Australian researchers working with the Asbestos Disease Research Institute published a case report announcing significant improvement for a pleural mesothelioma patient treated with microRNA therapy. The results were reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. While this is limited to a specific patient these reports are helpful to ongoing research and may also give hope to finding the correct protocol and methodology to cure or at least slow the progression of mesothelioma.
The Lawyers and staff at Wallace & Graham, P.A. in Salisbury, NC understand that for the individual facing the daunting prognosis of the often fatal disease that slowing down the progression of the disease, even by months, is appreciated by the family. Rhetorically speaking, wouldn’t we all want a few extra months with the ones we love. This type of research may just open the door a little more and with it comes hope.
The researcher’s work is interesting. Following in vitro testing and animal experiments, the researchers used a nanocell delivery platform to provide patients with synthetic mimics of microRNA that had been under expressed in mesothelial tumors. One patient with progressive mesothelioma experienced “a complete metabolic response” as measured by PET scan as well as marked improvement in pulmonary function test results, with some minor side effects. Other patients in the six-person cohort experienced stable disease with one reporting progressive disease. A second cohort is being recruited to determine whether the result is repeatable, further study appropriate dose and investigate the causes for the variability in the results in the first group.
MicroRNA therapy has the potential to be a paradigm shift in the management of treatment-resistant tumors generally and mesothelioma specifically. While many consider this type of therapy and research in its infancy, it is growing up quickly.
The attorneys at Wallace & Graham continue to study and remain familiar with all treatment options for the insidious disease as so many people continue to suffer the result of corporate positions and widespread pollution of the work environment.
The FDA’s office of Orphan Products Development granted “orphan drug” designation to some interesting new medications and treatment modalities that may be effective at treating diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 Americans. Mesothelioma fits into this category. In the United States it is estimated that Mesothelioma effects around 3,000 individuals annually. Orphan drug status provides incentives to companies to develop drugs that might otherwise be unprofitable, and a company can use the exclusivity to develop drugs that anyone else might develop but do not have a large affected population. The FDA’s designation gives drug creators grant funding, tax credits for certain research, a waiver of Biologics License Application user fee, and the potential for marketing exclusivity in the United States for seven years.
Development of new medicines, like it or not, continues to be driven, in many cases, by the pharmaceutical companies ability or requirement to profit and to control a market in the niche disease. It is the reality of the situation and the FDA recognizes this factor as one of the necessary incentives by designating certain medications as “Orphan Drugs”.
If you are interested in reading the case study please visit the Link at:
Source: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Volume 191 Number 2, June 15, 2015.
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