Raltitrexed chemotherapy is not approved by the FDA for use in the United States but is approved in the United Kingdom, other parts of Europe, and Canada. It is similar to Alimta (pemetrexed) chemotherapy and is used to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma. It can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life and life-expectancy, specifically when used in combination with a platinum-based chemotherapy drug, such as cisplatin

Raltitrexed’s Success in Treating Other Cancers

Raltitrexed has also been successful in treating colorectal cancer. The drug is commonly used in a multimodal approach, meaning it is combined with other chemotherapy drugs, like cisplatin, and other cancer therapies such as surgery and radiation. Combination treatment generally leads to better outcomes than what can be achieved with one drug or one kind of cancer therapy alone.

How Raltitrexed Works

Raltitrexed works to inhibit the synthesis of a cell’s genetic material. This inhibition of DNA synthesis helps keep in check the uncontrollable proliferation of cancer cells.

Combination Treatment With Cisplatin

Similar to Alimta plus cisplatin, raltitrexed plus cisplatin is an effective chemotherapy treatment for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.1

Side Effects of Raltitrexed

Common side effects of raltitrexed include

  • Low blood counts (white blood cells and healthy red blood cells)
  • Elevated liver enzymes 
  • Skin rash
  • Inflamed and sore mouth
  • Possible ulceration of the mouth and elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness
  • Fever2

Raltitrexed Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma