Mesothelioma Drugs

What is Carboplatin?

Carboplatin is a chemotherapy drug administered to patients to fight some forms of cancer, including lung, head, neck and mesothelioma cancers. Carboplatin was introduced during the late 1980s and has since become popular during the clinical treatment of the aforementioned diseases. 

Carboplatin’s popularity stems from the fact that the drug imposes few side effects, especially when compared to its parent compound cisplatin. 

Carboplatin, which is commonly referred to by its brand name Paraplatin, was formally approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1989. Carboplatin is a modified form of Cisplatin, which was commonly used to fight mesothelioma and other forms of lung cancer during the 1970s. 

Chemotherapy drugs, such as carboplatin, work in a variety of ways. Carboplatin’s efficacy is found in its ability to break through the cell walls and adhere to the cell’s DNA. This attaching property impedes the cell from dividing (cancer cells divide very rapidly). Drugs like carboplatin are attracted to these cells are therefore able to target specific cancer cells. In this light, carboplatin serves as an alkylating agent which means it is able to attach to the cancer cell’s DNA, ultimately leading to the cell’s death. 

Side Effects of Carboplatin:

In comparison to cisplatin, the most tangible benefit offered by carboplatin is found in its ability to reduce side effects, particularly the elimination of nephrotoxic properties. Vomiting and nausea are easily controlled and far less severe in carboplatin when compared to other chemotherapy drugs. 

The primary drawback associated with carboplatin use stems from its myelosuppressive effect. This side effect causes platelet and blood cell production of bone morrow in the body to rapidly decrease, sometimes to as low as 105 of its natural production levels. 

Carboplatin is not as strong as cisplatin; depending on the patient’s cancer, carboplating may have 1/8th to 1/45th the effectiveness of its sister drug. The clinical standard of dosage for the drug is typically a 4:1 ratio compared to cisplatin—four times the amount of carboplatin is needed to achieve the same efficacy as one dose of cisplatin. 

How does Carboplatin Fight Mesothelioma Cancer?

Carboplatin is used to combat several different forms of cancer, but is most commonly administered to treat lung cancer. Carboplatin is typically conducted as a day patient treatment method, involving a blood culture the day before. Carboplatin is administered via infusion; the regimen is administered as a 21-day cycle. On the first day of mesothelioma treatment, the patient is administered both gemcitabine and carboplating. The following week, on the same day, the mesothelioma patient is only given a small dose of gemcitabine. There then follows a recuperation period of approximately two weeks, which compeltes the carboplatin cycle for mesothelioma cancer. 

The following cycle is administered after the rest period concludes and ends three weeks after the first injection of carboplatin. Typically 4-6 cycles of mesothelioma treatment are provided over a period of 3-4 months to complete the full course of treatment. This form of mesothelioma treatment aims at preventing the further proliferation of the cancer or in some cases a reduction of the mesothelioma tumor by as much as 80%. 

Medical professionals are constantly searching for effective ways to treat mesothelioma cancer. A number of clinical trials are currently underway to test various chemotherapy drugs, which are often combined with one another to determine an appropriate mix to battle disease. Clinical trials are frequently conducted to find the most effective means to fight malignant mesothelioma. Carboplatin is often used in these trials and in combination with other mesothelioma drugs to find a more effective treatment method. 

Phase I Clinical Trials combining Carboplatin and other mesothelioma drugs will determine what combinations are effective in fighting the cancer. When researchers pinpoint a combination that appears effective, Phase II Clinical trials commence. Results of said trials reveal that carboplatin in combination with pemetrexed may prove effecting in fighting mesothelioma cancer. Moreover, several studies have shown that carboplatin, when combined with Alimta, is moderately effective, with minimal toxicity, in fighting mesothelioma cancer. 

There are several on-going clinical trials that utilize carboplatin in combination with other chemotherapy drugs to treat mesothelioma cancer. These trials are currently recruiting mesothelioma patients to observe efficacy rates. 

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