Chemotherapy and Biological Therapy for Advanced Mesothelioma
Name of the Trial
Phase II Randomized Study of Gemcitabine and Cisplatin With or Without Bevacizumab in Patients With Malignant Mesothelioma (UCCRC-11046A). See the protocol summary.
Dr. Hedy Kindler, University of Chicago Cancer Research Center.
Why This Trial Is Important
Malignant mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the lining of the lungs, the heart, or the abdomen (the pleura, pericardium, or peritoneum). If diagnosed at the earliest stage, mesothelioma can be cured by surgery and treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. However, advanced mesothelioma is usually inoperable and is rarely curable.
In this study, researchers are adding a biological agent called bevacizumab (Avastin®) to chemotherapy to see if it can help delay the progression of mesothelioma in patients with advanced disease. Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the action of a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In mesothelioma, VEGF may stimulate both tumor cell growth and the formation of tumor blood vessels.
"Bevacizumab has shown promise in several other types of cancer, and we hope that it will be particularly effective against mesothelioma because VEGF plays such a prominent role in the growth of this disease," said Dr. Kindler. "Additionally, bevacizumab works synergistically with chemotherapy, so combining these treatments may yield better results than either chemotherapy or biological therapy alone."
"Because mesothelioma is an orphan disease, there often isn't the incentive to pursue new therapies for it, so we are very pleased that the NCI is supporting such a study," Dr. Kindler added.
This clinical trial is closed to further patient accrual. To find other clinical trials for mesothelioma, search the NCI's database of clinical trials or call the NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). The call is toll free and completely confidential.