New study provides rationale for use of a multi-target anticancer drug in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma

May 16, 2018, Medical University of Vienna

The multi-target small molecule anticancer drug nintedanib shows promising effectiveness in stopping the growth of human malignant pleural mesothelioma, a fatal thoracic tumor, in preclinical models, according to a new study published jointly by researchers in Austria, Germany and Hungary.

Malignant pleural is a particularly aggressive tumor that occurs in the lining that covers the lungs. It typically results from exposure to asbestos. Standard anti-mesothelioma treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, irradiation or multimodal therapy, which is the combination of these approaches. Because these conventional therapies have reached their efficacy plateau, new targeted approaches are needed to improve survival.

However, despite proven efficacy of molecularly targeted drugs across a wide spectrum of other cancer types, most mesothelioma patients could not yet benefit from this novel treatment paradigm. The new research suggests that by preventing the growth of new mesothelioma blood vessels and thus starving tumors of nutrients and oxygen, the novel targeted medication called nintedanib is a promising candidate for helping patients with mesothelioma.

Study first author Viktoria Laszlo from the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, said: "Nintedanib, an inhibitor of molecules responsible for promoting mesothelioma growth and new tumor blood capillary development, is already approved for other fatal thoracic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and lung adenocarcinoma. Now we demonstrated, for the first time, that human mesothelioma cells express the target molecules of nintedanib and, furthermore, that this drug inhibits the growth and migration of mesothelioma cells. Moreover, we showed that nintedanib potently reduces the growth and vascularization of human mesothelioma tumors implanted into the thoracic cavity of mice."

Study leaders Balazs Döme, Head of the Translational Thoracic Oncology Program at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria and Balazs Hegedus, Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Medicine Essen—Ruhrlandklinik, Germany, added: "Importantly, this antitumor effect of nintedanib in experimental animals was stronger than that of bevacizumab—the reference blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) inhibitor in clinical oncology—in the treatment of less vascularized mesotheliomas. A key message of these animal experiments is thus that nintedanib might be considered superior to bevacizumab as part of systemic anti-tumor therapy for patients with less 'angiogenic' mesotheliomas."

The study, which was recently published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, is of clinical relevance as—together with the promising results of the LUME-Meso clinical trials evaluating nintedanib in combination with cisplatin-pemetrexed chemotherapy in mesothelioma patients—it might help nintedanib to become an integral part of the standard-of-care for patients with mesothelioma.

Explore further: Study of potential new treatment for mesothelioma open to patients

More information: Viktoria Laszlo et al. Nintedanib is active in malignant pleural mesothelioma cell models and inhibits angiogenesis and tumor growth in vivo, Clinical Cancer Research (2018). DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-17-1507

Related Stories

Study of potential new treatment for mesothelioma open to patients

September 15, 2016
The Baylor College of Medicine Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center has begun enrolling patients in a clinical research study looking at an investigational drug in patients with malignant pleural ...

Renal cancer drug temsirolimus shows promise against mesothelioma

May 1, 2011
A drug commonly used to treat kidney cancer may increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy for mesothelioma, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Active agent from the Caribbean sea cucumber could improve treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma

October 24, 2016
Researchers at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital have discovered a new option for treating malignant pleural mesothelioma. For the first time in the world, they were able to show ...

Researchers find potential new target to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma

July 25, 2013
Malignant mesothelioma is a rare asbestos-associated malignancy with limited therapeutic options. Despite advances in the treatment, the median survival remains 12 months from the time of diagnosis. Increased understanding ...

Rare genetic cause of peritoneal mesothelioma points to targeted therapy

September 14, 2017
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive tumor that, in many cases, results from exposure to asbestos. But over the last several decades, other causes of the disease have emerged, including treatment with high-intensity therapeutic ...

Aspirin may delay growth of asbestos-related cancer

July 7, 2015
Aspirin may inhibit the growth of mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly asbestos-related cancer, University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have found.

Recommended for you

Scientists discover how breast cancer hibernates: study

May 22, 2018
Scientists have identified the mechanism that allows breast cancer cells to lie dormant in other parts of the body only to reemerge years later with lethal force, according to a study published Tuesday.

Researcher: Big data, networks identify cell signaling pathways in lung cancer

May 22, 2018
A team of scientists led by University of Montana cell biologist Mark Grimes has identified networks inside lung cancer cells that will help understand this cancer and fight it with drug treatments.

Resetting the epigenetic balance for cancer therapy

May 22, 2018
Though mutations in a gene called MLL3 are common across many types of cancers, their relationship to the development of the disease has been unclear. Now, a Northwestern Medicine study has identified an epigenetic imbalance ...

Downward-facing mouse: Stretching reduces tumor growth in mouse model of breast cancer

May 22, 2018
Many cancer patients seek out gentle, movement-based stretching techniques such as yoga, tai chi and qigong, but does stretching have an effect on cancer? While many animal studies have attempted to quantify the effects of ...

Compound in citrus oil could reduce dry mouth in head, neck cancer patients

May 21, 2018
A compound found in citrus oils could help alleviate dry mouth caused by radiation therapy in head and neck cancer patients, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Ice cream funds research showing new strategy against thyroid cancer

May 21, 2018
Anaplastic thyroid cancer is almost uniformly fatal, with an average lifespan of about 5 months after diagnosis. And standard treatment for the condition includes 7 weeks of radiation, often along with chemotherapy.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.