An emerging therapy known as NGR-hTNF has entered an ongoing phase III trial that has nearly 400 participants at 49 hospitals and research centers around the world. NGR-hTNF is defined by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a substance that is made by linking tumor necrosis factor (TNF) to a peptide. The peptide binds to tumor blood vessels, and TNF damages them. Also called “tumor vasculature–targeted tumor necrosis factor alpha” NGR-hTNF is a type of biological response modifier.
The main objective of the NGR-hTNF trial is to document the efficacy of the substance administered at low doses weekly in advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) patients previously treated with a pemetrexed-based chemotherapy regimen. Currently, there are no regulatory-approved or widely accepted treatment options for MPM patients failing a standard pemetrexed-based chemotherapy regimen.
The study aims to show “a superior efficacy in terms of overall survival duration of NGR-hTNF 0.8 µg/mq weekly, plus BIC versus placebo plus BIC in advanced MPM patients progressing after a standard pemetrexed-based chemotherapy,” says ClinicalTrials.gov. BIC refers to “Best Investigator’s Choice,” meaning, one of the following single-agent chemotherapy drugs might be administered in combination with NGR-hTNF:
- Doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Rubex)
- Gemcitabine (Gemzar)
- Vinorelbine (Navelbine)
Though the NGR-hTNF study is now classified as “ongoing,” it is not currently recruiting participants. However, if it passes phase III, this promising treatment could become available in the near future.
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