Mesothelioma Research Foundation’s Message to the Pharmaceutical Industry

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Last month, the chair of the board of directors of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Lee M. Krug, MD, penned a blog post message to the pharmaceutical industry that recruitment of patients with mesothelioma to large trials is feasible, and encouraging them to pursue drug development in that uncommon disease.

this accomplishment of completing a trial of this size in such a short period of time should be a wake-up call to the pharmaceutical industry

Last month, the chair of the board of directors of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Lee M. Krug, MD, penned a blog post message to the pharmaceutical industry. In his article, Dr. Krug noted that recruitment of patients is possible and feasible within a reasonable amount of time.

“Historically, drug companies have been reluctant to undertake large trials in mesothelioma due to concerns about feasibility and slow accrual,” said Dr. Krug in his message.

Dr. Krug points out that the DETERMINE trial, an international, randomized trial comparing treatment with an immunotherapy drug called tremelimumab to treatment with placebo as second or third line therapy in patients with malignant mesothelioma, was able to enroll 564 patients in 17 months. Previously, he says, another trial similar in size required 5.5 years to enroll 660 patients.

“There are differences between these two trials that could have accounted, in part, to the more rapid accrual,” said Dr. Krug. “Yet, despite these differences, this accomplishment of completing a trial of this size in such a short period of time should be a wake-up call to the pharmaceutical industry,” he added.

According to Dr. Krug, mesothelioma clinical trials offer great opportunities to impact patient survival in a cancer with limited treatment options and only one FDA-approved chemotherapy regimen.

The full article can be read at http://blog.curemeso.org/pharma-large-trials-mesothelioma/.

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. With the life expectancy of less than one year after diagnosis, medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. An estimated one-third of those who develop mesothelioma were exposed while serving in the Navy or working in shipyards. Currently, few treatment options exist. There is no cure.

ABOUT THE MESOTHELIOMA APPLIED RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer-reviewed scientific research to develop life-saving treatments for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $9 million to research. More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org.

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Maja Belamaric
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
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