On November 7, 2019, a major cancer center in Florida began using a recently approved treatment regimen for patients with pleural malignant mesothelioma.
The Miami Cancer Institute is just the third institution to gain approval to use a treatment called Tumor Treating Fields (TTF) in pleural mesothelioma patients, joining the West Cancer Center in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.
The TTF device is the first new mesothelioma treatment to receive FDA approval in more than 15 years. TTF is a noninvasive device that works by using low-voltage electric fields to disrupt cancer cell division. A dozen additional cancer centers are awaiting approval to begin using the promising new treatment.
Like other mesothelioma treatments, Tumor Treating Fields will be used in conjunction with chemotherapy. TTF will be administered through the FDA’s Humanitarian Device Exemption Protocol, which is designed only for patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic disease.
The Background on Tumor Treating Fields
Tumor Treating Fields first gained FDA approval in 2015 to fight glioblastoma, a form of very aggressive brain cancer.
“It has been a game-changer with glioblastoma,” said Dr. Rupesh Kotecha, a radiation oncologist with the Miami Cancer Institute. “While I can’t say it’s a gamechanger yet with mesothelioma because we don’t have that level of data yet, we are encouraged by the data we have.”
The FDA approved TTF after a long mesothelioma clinical trial in Europe. The study results showed a one-year survival rate of 62.2 percent and a two-year survival rate of 41.9 percent. These are encouraging results considering the difficult prognosis that comes with mesothelioma.
Patients Must Commit
The principal investigator of the European study, Dr. Giovanni Ceresoli of Italy, said that of his 13 initial patients, one is progression-free after four years, and three others are doing very well after three years. “This is a promising treatment, very promising,” he told Asbestos.com.
Wearing the device does take significant commitment from patients. Mesothelioma patients will need to wear the TTF device for 18 hours every day. In addition, up to six cycles of chemotherapy will be administered, as it is in many other mesothelioma patients. After chemotherapy, Tumor Treating Fields treatment will continue indefinitely but will be halted if the disease progresses.
Side effects during the study were minimal.
Legal Help for Mesothelioma Victims
If you have mesothelioma, talk to a Dallas lawyer at Ted B. Lyon & Associates today. You may be eligible for financial compensation. Schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney by calling 866-503-4864 or contact us online.