What is Pemetrexed?
Pemetrexed is a chemotherapy drug marketed and manufactured by the Eli Lilly Company. The drug is primarily used to combat Pleural Mesothelioma cancer and other forms of non-small cell lung cancers.
The molecular body of Pemetrexed was developed by Edward Taylor at Princeton University. The drug was clinically developed by Eli Lilly and Company in 2004. The drug is used for the treatment of breast cancer, mesothelioma cancer, pancreatic cancer, non-small cell lung cancers, malignant mesothelioma and colon cancer.
Pemetrexed is chemically constructed like folic acid; the drug is classified as a folate antimetabolite chemotherapy drug. The drug works by inhibiting three enzymes utilized in pyrimidine and purine synthesis (thymidylate synthase, glycinamide ribonucloetide formyltransferase and dihydrofolate reductase). By inhibiting the formation of pyrimidine nucleotides and precursor purines, Pemetrexed prevents the formation of RNA and DNA, which are both required for the survival and growth of both cancer cells and normal cells.
In the winter of 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved Pemetrexed for treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma cancer—a type of cancerous tumor that is located in the lining of the lungs. The FDA approved Pemetrexed to fight malignant mesothelioma only as a combined effort with cisplatin. In September of 2008, The Food and Drug Administration approved Pemetrexed as a first-line treatment—once again only in conjunction with cisplatin—to combat locally-advanced and metastatic non-small cell lung cancers for patients with non-squamous histology. A clinical phase III study revealed benefits of maintenance use of Pemetrexed for non-squamos patients. Currently, the drug is undergoing clinical trials to be used against esophagus cancer and other diseases the mouth area.
Pemetrexed is recommended in conjunction with carboplatin for a first-line treatment method of advanced forms of non-small cell lung cancers. That being said, the efficacy or toxicity of Pemetrexed with cisplatin compared to Pemetrexed with carboplatin has yet to be established beyond what is typically though about carboplatin or cisplatin drug therapy.
Side Effects of Pemetrexed:
Whether administered by itself or in combination with cisplatin, Pemetrexed yields the following side effects:
• Patient will experience decreased blood cell counts, as documented by a Complete Blood Count.
• Patient will experience Sleepiness and Mental fatigue. These side effects may be reduced through an Off-label prescription of Provigil.
• Explosive Diarrhea
• Vomiting and Nausea. Pemetrexed possesses an emetogenic effect that may be managed with prophylactic antiemetics
• Patient will experience mouth, throat or lip blisters/sores. Oral ulcers may be mitigated by strong oral hygeiene practices, including rinsing/washing of the mouth with salt water following any consumption of drink or food
• Patient will experience a severe loss of appetite
• Skin rash is common with Pemetrexed. Doctor-prescribed steroids that are administered the day before or the day of infusion of Pemetrexed is typically applied to avoid these side effects
• Patient will experience significant constipation
• Low platelets, which will increase your chance of bleeding
• Low white blood cells, which give you a greater chance of developing an infection. If this mesothelioma treatment gives way to a fever above 100.4 degrees you must call your doctor immediately.
• Pemetrexed decreases your red blood cell count. Low red blood cells will make you get tired easily, make you appear pale and decrease your stamina.
Pemetrexed and Mesothelioma Cancer:
When Pemetrexed is applied through an IV or orally the drug is commonly referred to by its Trademark name—ALIMTA; both forms of the drug are used to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma cancer. This disease, which affects the inside lining of the chest cavity, is mitigated when ALIMTA is combined with cisplatin—an anti-cancer medicine that is applied when extraction surgery is not an option.
Pleural mesothelioma cancer is a rare disease that forms from the transformation of cells in the abdominal cavity, the chest cavity and the cavity surrounding your heart. These cells protect your organs by producing a lubricating fluid that enables your organs to freely move around. For instance, these fluids make it easier for your lungs to move inside your chest during everyday breathing.
