The combination of Tomudex (raltitrexed) and Platinol (cisplatin) has been shown to decrease dyspnea (shortness of breath) in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The Phase III trial, conducted by researchers from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer and the National Cancer Institute of Canada, found that the combination showed more efficacy than Platinol alone.
In the trial, 25 patients with untreated MPM were randomly allocated to receive either Tomudex and Platinol or Platinol alone. Adding Tomudex to the treatment regimen improved patients' response-rate from 13 percent to 26 percent and prolonged median survival from 8.8 months to 11.4 months.
MPM is a rare type of cancer caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. It is largely resistant to many therapies, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Dyspnea, cough, pain, fatigue and the inability to eat are common side-effects of the disease.