February 23, 2014
For several years, Dr. Parkash Gill of the USCNorrisComprehensiveCancerCenter has proceeded with Phase I Clinical Trials with the new cancer fighting drug Eph-B4 made available to qualifying mesothelioma patients. With generous support from the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America, the initial Phase I Trial Eph-B4 has been available to newly diagnosed patients who have not undergone any conventional lung cancer treatment options, as well as those patients who have exhausted all other treatment options such as surgery and chemotherapy.
The results of these recent clinical trials have truly been exciting as Dr. Gill reports that Eph-B4 is showing great promise as a solo treatment, or in conjunction with other drugs like Alimta, Cisplatin and Carboplatin.
The research of Dr. Gill, in conjunction with similar studies by other Oncologists, have improved the understanding among Primary Care physicians about the detection process, and given them better options to offer patients with lung cancer including mesothelioma.
Improvements for cancer patients
Early detection of lung cancer has improved with the use of Spiral CT scanners. Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to create a series of detailed pictures, or scans, of areas inside the body. It is also called computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CAT) scanning. In cancer, CT may be used to help detect abnormal growths; to help diagnose tumors; to provide information about the extent, or stage, of disease; to help in guiding biopsy procedures or in planning treatment; to determine whether a cancer is responding to treatment; and to monitor for recurrence. For people who do not have lung cancer but are at risk, the proper and early use of a CT scanner with annual inspections can reduce mortality rates in the US by 20%.
Eph-B4 as a Better Treatment
Treatments have also gotten better because we now understand two principles: a)molecular changes in lung cancer with very specific mutations; and b)medication (like Eph-B4) that is specific to addressing the treatment of only one cellular abnormality.
As Dr. Gill with the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America continues the goal to make mesothelioma a disease of the past, our understanding of the human body immune system has also improved. From this we have Eph-B4, an immune specific treatment that assists a patient with lung cancer to live longer with fewer side effects.
Our research has contributed to the evolution of mesothelioma cancer research over the last decade. Collectively, researchers are producing a canonical story in which the range of research works has grown a consensus among recognized oncologists and Primary Care physicians of a “great” or “major” break through with the two principles mentioned above. Basically, we can now identify subsets of cancer in a patient at the molecular level and bring a retardant treatment (immunity) to that cancer in those patients. And this observation continues to this day to be repeated by many research projects. More than ever before, researchers continue to identify specific cancer mutations and use similar drugs to shut down these cancers and improve patient survival.
The Future in Lung Cancer Research
The development of research in cancer resistance will be the next wave of understanding and will lead research teams into novel ways to overcome cancer resistance to treatments. This will include discovery efforts through second and third generation cancer inhibitors; incorporation of other cancer targets that may be found; and possibly adding inhibitors that may change protein folding associated with molecular cancer mutation. Each new discovery makes an opportunity to also create a specific, focused drug treatment.
Going forward with mesothelioma cancer research, our researchers will also begin defining those cancer mutations in which there is no antigen driver. We will learn how to integrate targeted agents, how to sequence and / or combine them to inhibit multiple cancer growth signals. Future research will also teach us how to do inhibitor agent integration so that the toxicity of the treatment is most effective and safe for the cancer patient.
Lung Cancer Early Detection Saves Lives
The cancer research industry and medical doctors practicing lung cancer treatment will become more proficient at explaining the benefits of the complex investigation associated with lung cancer screening tests. Primary care physicians will become more knowledgeable and comfortable with their understanding of the new research about lung cancer. Presentations about lung cancer screening and its benefits will help persons at risk of lung cancer to have less fear about the process and discover how screening saves lives; maybe their life. While considering the costs and benefits of lung cancer screening, one must also balance the perspective with the knowledge of 160,000 persons who die each year from lung cancer, which many might be saved by choosing lung cancer screening.
Phase II Clinical Trials of Eph-B4 to Soon Begin
Dr. Gill has several mesothelioma cancer victims currently in the Phase I clinical trial using the Eph-B4 drug, and being treated at USCNorrisComprehensiveCancerCenter in Los Angeles. The improved results these cancer patients are displaying are very encouraging to the USC Norris cancer research team. Consequently, Dr. Gill has recently received permission from the FDA to enter into clinical trials for Phase II. This study will proceed and include cancer patients with mesothelioma as well as pancreatic cancer.
Contact Dr. Gill for more information: (800) 909-6376 or www.mesorfa.org (ask Dr. Gill)
- Dr. Parkash S. Gill is a professor of Medicine and Pathology and leads the MesoRFA.org research team.
- The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America has a mission: fund research that will lead to the quickest cure for mesothelioma. Since 2001, the foundation has funded the Cancer Research Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Gill at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Gill (a board certified oncologist and hematologist) has received FDA approval to provide Clinical Trials for lung cancer patients using new treatment drugs with research 100% funded by the foundation. We are all very excited at the possibilities of a more effective treatment over what presently is available for lung cancer victims.