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Novel Drug ADI-PEG20 in Breakthrough Clinical Trial Extends Survival in Mesothelioma Patients

An international randomized clinical trial led by Queen Mary University of London implementing the new drug ADI-PEG20 (pegargiminase) demonstrated an increase in average survival by 1.6 months and quadrupled the three-year survival rate of mesothelioma patients.

ADI-PEG20 acts as anti-cancer enzyme depleting arginine levels in the bloodstream, consequently starving the tumor’s food supply and hindering its growth. Patients who received ADI-PEG20 along with chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone, experienced significantly better survival outcomes.

Lead researcher Dr. Peter Szlosarek stated, “It's truly wonderful to see the research into the arginine starvation of cancer cells come to fruition. This discovery is something I have been driving from its earliest stages in the lab, with a new treatment, ADI-PEG20, now improving patient lives affected by mesothelioma.”

The trial was conducted on 249 non-epithelioid (sarcomatoid or biphasic) pleural mesothelioma patients and was well tolerated with a favorable safety profile. The promising outcomes of ADI-PEG20 should warrant wider clinical testing and application in cancer research.

Results are published in the journal JAMA Oncology.

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