The tissues formed by the aforementioned cells are referred to as the mesothelium. Malignant tumors of the mesothelium give way to mesothelioma cancer. Approximately 3 out of every 4 mesothelioma patients have their infection start in their chest cavity (known as pleural mesothelioma).
The primary risk associated with the development of pleural mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Malignant mesothelioma, in all cases, is rare, with an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 new cases developing each year in the states. Mesothelioma incidences; however, have slowly decreased since the early 1990s. This decrease is widely due to increased safety efforts taken by companies and state governments to limit asbestos exposure.
More than 50% of mesothelioma patients have pain in the side of their lower back or chest. The majority of mesothelioma patients will report shortness of breath, while fewer will exhibit weight loss, cough, fever, sweating, trouble swallowing, explosive diarrhea and fatigue. Other symptoms associated with malignant mesothelioma cancer include: swelling of the face and arms, muscle weakness and hoarseness. The majority of mesothelioma patients will exhibit symptoms a few months before they are formally diagnosed. If you have ever been exposed to asbestos and have these symptoms, you must see a medical professional as soon as possible.
What is Mesothelioma Cancer?
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is an uncommon medical condition that occurs from the transformation of the mesothelium—the protective layer of cells that protects the heart, abdomen and lungs. The wide majority of mesothelioma cases derive from prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. When asbestos dust is released into the air (asbestos becomes airborne when it is contacted or disturbed) the cancerous dust becomes susceptible to inhalation. When perpetually inhaled these fibers congregate in the mesothelium and eventually eat-away at the protective lining. When left alone, asbestos materials pose little threat to human beings.
Once the mesothelium is infiltrated, the cancerous particles form tumors. These bodies then proliferate to remote areas of the body, destroying vital organs along the way. Because the cancer spreads to remote areas, prognosis attached to mesothelioma cancer is exceptionally bleak; a huge percentage of mesothelioma patients fall victim to the cancer.
The average life expectancy for a mesothelioma cancer is 7 to 9 months after diagnosis. These bleak statistics are attributed to the disease’s slow-developing symptoms—the disease is nearly impossible to detect during its earliest formation.
Diagnostic complications stem from the cancer’s slow-developing symptoms and innocuous cellular structure. In the wide majority of cases, mesothelioma patients will not be made aware of their symptoms until 25-50 years after their initial exposure to asbestos. When symptoms become tangible, the cancer has typically metastasized to the point where it becomes inoperable. When malignant mesothelioma cancer progresses, patients are only eligible for palliative treatment; these methods are only applied to a mesothelioma treatment regimen to mitigate the cancer’s symptoms. Palliative mesothelioma treatment is purely elective and only undertaken to bolster the mesothelioma patient’s quality of life. Malignant mesothelioma cancer, if not discovered during the disease’s infancy, it is deemed incurable.
What are the Stages of Mesothelioma Cancer?
Stage I: In the beginning, mesothelioma will feature a localized tumor. The tumor is typically found in the lining of the lungs, the diaphragm, or the sac surrounding the heart. Diagnosing the rare medical condition in this stage is exceptionally rare. Mesothelioma patients who are lucky enough to secure a 1st stage diagnosis are often deemed eligible for curative surgeries. These operations will attempt to extract the cancer from the patient. The availability of these operations; however, is solely dependent on the patient’s overall health.
Stage II: When the cancer transitions into its second stage, the disease has metastasized beyond its origin point. Second stage mesothelioma is frequently located in the lymph nodes or chest cavity. Curative operations may be administered for second stage mesothelioma; however, palliative options are typically undertaken due to the cancer’s proliferation. Because of this, stage II mesothelioma cancer boasts a more pessimistic life expectancy/prognosis.
Stage III: The most common stage for mesothelioma diagnosis. Reason for widespread diagnosis in this stage is due to the presence of tangible symptoms. Stage III mesothelioma cancer may be located in the heart, mediastinum, the lining of the peritoneum or in the diaphragm and the chest wall. This form of mesothelioma cancer is attached with a brutal life expectancy, primarily due to severe proliferation. Because widespread spreading, sufferers of Stage III mesothelioma may only receive palliative care; these mesothelioma treatment options are administered to mitigate the symptoms associated with the condition. Palliative treatment is elective and administered to improve the patient’s quality of life.
