this medical complication as an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pleural space that envelopes the lungs. If not treated properly, a pleural effusion may cause chest pain, cough and shortness of breath.

Previous studies to evaluate GL-ONC1 suggested that the agent is safe in humans who have other types of cancer. This new trial will deliver the drug candidate as a single dose to patients who develop pleural effusions because of diseases such as mesothelioma. The goal is to further verify safety while determining the best dose for intra-pleural delivery.

Clinical trial will benefit everyone
The current trial on GL-ONC1 will ultimately enroll a maximum of 54 patients, all of whom will have to undergo video-assisted thoracic surgery and pleural biopsies. Like all clinical trials, there is a risk of failure. However, regardless of whether the experiment produces the desired results, scientists will gain valuable knowledge into how to tackle respiratory cancers.

At Kazan Law, we appreciate the value of these experiments. If you are interested in participating in this or any other clinical trials, talk to your doctor. You can also consult the NCI or the American Cancer Society, both of which carry information on the latest ongoing studies.

Remember that not all individuals with a particular disease may be eligible for specific clinical trials. Furthermore, you may not see the positive results you want. However, your participation would promote the work to help future patients.

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