According to an article in Reuters Health, high doses of a new drug called Vinflunine, a novel microtubule inhibitor, has been shown to provide encouraging response and survival rates in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Results of a clinical trial involving vinflunine were recently published in the October 20th edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Denis C. Talbot from Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK, and colleagues assessed the overall response rate, progression-free survival, and overall survival of 67 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma in a Phase II study of first-line vinflunine therapy, explains the article.
The overall response rate, as assessed by an independent radiologist, was 13.8% (all partial responses), the authors report, and most patients either maintained (60%) or improved (13.8%) their baseline Karnofsky performance status.
The median progression-free survival was 3.2 months; the median overall survival was 10.8 months and the 1-year survival rate was 36.9%. Only 10% of cycles had to be delayed because of hematologic toxicity, non-study-drug-related adverse event, or other reasons, the report indicates.
“These results suggest that vinflunine is among the most active single agents in malignant pleural mesothelioma,” the authors conclude.
“The results of our study, in terms of response rate and survival, suggest that vinflunine should be further evaluated in malignant pleural mesothelioma after progression with cisplatin/pemetrexed because no other therapy is available in this setting,” the researchers added.