Can Genes Predict Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Response?

May 12, 2014

Last month, scientists at two London hospitals discovered identifiable genetic variations that could be used to tailor cancer treatments in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. This means that a mesothelioma patient’s genes can influence his or her response to chemotherapy, paving the way for more personalized and successful mesothelioma treatments.

Scientists from laboratories at Guy’s Hospital and St. Thomas’ Hospital published their conclusions in the journal Pharmacogenetics. These researchers said that certain polymorphisms, genetic variations that can impact patients’ tolerance to chemotherapy, influence how patients respond to combination therapy with Alimta (pemetrexed), a chemotherapy drug. The study identified polymorphisms associated with major side effects, blood-related toxicity, cancer progression and overall survival rates.

Alimta is a common first-line treatment for mesothelioma, in combination with a platinum derivative like cisplatin, another chemotherapy drug.

Although mesothelioma treatments have advanced a great deal from decades ago, the cancer is still considered incurable. Studies like this one show that doctors may one day be able to personalize and individualize mesothelioma treatments for each patient based on genetics and therefore improve survival rates and outcomes.

If asbestos exposure has resulted in a diagnosis of mesothelioma in either you or someone you know, you may have a potential mesothelioma lawsuit. The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd is ready to fight for your rights. Our mesothelioma lawyers are ready to help you, just as we have helped others suffering from asbestos cancer for more than 35 years.

Call us at (866) 538-0485 or email us today if you would like to learn more.