Mesothelioma New Treatments and Therapies for Cancer Patients

By: avi

Mesothelioma and asbestosis treatment has been undergoing renewed interest with projections of an increasing number of patients diagnosed with these asbestos created diseases. Medical researchers are looking beyond traditional treatment to gene therapy, phototherapy and immunotherapy.

Mesothelioma prognosis looks dark under the probes of statistics. Under the microscope of clinical trials, however, the prognosis for a longer and more enjoyable life while living with Mesothelioma looks significantly brighter. Medical research on asbestos causing diseases and scientific evaluations of combination drugs and therapies continue to bring hope and promise to the cancer patients that wonder what their future holds. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy now have to make room in the science lab for therapies developed from gene research, principals of the immune system, and the lights from the lasers of phototherapy. Even the mice had to move over in March of 2008 for the mesothelioma mice that are being praised by scientists as a key to finding a cure for mesothelioma.

Medical research on tumor filled mice can produce significantly faster results than clinical trials with participating human patients – and studies on mice are often a first step to developing a clinical trial. Finding isolated genes in mice that are unique to the disease enables cancer researchers to test gene therapies that could potentially eliminate the need for drugs by replacing bad genes with good genes, or simply by eliminating the trouble-causing gene. A cancerous cell is basically a body part with the wrong ingredients. An incorrect gene is a wrong ingredient that causes many cancerous cells. Putting in the right ingredients, the correct genes, can potentially create the “right” body part (a good cell).

Good genes are not the only way to fight cancer cells though – and gene therapy is extremely new. A healthy body naturally fights sickness with low levels of BMR – biological response modifiers. Immunotherapy multiplies the BMR level to raise the fighting abilities in the body. The goal is to raise the level high enough to knock out the cancer cells. Unfortunately, immunotherapy often comes with side effects that come with sickness, such as flu-like symptoms - but the side-effects are based on dosage amount and of course the unique composition of the patient, and they do go away when treatment is stopped. Side effects are also reported with phototherapy, primarily sun and skin sensitivities, however new, experimental photodynamic therapies used in combination with surgery surfaced three mesothelioma patients who had no recurrent tumors almost a year later.

Anti-angiogenic therapy is a new biological cancer therapy that focuses on the blood vessels. The cancer cells from asbestos diseases need blood to grow. Research has shown that patients with mesothelioma have higher levels of a natural bodily chemical VEGF – a chemical that controls blood vessels. Anti-angiogenic therapy focuses on blocking the VEGF that supports the blood vessels that encourage the cancer’s growth. Bevacizumab is a cancer drug used for this purpose, and clinical studies combining Bevacizumab, Gemcitabine and Cisplatin are currently being evaluated.

Mesothelioma and asbestosis treatments are available that go beyond simple radiation and chemotherapy. New drug combinations and cancer therapies are available to cancer patients through clinical trials. Clinical trials are also available to patients suffering from asbestosis and other diseases. For now, these new therapies are experimental - but because of these experiments, new traditional treatments for cancer can be seen over the horizon.

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