A recent study carried about by researchers from Wayne State University School of Medicine confirms just how powerful chemotherapy can be for mesothelioma patients.
The study combined information with the Medicare claims database, along with data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) in order to determine survival rate for patients who underwent chemotherapy for cancer. Age, gender, and health factors were taken into account during the study. The findings showed what numerous medical experts have said all along: chemotherapy has the ability to prolong survival rates significantly.
Not only are survival rates extended, but with a combination of other traditional therapies, chemotherapy can extend survival rate even further. According to Jennifer Lynn Beebe-Dimmer, the lead researcher in the story, the study is the first of its kind.
“None of the previous studies considered chemotherapy usage in their analyses. We also established that surgery is associated with improved OS, and that chemotherapy modified the effects of surgery.”
According to the research findings, close half of all patients (both male and female) who were given chemotherapy as treatment survived at least a year after their initial diagnosis. In addition, patients who received a combination of surgery and chemotherapy survived at least 16 months. The most common form of chemotherapy medications included Cisplatin combined with pemetrexed.
The study included more than 1,600 patients, one of the largest of its kind in terms of mesothelioma treatment patterns.
“Previous clinical trials of mesothelioma have included up to only a few hundred patients, typically derived from a single clinical center or a small geographic region,” wrote Beebe-Dimmer.
Chemotherapy. quite simply, is the use of certain medication to kill and destroy cancer cells. Cancer cells grow more quickly than any other type of cell, and chemotherapy medications prevents them from their quick dividing.
Physicians typically administer chemotherapy in various ways and at various times, depending on the patient and the stage of mesothelioma. The most common ways include:
- Prior to surgery and/or radiation therapy, in order to shrink cancerous tumors
- After surgery and/or radiation therapy, to destroy any remaining cancerous cells
- For recurrent cancer
- For metastatic cancer (cancer that spreads throughout other body parts)
Mesothelioma patients may get one chemotherapy medication, but it’s common for doctors to prescribe more than chemotherapy drug. The type and amount will depend upon a number of factors, including:
- The tumor size and location
- The stage of mesothelioma
- Patient age and health
- The side effects the patient experiences
- Prior cancer treatments
Since chemotherapy side effects can be extremely harsh, doctors usually refrain from having patients take the medication(s) daily. Instead, it’s usually administered during cycle periods determined by the physician. Chemotherapy medications can be administered intravenously (IV) in a hospital setting, a doctor’s office, and at clinics. Chemotherapy drugs can also be taken orally at home. Sometimes, chemotherapy ointment can be applied at home as well, while in other instances, a physician will recommend injected chemotherapy (a shot) into an arm, leg, or stomach.
Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.