Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. There are four different types, the majority of which is a lung cancer. Like most cancers, the disease can occur decades after exposure. Symptoms may not be present until it is quite advanced. Since it is difficult to detect early, most cases will be unresectable, which means they cannot be treated by surgery alone. It is estimated that 3,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
Doctors have had difficulty providing safe and effective treatment for mesothelioma. However, research is ongoing, and several new forms of treatment are being investigated. Certain examples are:
Cryotherapy is a type of treatment that uses nitrogen vapors to freeze cancer cells. It has already been used in treating cancers of the prostate and liver. A researcher at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Shanda Blackmon, believes cryotherapy can be an important addition to the arsenal of treatments that serve as a surgical adjuvant. She started an initial clinical trial in cases where the patients would be undergoing pleurectomy and decortication surgery. The trial was then expanded to include those who would be undergoing extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery. There are only a small number of participants since the rarity of the disease makes it difficult to recruit more patients.
The treatment involves applying a spray two or three times onto specific tumor sites for less than a minute. It is performed two weeks before surgery during a staging pleuroscopy, which is a minimally invasive procedure to evaluate the extent of the disease. Targeted cryotherapy does not harm the patient. Initial results show that the cryotherapy may be helping improve patient outcomes.
The hope is that the cryogenic treatment will kill cancer cells and initiate an immune response to prompt the body to detect, attack, and destroy lung cancer cells. When combined with surgery, it may lead to better outcomes, hopefully saving more lung tissue and extending the life and well-being of patients. The best outcomes happen when the best possible medical treatment is obtained quickly.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have represented mesothelioma patients and others experiencing asbestos-related illnesses. Let us assist you in obtaining the compensation you need and deserve. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas. To set up a free initial consultation, complete our online form or call us at 215-569-4000 today.