When faced with a life-threatening diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma, the patient and his or her loved ones will certainly seek the most advanced medical care to ensure the best possible outcome. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is at the forefront of such cutting-edge medical research and care for mesothelioma patients. Dr. Lee M. Krug, a thoracic oncologist, is the Director of the Mesothelioma Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). With its main campus and inpatient hospital located in Upper East Side Manhattan, Memorial Sloan-Kettering also has about a dozen outpatient clinics in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey where mesothelioma patients can receive their chemotherapy and radiation treatments at these community-based locales.
Multi-Disciplinary Team Serves Mesothelioma Patients
If you decide to contact Sloan-Kettering, you may want to consider the option of entering one of several mesothelioma clinical trials for treatment and care. This consideration will be carefully discussed with a physician or nurse clinician at Sloan-Kettering who is part of a multi-disciplinary team. This team of specialists will be there to serve you and meet your medical needs, as well as your emotional and other needs, as you go forward with your treatment and care for mesothelioma.
Consider Entering A Mesothelioma Clinical Trial
Under Dr. Krug’s leadership, there are presently at least three open mesothelioma clinical trials being conducted at Sloan-Kettering. One trial utilizes an investigational drug known an CBP 501, a stable peptide, which is an enzyme that works on cancer cell division. Along with CBP 501, the standard mesothelioma therapy of Alimta and Cisplatin is used. In order to participate in this particular study, the mesothelioma tumor must be unresectable and untreated. The mesothelioma patient must also be able to be up and about for half of his waking hours.
Another clinical trial involves the use of Everolimus (RAD 001). Everolimus inhibits the molecule mTOR which helps cancer cells grow. Even if a mesothelioma patient has had prior chemotherapy treatment, he or she can still participate in this study. The patient will need to have adequate pulmonary function however. Finally, another trial is a toxicity study utilizing chemotherapy followed by Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which is targeted radiation. To participate, the mesothelioma patient must have an unresectable tumor and not have had any prior chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Usually standard radiation therapy does not work well for mesothelioma patients. Some radiation oncologists liken it to attempting radiation on the apple peel without radiating the apple itself. IMRT obviates this problem of standard radiation therapy.
Of course eligibility for any of these mesothelioma clinical trials will be decided in close consultation with the multi-disciplinary team who will review each individual mesothelioma patient’s medical records, test results and situation very carefully.
Be Proactive – Explore Sloan-Kettering’s Mesothelioma Program
As you can see, if you intend to explore the possibility of participating in any of these mesothelioma clinical trials, the sooner you contact the Sloan-Kettering Mesothelioma Program, the better it is for you. More options may be available.
Attorney Rick DeRobertis, a partner at Galiher DeRobertis Waxman who has represented many mesothelioma clients over the last 30 years, remarks that, “from a scientific point of view, what is happening at Memorial Sloan-Kettering is exciting and encouraging. But more importantly, from seeing what my clients and their families have gone through over the years, I encourage anyone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma to be proactive and explore what is available at leading cancer centers such as Sloan-Kettering.”