Mesothelioma chemotherapy is the treatment of malignant mesothelioma through the use of anticancer drugs. Mesothelioma treatments are divided into two categories; traditional mesothelioma treatments and new mesothelioma treatments. Chemotherapy falls into both categories. It has been used traditionally in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma and a variety of other cancers for decades. Mesothelioma research, as of late, has focused heavily on the development and implementation of new chemotherapy drugs that are based on a greater understanding of how mesothelioma metastasizes (spreads to other organs).

Anti-Angiogenesis Drugs

Anti-angiogenesis drugs are relatively new. Those that have been used in animal studies have been successful in shrinking and killing cancerous cells. Although anti-angiogenesis drugs are yet to prove as successful in human studies, they are expected to yield similar results.

Two anti-angiogenesis drugs receiving a great deal of attention are Veglin and Avastin. Veglin is designed to target a wide range of cancers, including malignant mesothelioma and renal cell carcinoma, while Avastin is designed primarily to target cancers of the colon and rectum. Learn more about Anti-Angiogenesis.


VEGLIN is a newly developed anti-angiogenesis non-chemotherapy drug that is in phase II of its ongoing clinical trial at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. As an anti-angiogenesis drug, Veglin's aim is to prevent angiogenesis, the physiological process by which new blood vessels are formed from pre-existing vessels. Angiogenesis plays a key role in growth and spread of tumors because the newly developed blood vessels feed tumors oxygen and nutrients necessary for metastasis. Learn more about Veglin.

Veglin lowers the levels of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors (VEGF - proteins that instigate angiogenesis), inhibiting cellular growth and stabilizing / reducing cancerous tumors. Phase I clinical trial results showed that Veglin was successful in lowering blood levels of VEGF in a significant number of patients. Phase II trials began in the third quarter of 2004 and are hoped to produce similarly successful results.


PXD101 is an orally administered histone deacetylase inhibitor that is being used as a second line therapy in treating patients with mesothelioma that cannot be removed with surgery. It is an anti-angiogenesis drug treatment that is being used in clinical trials across the United Stated including the Yale Cancer Medical Center. Heading the research into this drug at Yale is Dr. Scott Gettinger, a medical oncologist in the Thoracic Oncology Program (TOP) at Yale who has gotten PXD101 into Phase 1 of FDA clinical trials. Although not the same for every patient the most common side effects of PXD101 include being tired and/or fatigued, along with low-grade nausea, which can be treated with medications. These side effects have proven to be minimal and less severe than the effects of chemotherapy or radiation.

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