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Pinworm drug shows promise for slowing the growth of mesothelioma

The search for an effective mesothelioma treatment is a race against time. Mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, is difficult to treat. Even with an intense regimen of chemotherapy and radiation, the median survival rates for individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma remain low at just nine to 17 months.

Despite research efforts, no new drugs have been approved in over a decade. Progress remains slow for a few reasons. FDA approval of new drugs depend on clinical trials and even promising new treatments such as immunotherapy have only been able to produce inconsistent results. While immunotherapy still shows promise for the future, as of yet there have not been any productive developments.

Research repurposing existing medication shows promise.

The challenges with finding a new drug to treat mesothelioma has prompted some researchers to look into potential treatment options with existing drugs. One researcher believes he and his team may have found something. Dr. Antonio Giordano at Temple University in Philadelphia has been doing molecular research on the treatment of pleural malignant mesothelioma, one of three types of mesothelioma.

He began using pyrvinimum pamoate, which has been used to treat the pinworm parasite, on mesothelioma patients. What he found is encouraging. His research found that the pyrvinium pamoate drug suppresses the gene in mesothelioma that causes it to spread.

The advantage to this approach is that the approval process for getting this drug repurposed as a mesothelioma treatment is much easier and faster than gaining approval for a new drug.

While the new drug shows promise for extending the lives of mesothelioma victims, a cure is still elusive.

Cancer treatment costs are a concern for many people. People with pleural malignant mesothelioma may look for help by pursuing a lawsuit for injuries from asbestos-exposure.

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