• Mesothelioma Patients May Benefit From Lymphoma Drug
  • April 22, 2015 | Authors: Peter A. Kraus; Troyce G. Wolf
  • Law Firm: Waters & Kraus, LLP - Dallas Office
  • Mesothelioma patients whose disease is of the epithelioid subtype may benefit from treatment with a drug that is already being used in patients with large cell lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease. Adcetris — or brentuximab vedotin — has been shown in encouraging new research to slow the growth of mesothelioma cells containing the protein CD30.

    Lymphoma Drug Adcetris May Slow Growth of Tumor Cells for Patients With Epithelioid Mesothelioma

    The protein CD30 plays an important role because it combines with smaller proteins to control the programmed death of cells. Adcetris works by targeting CD30 and the way it works in the body. The drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011 for treatment of lymphoma.

    Scientists at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University wondered if Adcetris would also work for mesothelioma patients. They recently published the results of their research in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, The Journal of Cancer Drug Discovery.

    The Case Western researchers tested specimens from 83 different mesothelioma tumors and identified 13 that expressed the CD30 protein. All 13 were the epithelioid subtype of mesothelioma — the most prevalent form of mesothelioma cell line. When the mesothelioma cells were treated with Adcetris, cell growth declined. The larger the dose of the drug, the better the reaction. Further, Adcetris was extremely active against the CD30 cells, but not active against cells that did not express CD30.

    It is important to keep in mind that this research was performed on tumor specimens in the laboratory, rather than on patients. Still, the results are promising for mesothelioma patients and their families. Mesothelioma strikes 3,000 Americans each year. Its only confirmed cause is exposure to asbestos.