Veglin Treatment - Mesothelioma Veglin Chemotherapy
Veglin is a type of antisense oligonucleotide anti-angiogenesis drug undergoing clinical trials at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. Manufactured by VasGene Therapeutics, Inc., Veglin has shown successful preliminary results in lowering the level of VEGF in tumors. (VEGF is a protein that aids tumor growth.) Phase I Veglin clinical trial results were presented by researchers at the 40th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. They stated that in some cases, the Anti-Angiogenesis drug was shown to be capable of periodic stabilization or reduction of tumors.
Patients participating in phase I of the Veglin mesothelioma clinical trial were given the opportunity to try the experimental treatment because they had an advanced cancer with minimal hope of survival. Veglin was administered intravenously to these patients over a period of two hours, five days in a row. Seven days of no treatment followed before the process started over. This cycle was repeated for four months.
Veglin lowered levels of VEGF-A and VEGF-C (forms of VEGF) in 47 percent and 21 percent of the study participants, respectively. Participants, including those taking higher doses of Veglin, have had no significant toxic side effects.
Phase II Veglin clinical trials began in late 2004 and are ongoing. Targeting renal cell carcinoma, leukemia, lymphoma and malignant mesothelioma, researchers at the Keck School of Medicine are hoping for further successes.
If Veglin proves successful in blocking VEGF proteins and related blood vessel formation, it is believed that it will prevent metastasis and cause the programmed death of existing cancer cells (apoptosis).
Angiogenesis is a natural process through which new blood vessels are formed from pre-existing vessels. Though a natural process essential to the growth and development of the body, angiogenesis is responsible for the spread and growth of cancerous cells.
Mesothelioma cancer cells grow and divide uncontrollably. Their rapid generation time and genomic variation allow them to develop resistance to many chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This resistance makes it difficult to successfully eradicate malignant cancer cells from the body. Cutting-edge cancer research takes a new approach to battling cancer cells by targeting of genomically stable cells that are fundamental to cancer malignancy.
An Anti-Angiogenesis drug (angiogenesis inhibitor) inhibits the growth of new blood vessels. Anti-Angiogenesis drugs target a family of naturally occurring proteins called VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor). VEGF stimulates the growth and survival of the vascular system and is required for angiogenesis.
A newly formed tumor cannot grow beyond a certain size (typically 1 to 2 mm³) without nutrients and oxygen that are supplied by blood vessels. Tumors secrete VEGF, inducing nearby blood vessels to grow into the tumor, fostering malignancy. Anti-Angiogenesis drugs join with VEGF proteins to prevent them from binding with receptors that make angiogenesis possible. Stopping the formation of new blood vessels therefore prevents tumor growth, allowing for tumor containment until additional action can be taken to kill or remove the cancerous cells.
The use of Anti-Angiogenesis drugs in animal studies has proven to be successful in preventing the formation of new blood vessels. A number of malignant mesothelioma clinical trials involving humans are already underway and hope to yield similar success.
[Page updated August 2009]