There is no cure for mesothelioma, but some treatments are effective at reducing related symptoms and offering a better short-term prognosis. In general, treatment is based on the extent of the cancer, but most mesothelioma cases are treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.
There are also clinical trials underway to test emerging treatments such as immunotherapy and gene therapy. While both treatments have shown some success in trials, they are not yet on the market in most cases.
TRADITIONAL TREATMENTS FOR MESOTHELIOMA
Some cases of mesothelioma can be managed with traditional cancer treatments. This includes:
Chemotherapy is the first-line treatment for mesothelioma. It is usually given as a combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin, although other drugs may be used in combination with pemetrexed or it can be used on its own.
In the past, radiation therapy damages large areas around the cancerous growth and increased risks of complications. Today, though, doctors can target the cancer with better accuracy, ensure the dose you receive is exactly what is necessary, and limit the damage to nearby structures or tissues.
In addition, advances in technology allow continuous imaging of the site during treatment, computer-assisted planning of treatments, and the ability to give larger, more effective doses of radiation. This could allow you to finish treatment faster or get more effective radiation treatment.
SURGERY FOR MESOTHELIOMA
It is difficult to identify mesothelioma early, so it is often diagnosed when it is too large to remove. However, if diagnosed early enough, your doctor may be able to remove the growth via surgery. This may include:
- A pleurectomy, when they remove the pleura; or
- An extrapleural pneumonectomy, when they remove a lung and the affected pleura covering it.
Usually, however, the diagnosis comes too late, and the cancer has already advanced too much to simply remove the pleura. If this occurs, surgery may make it easier to reduce the symptoms and allow your condition to improve. This type of surgery may include:
- Inserting a drain in your chest, allowing any fluid build-up to drain; or
- Removing the lung and pleura to reduce symptoms.
In most cases, doctors prescribe a treatment regimen that uses a combination of these therapies to get the desired results.
CLINICAL TRIALS SHOW PROMISE IN TREATING MESOTHELIOMA
Right now, in clinical trials, researchers are looking at how immunotherapy and gene therapy can help with the fight against mesothelioma.
This type of treatment utilizes the patient’s immune system to battle the cancerous cells, and because they are a natural part of the body, they target only the cancer cells and do no damage to surrounding tissues.
Gene therapy is not related to the patient’s own genetic makeup. Instead, it utilizes a genetically altered virus that is specifically designed to target the cancer cells. In cancer treatment, the altered viruses will replace the defective copy of a cell. Over time, the cells all become the altered virus “look-alike” cells instead of the original defective cell. This kills the cancer cells and significantly impacts tumor growth.
TALK TO AN ATTORNEY ABOUT TAKING LEGAL ACTION IN YOUR ASBESTOS LITIGATION CASE TODAY
At Zanes Law, we know there is no cure for mesothelioma, and our team wants to take immediate action on behalf of the wrongs and pain you have suffered. A mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer lawyer will review your case for free and can even sign you up on the same phone call. If you would rather meet face-to-face, we can meet you in your home or hospital room for your initial consultation.
Let us take legal action on your behalf, pursue compensation, and hold the asbestos manufacturer or another liable party accountable. Call 866-499-8989 to get started today.