With The Worldwide Incidence Of Mesothelioma Increasing, A Commentator Says That Failure Of New Possible Medical Treatment “adds to this dreary scenario”

From the Abstract for a recent medical journal article about a possible mesothelioma treatment, we get this disappointing news:

In this randomised trial, vorinostat given as a second-line or third-line therapy did not improve overall survival and cannot be recommended as a therapy for patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma.

To read more, see “Vorinostat in patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma who have progressed on previous chemotherapy (VANTAGE-014): a phase 3, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial”, which was published online by The Lancet yesterday, March 19, 2015 (“Online First”).

Related to that article is is this commentary piece, “A lesson from vorinostat in pleural mesothelioma”, by Marina Chiara Garassino, who is affiliated with the Clinical Trial Unit, Istituto di Candiolo, FPO-IRCCS, Turin, Italy.

From that item we get this dire assessment of the current medical situation as regards treatment options for mesothelioma patients:

Although the worldwide incidence of mesothelioma is increasing because of asbestos exposure, there are few treatment options in development for this lethal disease. Surgery is no longer regarded as a standard treatment because the disease is already systemic at onset, the role of radiotherapy is at best controversial, and systemic treatment plateaued in 2002 with the approval of pemetrexed. The negative results of the VANTAGE-014 study by Lee Krug and colleagues — a phase 3 trial comparing vorinostat, a histone-deacetylase inhibitor, with placebo, with median overall survival as the primary objective — adds to this dreary scenario.   [footnotes omitted]

Certainly we hope there comes better news about what can be done for people diagnosed with mesothelioma sooner rather than later.

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