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Home > News > Personal Injury News

10th September 2007

Alimta research study, funded by the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund, urges more volunteers to come forward.

A Newcastle-based study into chemotherapy drug Alimta is urging more volunteers to come forward to help with its research.

The study by Dr Albiruni Ryan Abdul Razak, Specialist Registrar in Medical Oncology at Newcastle General Hospital, is researching who will benefit most from the drug, which is used to treat patients with asbestos related cancer mesothelioma.

At the end of the study it is hoped physicians will be able to prescribe the drug more accurately, saving the National Health Service money and also improving the quality of life for those afflicted from malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Dr Albi has been running the study following funding from Wallsend-based charity the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund.

It is believed scores of North East patients could eventually benefit from the work after recent statistics showed hundreds of people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the region every year.

Dr Albi had hoped to study fresh lung tissue from more than 100 mesothelioma sufferers but has found it difficult getting patients to agree to the research.

Patients must give approval to the use of their lung tissue while they are under going a Video Assisted Thoracoscopy (VAT). This procedure is usually carried out in order to diagnose a number of medical conditions, mesothelioma being one of them.

However, approaching patients for consent at this stage has been proven to be difficult in this study mainly due to the difficult time patients are experiencing coupled with the uncertainty of a particular diagnosis.

He said: “In order to complete this research we need fresh tissue from patients before they under go a VAT. I understand the concerns faced by patients who are about to receive the procedure, as they do not know what their medical results will be.

“However, by allowing us to use their tissue they would be helping us to make massive strides towards finding a more effective treatment for a disease which effects hundreds in the region.

Chris Knighton, founder of the fund added: “This research will help us to know exactly who is most suited to receiving Alimta. It will mean doctors can be more strategic when prescribing the drug to make sure it helps the right patients.

“When my husband Mick was diagnosed with mesothelioma we did not have the choice of any medication. We were not even able to take part in medical trials. I would urge people to be involved in this important and worthy cause, if possible.”

Alimta was recently granted approval by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence to be used on the NHS.

However, Dr Albi’s research will mean experts will be able to pinpoint who will most benefit from the treatment.

Mesothelioma Useful Links

For more information about the research programme please contact Dr Albi via e-mail at

For more information about the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund log on to

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