Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity, or abdomen. While there is no cure for mesothelioma, advances in research and clinical trials have led to the development of new and improved treatment options. In this article, we will explore the latest mesothelioma treatment advances and clinical trials.
Surgical Advances in Mesothelioma Treatment
Surgery is one of the primary treatment options for mesothelioma. In recent years, surgical techniques have advanced, making it possible to remove more of the cancerous tissue and improve patient outcomes.
One such advance is the use of robotic-assisted surgery. This technique involves the use of a robotic arm controlled by a surgeon, which allows for more precise removal of the cancerous tissue. This technique has been shown to reduce the risk of complications and improve recovery times.
Another surgical advance is the use of pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) surgery. This procedure involves the removal of the pleura (the lining of the lungs) and any visible tumors, but leaves the lung intact. P/D surgery has been shown to improve survival rates and quality of life for mesothelioma patients.
Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma Treatment
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. This treatment has shown promise in the treatment of mesothelioma, as it can help to boost the immune system’s ability to recognize and attack cancer cells.
One type of immunotherapy that has shown promise in the treatment of mesothelioma is checkpoint inhibitors. These drugs work by blocking the signals that cancer cells use to evade the immune system, allowing the immune system to attack and destroy the cancer cells.
Another type of immunotherapy that has shown promise is adoptive cell transfer. This involves removing T cells (a type of immune cell) from the patient’s body and genetically modifying them to attack cancer cells. These modified T cells are then reintroduced into the patient’s body to fight the cancer.
Targeted Therapy for Mesothelioma Treatment
Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that targets specific molecules or pathways that are involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. This type of treatment can be more effective and have fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy.
One targeted therapy that has shown promise in the treatment of mesothelioma is bevacizumab. This drug works by blocking the formation of new blood vessels, which can help to slow the growth of cancer cells.
Another targeted therapy that is being studied in clinical trials is defactinib. This drug targets a protein called Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK), which is involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Early studies have shown promise for defactinib in the treatment of mesothelioma.
Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma Treatment
Clinical trials are studies that test new treatments or procedures to determine their safety and effectiveness. Participating in a clinical trial can give mesothelioma patients access to new and innovative treatment options that may not be available elsewhere.
One clinical trial that is currently underway is studying the use of a virus called ONCOS-102 in the treatment of mesothelioma. This virus has been genetically modified to infect and kill cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Early results from this trial have been promising, with some patients showing significant improvements in survival rates.
Another clinical trial that is currently underway is studying the use of a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of mesothelioma. This trial is looking at whether combining these two treatments can improve patient outcomes.
While there is no surefire way to prevent mesothelioma, there are steps that individuals can take to reduce their risk of exposure to asbestos, which is the primary cause of this cancer.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in construction and other industries until the 1970s when its health risks became widely known. Asbestos fibers can become airborne when disturbed, and when inhaled, they can become lodged in the lungs, causing scarring and inflammation that can lead to mesothelioma.
If you work in an industry that is known to use or have used asbestos-containing materials, it is important to take precautions to minimize your risk of exposure. This may include wearing protective clothing and respiratory equipment, as well as following proper safety protocols.
If you are living in a home or building that was constructed before the 1980s, it is possible that it may contain asbestos-containing materials such as insulation, flooring, or ceiling tiles. It is important to have these materials professionally inspected and, if necessary, removed by a qualified asbestos abatement professional.
In addition to these measures, it is also important to maintain good overall health. A healthy immune system can help to better fight off cancer cells and other diseases. Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding smoking and other harmful substances can help to support overall health and reduce the risk of mesothelioma and other cancers.
While mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer, advances in research and clinical trials are providing new and improved treatment options for patients. Surgical techniques, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and clinical trials are all contributing to better outcomes for mesothelioma patients.
However, prevention remains the best approach to mesothelioma. By taking steps to reduce the risk of exposure to asbestos, individuals can lower their risk of developing this deadly cancer.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to work closely with a team of medical professionals to determine the best treatment options. With the right care and support, it is possible to manage mesothelioma and maintain a good quality of life.