A team of cancer researchers at Antwerp University has hopeful news for those suffering from malignant pleural mesothelioma. The team recently published a report detailing some new treatment methods that could have a significant impact on survival rates for mesothelioma patients. These treatments, including hyperthermic intrapleural chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and photodynamic therapy, are part of a multi-modal approach to treating this deadly disease, and researchers are optimistic about their effectiveness.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer that infects the pleural lining of the lungs and chest cavity. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a fiber that was frequently used in construction until the 1970s. Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose and is resistant to many traditional cancer treatment options. In order to combat the disease, doctors have begun combining treatment options for mesothelioma into what they call multi-modal treatments. It remains to be seen which combination is most effective, but it seems clear that single-modality therapies are not enough to ensure patients’ survival.
Research teams such as the one in Belgium are developing new treatment methods, as well as creative new strategies for using existing methods. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery are common elements of any cancer treatment plan, but new studies are being released that show unique ways of combining these elements. For example, radiotherapy is being utilized after surgery to prevent new mesothelioma tumors from growing.
The Belgian article, which appeared in the European Respiratory Journal in February, highlighted several new treatment methods such as hyperthermic intrapleural chemotherapy, in which a patient’s lungs are rinsed with a solution of heated chemotherapy drugs immediately following surgery. This method has been shown to be effective in patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen. There are currently several clinical trials exploring immunotherapy and gene therapy, both of which manipulate the body’s existing defenses to combat the disease. Another new treatment, photodynamic therapy, involves treating mesothelioma cells with a photosensitizing drug, then killing them with light.
Any number of these treatment methods could prove to be a powerful weapon against mesothelioma. Until researchers determine which ones and how best to use them, mesothelioma patients will face painful physical symptoms and a short life expectancy. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, an experienced mesothelioma attorney can help you get the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have been representing asbestos exposure victims for 30 years. Our knowledgeable, professional legal team will review the facts of your case and hold the responsible party accountable for your asbestos exposure. We will handle your case with compassion and care and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Center City, Philadelphia, we serve mesothelioma victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 215-569-4000 or contact us online to discuss your case with an experienced mesothelioma attorney.