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Pleural Mesothelioma Study Recruiting Patients

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July 12, 2008

Pleural Mesothelioma Study Recruiting Patients

A new study is recruiting patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma to study a combination therapy of targeted radiation and chemotherapy. The standard treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma patients has often been removal of a patient's lung, a risky and debilitating surgery. Researchers hope combination therapy will give patients additional treatment options instead of drastic surgery.

Patients in the study will receive several rounds of targeted chemotherapy with doxorubicin and cisplatin via surgically implanted catheter. Some patients will receive cisplatin and pemetrexed. All patients will receive radiation therapy with the P-32 isotope. Patients may also elect for additional surgical treatment including the removal of the pleura or lung and some patients will be offered chemotherapy on an outpatient basis.

Dr. Robert Taub, the director of the Mesothelioma Center at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia, is leading the study. He commented that current treatments have not been show to effectively prolong patient survival and that combination therapy may offer more benefits with less toxicity than chemotherapy as a single agent.

Researchers anticipate that the radiation will kill the cancer cells on the surface of the lung while sparing other parts because the method of delivery will be direct injection which may provide better results.

Taub led a previous study using similar methods for pleural mesothelioma patients that resulted in a median survival of 70 months and a three year survival rate of 67 percent.

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