Mesothelioma medication: two common anti-cancer drugs that work together
Mesothelioma medication has come a long way in the past few decades. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma yet, researchers and doctors have been making advances in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and medications with the help of organizations such as the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) and clinical trials run by the government. (http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=%22malignant+mesothelioma%22&recr=Open&pg=2)
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or your spouse or parent has recently been diagnosed, there are a lot of drugs the doctor may tell you about. Weitz & Luxenberg would like to provide a brief, basic guide to some of the newer anti-cancer drugs the doctor may mention to you or your loved one.
The two we discuss in this article—Alimta and Cisplatin—are a well-known pair in combination chemotherapy. There are many other drugs and methods of treatment, which you can read more about on this site. We hope this information can help you in your difficult time.
Alimta:brand name of the mesothelioma medication Pemetrexed
Alimta, the brand name of chemotherapy drug Pemetrexed disodium, is used to treat pleural mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In 2004, the FDA approved Alimta to be used alone in the treatment of NSCLC, and to be used in combination with cisplatin to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma. (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/pemetrexeddisodium)
Alimta is one of a group of drugs known as anti-metabolites. Anti-metabolites stop cells from creating and repairing the DNA that they need to grow and multiply. (http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/about-cancer/treatment/cancer-drugs/pemetrexed)
As with most chemotherapy drugs, Alimta is administered through an IV infusion in a hospital or clinic.The Alimta injection may take about ten minutes. (http://www.drugs.com/alimta.html) For mesothelioma treatment, the Alimta injection is usually followed by infusion of cisplatin (Platinol) 30 minutes later. Cisplatin must be given very slowly, and is usually infused over 2 hours. (Drugs.com)
Chemotherapy affects the entire body while it targets cancer cells, and doctors often prescribe anti-nausea medication, steroids, and vitamins before you begin treatment to lessen the side effects. (Drugs.com)
Cisplatin: in combination with Alimta, a powerful mesothelioma medication
While Cisplatin (brand name Platinol) is used primarily to treat “testicular, bladder, and ovarian cancers that have spread, it also can be used to treat several other cancers, such as lung cancer.” (http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/GuidetoCancerDrugs/cisplatin) Used in combination with Alimta, cisplatin is helpful in the treatment of mesothelioma that cannot be removed with surgery. (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/druginfo/cisplatin)
Cisplatin is named for amount of themetal platinum it contains. Cisplatin kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA and stopping them from dividing. The FDA approved Cisplatin before 1984, which means that doctors have years of research on the effectiveness of cisplatin. (ACS)
Like Alimta, its partner in mesothelioma treatment, Cisplatin has many side effects. Hearing loss, nausea, kidney damage, anemia, peripheral neuropathy (which can cause “numbness, weakness, pain, or sensations of burning or tingling, usually in the hands or feet”), and balance. (ACS) If your doctor suggests you try Cisplatin, he or she will also advise you to take vitamins, anti-nausea medication, and other preventative measures. (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a684036.html)
Mesothelioma attorneys help you as you fight cancer
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer and are undergoing treatment, it often takes all of your energy and attention to focus on your health. Seeking compensation from the companies that exposed you to asbestos is important, and with the help of a law firm, you can seek the compensation you deserve without straining yourself physically.
Weitz & Luxenberg has helped our clients secure over $3 billion in compensation—in quiet, out of court settlements and in famous verdicts, like the Brooklyn Navy Yardcase. If you are suffering from mesothelioma and have been considering your legal options, call Weitz & Luxenberg or fill out a form today to receive a free legal consultation.