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Mesothelioma Patients: You May Benefit From Experimental Treatment

| February 22, 2021, 08:37 AM

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It is incurable at all stages, and it has a five-year survival rate of only 10 percent. Unfortunately, without an early diagnosis, most patients won’t survive beyond the next 18 months. However, not all hope is lost.

Despite these grim statistics, treatment breakthroughs like immunotherapy have improved the prognosis and provided mesothelioma patients with hope. You might choose experimental treatment as a way to contribute to mesothelioma research. Granted, it may not help you, but the research could one day help to find a cure to help others in your position.

The conventional treatments for mesothelioma include:

  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy

Treatments like these can cause as much harm as good, but they also have killed off the cancer cells in some cases. If your body doesn’t respond to standard treatment, experimental treatments offer you an alternative. One of the trickiest things about cancer is that no patient will react the same way as another patient. Because of this, doctors must heavily individualize their approach.

Experimental Treatments: What You Need to Know

All treatments begin in the experimental stage. Through clinical trials that last from two to three years, doctors learn through trial and error what has proven successful and what hasn’t. Experimental treatments pop up all the time as doctors learn what works and what doesn’t. The FDA will review each experimental treatment before deciding if they should approve it.

Immunotherapy

Setting the goal to boost the body’s immune system, immunotherapy serves to fight off mesothelioma. Doctors have decided on two immunotherapy techniques: active immunotherapy and passive immunotherapy. Active immunotherapy uses the immune memory to recognize antigens and reacts based on it. This evokes a long-lasting response from the immune system, which will hopefully kill the cancer cells.

Passive immunotherapy introduces synthetic immune proteins to trigger a response that attacks the cancer cells. Unfortunately, with this approach, the immune memory never gets triggered. This means that you may have to have multiple passive immunotherapy sessions.

Whatever type of immunotherapy chosen, it uses a multimodal approach. This means that they pull from the insights of multiple medical experts. Especially with mesothelioma, they have found how this approach tends to work best. In some cases, doctors have seen patients extend their lifespan by up to two years. They offer this as standard treatment for mesothelioma after assistance from chemotherapy.

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Gene Therapy

People with malignant mesothelioma will have their body cells mutate into cancerous cells. Through gene therapy, doctors introduce new DNA to the patient in hopes of replacing the damaged gene. Researchers haven’t concluded gene therapy, and they continue in search of the best way to give treatment.

You have two types of gene therapy. First, you have gene transfer where you introduce genes to the cancerous cells. They call this suicide gene therapy because it kills the cancer cells, and it’s the most common method of gene therapy.

Second, you have oncolytic virotherapy. This introduces a virus that tries to destroy the mesothelioma cells. At the same time, they try to leave the healthy cells alone.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Can you sue for mesothelioma? The answer to that question is yes, but often you won’t have to. There are mesothelioma trust funds an attorney can help you access that can compensate you for your damages. When you get a settlement from a trust fund, the process will be much faster than a trial, so you’ll get your funds faster.

When nothing else has seemed to stop the mesothelioma, you may opt-in for an experimental treatment. If nothing else, it goes toward research that will hopefully find a cure.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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