A new combination therapy to treat lung cancer has been approved by North of England Cancer Drug Approvals Group.
By offering cancer patients both Alimta and cisplatin, those with non-small cell lung cancer will have another treatment option that has shown promise in clinical trials. Doctors will now have a new option to help their lung cancer patients, of which there are 120 in the North of England. The local NHS will fund the use of a new form of Alimta combined with cisplatin. Previously, Alimta had been the only option for those suffering from mesothelioma that would successfully lengthen their lives. Mesothelioma treatment with Alimta was approved in 2005 by the North East NHS following the Give Us a Chance campaign led by the Evening Chronicle.
Alimta was originally developed by Professor Hilary Calvert from Newcastle University to lengthen the lives of those afflicted with asbestos-caused mesothelioma. In 2003, further studies into combining Alimta with the more traditional chemotherapy drug cisplatin began. The results astonished the researchers, who found that 70 percent of those treated saw improvement in their condition and 40 to 45 percent had a reduction in the size of their tumors. Rather than living only a few months after their cancer diagnosis, treated patients were looking at having an added year or more to their lives. Now this treatment is available to non-small cell lung cancer patients with the high hopes that these patients will see similar improvements in their health. Adding a potential year or more to the lives of those only given a few months can make a tremendous difference in the emotional well being of the patients and their families.