Stage IV: In its final stage, mesothelioma spreads to remote locations in the body. Because of severe proliferation, stage IV mesothelioma is deemed inoperable. Stage IV mesothelioma symptoms are extremely painful and only palliative treatment may be applied to improve the patient’s quality of life. Stage IV mesothelioma life expectancy decreases to 4 to 18 months.
What are Mesothelioma Drugs?
Mesothelioma treatment methods will require a number of different therapies; each mesothelioma treatment option aims to kill cancerous bodies, prevent the mesothelioma tumor from spreading or alleviating symptoms associated with the disease. That being said, each mesothelioma patient’s situation is unique; the patient’s medical history and the characteristics tied to the individual’s disease will ultimately shape their specific mesothelioma treatment plant. Additionally, the patient’s financial situation and ability to travel will be factored into their particular mesothelioma treatment plan.
As stated above, the bulk of mesothelioma cases are not detected until the cancer proliferates or advances into its latter stages. Because of delayed diagnosis, the wide majority of mesothelioma treatment options involve mesothelioma drugs. In addition to palliative care, mesothelioma treatment plans for patients seeking a curative route commonly include one or several mesothelioma drugs to stop the spread of cancer and eliminate existing tumors.
Mesothelioma drugs are typically applied in combination with other drugs or attached to other mesothelioma treatments, like radiation therapy and/or surgery. A combined approach, known as multi-modal therapy, is desired to attack the cancer in a multi-pronged way. The use of multiple mesothelioma treatments offers the best chance of eliminating the cancer cells and shrinking the associated tumors.
Each mesothelioma drug option will fall into one of a few categories based on how it fights the cancer. The primary categories associated with mesothelioma treatment are: immunotherapy, chemotherapy, anti-angiogenesis and photosensitizing. Some mesothelioma drugs that fall into these categories are still undergoing clinical testing; other mesothelioma drugs have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to fight malignant mesothelioma or other cancers. Other uncommon mesothelioma drugs include hormonal and/or gene therapy—both of these mesothelioma drugs are currently being experimented to fight mesothelioma cancer.
What is Discovery (Law)?
In the United States, discovery refers to the pre-trial phase in a legal suit in which each party, through civil procedure, obtains evidence from the opposing side by means of legal devices including requests for answers to interrogatories, as well as the requests for depositions, the production of documents and admissions. The discovery portion of a trial, in most civil suits, is where a settlement or decision is usually reached. Both parties typically opt to negotiate during this portion of the trial because it serves as an accurate forecaster to reveal which side has the better case. Because the majority of information is exchanged during discovery, the sides will negotiate and affirm a settlement to take the courts (and the associated costs) out of the equation. Although the majority of civil cases end in the discovery phase, requests for discovery may be objected to. When this occurs, the requesting party may seek the assistance of the court system through the filing of a motion to compel discovery.
In the United States, civil discovery is a wide-ranging legal phase that may involve any material which is deemed as reasonably calculated to lead to qualified evidence. Admissible evidence in this regard is a far broader standard than relevance, because it anticipates the exploration of evidence that may be deemed relevant as opposed to evidence which is actually relevant.
Certain types of information are withheld from the discovery phase, including information that is regarded as privileged. For example, juvenile criminal records are typically not accepted, nor are peer review findings by hospitals allowed in the discovery phase.
What is Mesothelioma Cancer?
Mesothelioma cancer is a rare disease that evolves from the transformation of cells in the mesothelium, the protective layer of cells that covers the lungs, heart and abdomen. The bulk of mesothelioma cases derive from asbestos exposure. When undisturbed asbestos poses minimal threats to human beings; however, when disturbed, asbestos releases cancerous dust into the air. When these filaments are inhaled they build-up in the protective tissues and eventually eat-away at the lining. As the cancer eats away it proliferates to remote areas of the body, forming tumors along the way.
