Alimta is the brand name of a drug ─ pemetrexed ─ that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the mesothelioma treatment of a particular group of mesothelioma patients:
- Those with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM)
- Those for whom surgery is not an option
MPM is a devastating disease with no established cure. However, Alimta may be effective for some patients with mesothelioma cancer.
Alimta For Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the most frequent type of mesothelioma diagnosis , accounting for three-quarters of all mesothelioma cases. The pleura is a tissue sac that holds the lungs and makes a cavity in the chest. Asbestos fibers that penetrate the lungs outward to the pleura can cause damage to the mesothelium, a thin and vulnerable membrane. The fibers can cause tumors in the pleura and the mesothelium that sometimes cannot be treated with surgery.
Alimta is a chemotherapy (a type of drug therapy) that may help some patients with MPM. It’s a relatively new chemotherapy, and there isn’t a lot of data about its effectiveness yet. For MPM, Alimta is used together with a well-established cancer agent called cisplatin as part of its FDA approval for MPM. Alimta chemotherapy is available at select cancer centers and other healthcare facilities.
Alimta For Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
The FDA has also approved Alimta to treat patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Alimta is used alone to treat NSCLC, a disease which can arise due to asbestos exposure (although there are other possible causes of NSCLC).
Mesothelioma Treatment with Alimta
The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly makes Alimta. The drug is administered intravenously and for MPM is given in combination with the agent cisplatin once every 21 days (a three-week treatment cycle). An intravenous infusion of Alimta takes about 10 minutes, and then about 30 minutes later, the cisplatin is infused over a two-hour period. The number of treatment cycles depends on the unique circumstances of a patient’s MPM.
More about Alimta for Mesothelioma Cancer
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, you can learn more about the new Alimta chemotherapy when you contact mesothelioma treatment centers for more information. We look forward to helping you.