A New Approach to Existing Treatment May Make All the Difference With Mesothelioma Patients

April 12, 2013  |  Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma has long been one of the most difficult cancers for medical researchers to properly treat.  This aggressive and virulent disease cannot be treated with just one type of cancer therapy and doctors are still working to find a combination of treatments that works best.  Although many mesothelioma researchers have made advancements with specific mesothelioma treatments, there is still much work to be done in order to improve the survival rates of mesothelioma patients. So, instead of focusing on the progression of one particular treatment, some doctors are taking a new approach to the combination of therapies.

A team of scientists in Japan is currently undergoing a clinical trial where mesothelioma patients undergo high levels of chemotherapy as the first line of therapy in an effort to make mesothelioma surgery mores successful.  The purpose of the chemotherapy is to reduce the cancer cells as much as possible to remove the need for future rounds of chemotherapy and other types of mesothelioma treatment.

The ongoing two-year trial is currently testing this theory on a set of 24 patients with malignant mesothelioma who are also candidates for a pleurectomy/decortication (PD) or extrapleural pneumonectomy (EP), or mesothelioma surgery.  The purpose of the clinical trial to increase the amount of the patient’s tumor that can be removed during surgery, known as the macroscopic complete resection rate (MCRR).  This rate applies to both types of mesothelioma surgery.

The patients involved in the clinical trial will use the popular mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs, Alimta and Cisplatin. Once the aggressive chemotherapy treatment is complete, patients will undergo one of the two types of mesothelioma surgery. 

When a patient undergoes PD surgery, the doctor removes the tumor and scrapes off the remaining tumor cells from the internal areas.  The PD surgery not only removes the tumor, but also the nearest lung, part or all of the diaphragm and any other affected areas.

As a secondary element of the study, researchers will also compare the effectiveness of each surgery to determine which is better suited for patients to undergo this type of chemotherapy.

Establishing more effective methods of mesothelioma treatment is imperative to improving the lives of asbestos patients.  Mesothelioma is still one of the most difficult cancers to treat and clinical trials like this are what it will take to make a difference in the lives of so many who suffer from the disease. 

The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd is committed to bettering the lives of those who suffer from asbestos disease.  For over 35 years, the law firm has been representing the interests of asbestos patients and has seen the devastating effects that asbestos can have on patients.  The law firm is a sponsor of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and CURE media group’s book, Understanding Mesothelioma. If you or someone you know has been impacted by mesothelioma, the people of Baron and Budd are here to help.

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