The main problem with mesothelioma is that the disease is nearly impossible to diagnose. Complications regarding mesothelioma diagnosis stem from the cancer’s slow-developing symptoms and innocuous cellular structure. Frequently, a mesothelioma patient will not feel sick or notice symptoms until 25-50 years after their first exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, when symptoms become tangible, the disease has proliferated to the point where it becomes inoperable. When mesothelioma advances into its latter stages, only palliative treatment options are available to mitigate the associated symptoms. These treatment methods are elective and will only be administered to bolster the patient’s quality of life. Again, in the disease’s advanced stages, mesothelioma cancer is deemed inoperable.
What is Mesothelioma Case Discovery?
If you have been recently diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma cancer, it is important that you talk to a mesothelioma lawyer concerning your legal options. Choosing to file a mesothelioma suit will not only help bring your employer—and the asbestos industry as a whole—to justice, but the case will also bear potential to receive compensation to provide compensation for missed wages, medical expenses and other expenses associated with asbestos-related conditions.
One of the most important steps in a mesothelioma case is discovery. Choosing the right mesothelioma lawyer to guide you through this process could mean the difference between winning and losing your mesothelioma case.
Mesothelioma case discovery is the process in which your mesothelioma lawyer collects and investigates information connected to your case. The discovery process is where working with your mesothelioma lawyer shows its benefits, as the legal professional will handle every matter of the mesothelioma investigation. Take note; however, that you may be requested to discuss with your employer’s mesothelioma lawyers to answer questions regarding your case. When asked questions, be sure to answer them honestly and completely as possible.
During the mesothelioma case discovery phase, mesothelioma lawyers will be very thorough and personal when asking these questions. Even some of the most insignificant details may help you win your case so be sure to answer these inquiries to the fullest extent possible. Some questions you must be prepared to answer during the mesothelioma case discovery include the following:
• What is your employment history?
• What is your medical history?
• Do you have any other unrelated health problems?
• Do you have a family history of asbestos-related diseases or cancer?
• Do you smoke? Have you smoked in the past? Understand that this does not cause or increase the probability of developing mesothelioma cancer.
• Where and how were you exposed to asbestos fibers?
• Did your employer implement any regulations or protocol to limit your asbestos exposure?
• When were you first exposed to asbestos fibers?
The above list represents only a sliver of the potential questions asked during mesothelioma case discovery. There are a number of other questions that will be asked regarding your diagnosis and the mesothelioma treatment you received. You may also be required to fill-out interrogatories—which is similar to a questionnaire—to further illuminate your mesothelioma claim.
In addition to an interrogatory, you will also be required to partake in a deposition. During depositions, you will be sworn under oath and asked to explain or illuminate certain questions regarding your mesothelioma case. All depositions are recorded and videotaped for formal documentation purposes. Before you begin answer said questions, you should meet with your mesothelioma lawyer to review likely inquiries. The bulk of depositions will only last a few hours, but in some situations, a deposition may take place over a period of a few days.
Your mesothelioma lawyer, along with your employer’s mesothelioma lawyer, will partake in the deposition portion of a mesothelioma discovery case. Both sets of lawyers will also contact people close to you, including your family members, co-workers and previous employers to gather more information regarding you and your illness. Your medical professional who is responsible for diagnosing your cancer may also be asked to answer questions concerning your medical condition (both present and past) and the types of treatment decisions rendered. During the deposition both sets of lawyers will be extremely thorough with their questioning to develop a strong case.
The length of your mesothelioma discovery case will depend on the medical urgency of your claim and how long your employer and your mesothelioma lawyer needs to go over the necessary information. To be as thorough as possible, the mesothelioma discovery process may last several months; however, if your mesothelioma is considered extremely time sensitive, the process may be expedited to resolve your claim before your cancer takes your life.