Multimodal treatment, which is generally a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, has been the most standard way to treat patients with mesothelioma over the past several decades. With new medical breakthroughs, however, people with mesothelioma are getting a better chance at managing the toxic disease, according to research performed by renowned scientists and physicians.
Per a recent medical paper authored by Dr. Svetlana Kotova, a heart surgeon, and Dr. Robert Cameron, a thoracic surgeon, that appeared in Cancer Management Research Journal, there are many changes ahead in the treatment of cancer.
One of the newer treatment options for cancer patients includes hyperthermic intraoperative chemotherapy. Research and previous tests indicate that heating up chemotherapeutic agents helps physicians gain easier access to the cancerous cells and therefore remove more of the cancer and as much as possible.
In a review performed by Dr. David Sugarbaker, a world-renowned mesothelioma physician, results indicate that patients who undergo hyperthermic intraoperative chemotherapy have a much better chance of survival, but the treatment must start as early as possible.
Other new forms of treatment are being conductive in 190 clinical trials around the world. These clinical trials are focusing primarily on novel anticancer agents, which physicians are hoping will target specific tumors. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), some anticancer agents have already been approved, including bevacizumab, bortezomib, erlotinib, sorafenib, and trastuzumab.
Several types of therapies are currently being studied in clinical trials, including:
- Tyrosine kinase inhibitors
- Antibody conjugated toxins
- Immune checkpoint inhibitors
- Gene therapy
- Tumor vaccines
Mesothelioma: On the Way to Better Management
Dr. Cameron and Dr. Kotova suggest that with new treatment options emerging, there is a strong chance that in the future, mesothelioma patients will be able to manage their diseases much better, similar to those who manage diabetes with treatment, and therefore extend their lives significantly.
“With all the ongoing research, real progress is only a matter of time. The list of potential new therapies is long, and the number of clinical trials is impressive.”
It’s important to note, however, that some clinical trials will benefit some patients better than others. The good news, though, per Dr. Raymond Wong, is that at least patients have a better chance of possible new treatments. By participating in clinical trials, patients have the chance to help doctors and scientists understand what the best therapies and medications will be for their individual cases.
“In the future, it is critical that clinicians treat this disease with equipoise, and that patients be placed in randomized prospective clinical trials in order to truly determine optimal therapy for these patients.”
Additional Information and Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
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