Phase III Clinical Trial to Compare Mesothelioma Treatments

Researchers are currently recruiting participants for a Phase III clinical trial aimed at comparing the efficacy of using video-assisted thoracoscopic (VAT) cytoreductive pleurectomy to talc pleurodesis in patients with proven or suspected malignant mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is the rare but aggressive cancer of the mesothelium – the thin lining of the lungs, heart, and gut. The disease is most often caused by asbestos exposure. When the disease progresses, cancerous cells enter the small body cavity that surrounds the lungs. This space, called the pleura, then builds up fluids, which can interfere with normal breathing.

VAT cytoreductive pleurectomy requires a surgeon to make small incisions to access the chest cavity. By inserting a thoracoscope – a long, flexible tube that can attach cameras and surgical tools at its end – the surgeon can see the mesothelium and remove diseased tissues from the affected area. As this is done, fluids can be drained to remove breathing difficulties.

In talc pleurodesis a surgeon injects talc into the pleural cavity. When applied to the pleura, talc, a common mineral found in chalk, will irritate the two layers of mesothelium, causing them to adhere to each other. This will close the pleural space and prevent fluids from building up.

Both techniques are currently used as treatments for pleural mesothelioma. The Phase III trial will compare survival rates and quality of life of patients that will be treated with either method. The study hopes to enroll 196 clinically fit patients of both genders that have confirmed or suspected malignant mesothelioma.

The study, headed by Robert Winter, M.D., is being organized by doctors and scientists at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, England, and includes several other hospitals in the UK. All hospitals, including those in Basildon, Leicester, London, and Sheffield, are still recruiting patients for the trial.Researchers are currently recruiting participants for a Phase III clinical trial aimed at comparing the efficacy of using video-assisted thoracoscopic (VAT) cytoreductive pleurectomy to talc pleurodesis in patients with proven or suspected malignant mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is the rare but aggressive cancer of the mesothelium – the thin lining of the lungs, heart, and gut. The disease is most often caused by asbestos exposure. When the disease progresses, cancerous cells enter the small body cavity that surrounds the lungs. This space, called the pleura, then builds up fluids, which can interfere with normal breathing.

VAT cytoreductive pleurectomy requires a surgeon to make small incisions to access the chest cavity. By inserting a thoracoscope – a long, flexible tube that can attach cameras and surgical tools at its end – the surgeon can see the mesothelium and remove diseased tissues from the affected area. As this is done, fluids can be drained to remove breathing difficulties.

In talc pleurodesis a surgeon injects talc into the pleural cavity. When applied to the pleura, talc, a common mineral found in chalk, will irritate the two layers of mesothelium, causing them to adhere to each other. This will close the pleural space and prevent fluids from building up.

Both techniques are currently used as treatments for pleural mesothelioma. The Phase III trial will compare survival rates and quality of life of patients that will be treated with either method. The study hopes to enroll 196 clinically fit patients of both genders that have confirmed or suspected malignant mesothelioma.

The study, headed by Robert Winter, M.D., is being organized by doctors and scientists at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, England, and includes several other hospitals in the UK. All hospitals, including those in Basildon, Leicester, London, and Sheffield, are still recruiting patients for the trial.