Tracking Progress: New Study May Lead to Longer Mesothelioma Survival Rates

August 1, 2013  |  Mesothelioma

A mesothelioma diagnosis will take the person with the disease along with their entire family by storm. The rare, asbestos-related disease may seem to come from nowhere and suddenly bombard a family with new terminology to be learned, doctors to explore and legal options to pursue. Fortunately, as patients continue to be diagnosed with asbestos disease, medical researchers continue to strive for advancements in the way mesothelioma patients are treated.

A team of Australian researchers recently tested a new approach to mesothelioma therapy that combines gene and drug treatments that already exist. The researchers at Flinders University are seeking to target key growth factors that promote the growth of mesothelioma tumors. Dr. Sonja Klebe, associate professor at Flinders, claims that this approach represents an entirely new direction in mesothelioma care.

However, the details of the new therapy remain unclear. Little has been released from the initial testing phases, but it has been reported that the combination of drug and gene therapies have significantly improved survival rates in animal test subjects. The scientists are examining patients who express a larger presence of the key cellular growth factor called Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). Previous studies have shown that these patients demonstrate a lower survival rate, and by targeting EGFR, mesothelioma cells will not replicate as quickly and be more susceptible to other types of treatment.

The combination of drug and gene therapies isn’t a new practice when it comes to mesothelioma research, so the details of the claim made by Dr. Klebe remain unknown. Mesothelioma cells are highly resistant to most anti-cancer drugs. Many researchers have turned to gene therapies to combat the resistant nature of the cancer cells and increase the patient’s responsiveness to chemotherapy and other traditional forms of treatment.

The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd will continue to monitor the progress of the Australian study as part of the firm’s longstanding commitment to provide the most up-to-date resources and information to mesothelioma patients. For over 35 years, the firm has been representing the interests of those affected by the asbestos disease. Baron and Budd is committed to the fight against mesothelioma and a global ban on asbestos.

For more information on Baron and Budd, visit here.

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