The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it’s speeding up the review of a new drug as an accepted treatment for mesothelioma.

The FDA granted a fast-track designation to the novel cancer drug IK-930. It is an oral therapy and part of the TEAD inhibitor class of cancer treatment. TEAD inhibitors block specific biological functioning and protein interaction. This can disrupt genes that help tumor cells grow, duplicate, and survive longer than healthy cells.

IK-930 can treat NF2-deficient pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that materializes 99% of the time near either the lungs or abdominal cavity. Pleural mesothelioma forms in the pleura (lining around the lungs) and is the more common type. Peritoneal mesothelioma starts in the lining around the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).

The diagnosis of NF2-deficient applies to approximately 40% of people with pleural mesothelioma. There are around 2,500 new cases of mesothelioma each year, and around 2,000 are pleural mesothelioma. There are close to 800 people diagnosed each year with NF2-deficient pleural mesothelioma.

IK-930 is also limited to people who cannot have surgery to remove their pleural mesothelioma cancer. Surgery is always the first option if patients are healthy enough and the cancer hasn’t spread wildly in the body.


What Are Fast-Track Designations From the FDA?

The FDA issues a “fast-track designation” for a therapy to speed up the review process. The goal is to potentially approve the therapy sooner to help patients with rare and deadly diseases, such as mesothelioma. The FDA approved a tumor treating fields device called Optune Lua as a Humanitarian Use Device specifically because there aren’t many options for treating mesothelioma.

The first option many patients look into is surgery. However, most people are diagnosed in stage 3 or stage 4 because once symptoms occur, the tumors have already spread to the lungs and possibly other organs.

The next option is either chemotherapy or immunotherapy. While both can help slow the growth of tumors, they rarely help patients live for three years or more. Another option is the tumor treating fields device, which is a wearable treatment that sends electromagnetic waves through the body. This treatment also only leads to moderate improvements in life expectancy.

Other than those options, patients are left with no others aside from palliative and comfort therapy in their final months and weeks.

There is a clinical trial ongoing for IK-930. The study is for more than 150 patients with advanced solid tumor cancers. The trial includes spots for people with mesothelioma. If the clinical trial is successful and shows IK-930 benefits people with mesothelioma, the FDA may approve the treatment through a faster review.

    Sources & Author

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About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.

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