Top Mesothelioma Stories of 2016
This past year, many of the top headlines relating to mesothelioma focused on new treatment options for patients suffering from the deadly disease. Many patients feel options are limited when it comes to treatment because there is no cure and the disease is progressive. Below are some major stories that hit the news last year regarding mesothelioma.
Settlements, Advances in Treatment
Cuba’s Lung Cancer Vaccine Comes to America: The island’s new lung cancer vaccine, CimaVax, heads over to the U.S. after making strides in fighting the disease in Cuba for the past two decades. This access to the drug was made possible through the loosening of the 54-year Cuban embargo. Clinical trials began at Buffalo, New York’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the hope is that the immunotherapy drug will also treat mesothelioma.
Immunotherapy Mesothelioma Trial Shows Promise: Patients suffering from mesothelioma responded positively during a phase I clinical trial for Avelumab, an immunotherapy drug that researchers are testing on more than a dozen cancers. The drug, which was tested on 53 patients with the pleural or peritoneal type of the cancer, decreased tumor size in almost 10% of patients. A majority of the participants had limited side effects from treatment.
Immunotherapy Vaccine Receives High Regard: CRS-207 may become the standard-of-care treatment for patients suffering from mesothelioma. A clinical trial focused on this new immunotherapy vaccine showed tumor shrinkage in 85% of patients. When combined with a chemotherapy cocktail, CRS-207 did even better: it produced a 94% disease control rate.
Tremelimimab Fails to Increase Survival Rates: The drug was tested in a phase IIb trial as a second- and third-line treatment for unresectable mesothelioma because it had shown success with other types of cancers. The clinical trial was ended when it failed to extend the lives of patients with malignant mesothelioma.
Second-line Mesothelioma Treatment Near Approval: If the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves the WT1 vaccine, mesothelioma patients may soon benefit from its second-line treatment of the disease. Because most patients diagnosed with the disease express the WT1 antigen, a majority of patients would potentially benefit from the vaccine. Research has shown WT1 is effective as an enhancement to current treatment.
Garlock and EnPro Reach Multi-million Dollar Asbestos Claim Settlement: EnPro agreed to a $480 million settlement of Garlock asbestos claims against the company’s bankruptcy trust fund. The deal was reached with a court-appointed committee.
Scientific advances in the treatment of mesothelioma are always developing, as researchers attempt to find a better way to treat and manage the disease. Past and present workers who handle asbestos and their family members are more likely to develop asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis. Many victims do not realize that damage has been done until years later because mesothelioma has a long latency period. Both victims and survivors of the deadly disease may have a claim for damages. The knowledgeable mesothelioma attorneys at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC have experience handling these scientific and medically complex cases. Call (212) 397-1000 today to schedule your initial case evaluation.