Any cancer diagnosis is frightening, but mesothelioma victims typically face greater treatment challenges because of late-stage diagnosis. Educating yourself on the latest treatments is advisable for any medical crisis and cancer is no exception.
Because mesothelioma is a rare cancer, research into treatments is not as extensive as those for more common ailments such as lung cancer. Fortunately, many protocols for other cancers are transferable to mesothelioma patients and may offer hope. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma…
These five innovative mesothelioma treatments might be worth consideration
This immunotherapy is featured in many television ads, so you might have heard it under this name or nivolumab. The FDA-approved drug entered clinical trials for mesothelioma patients in combination with Yervoy (ipilimumab, a skin cancer treatment) to compare results against standard chemotherapy.
Another immunotherapy that’s been in TV and print ads recently is pembrolizumab. This FDA-approved front-line treatment may be used alongside chemotherapy for certain lung cancers. Hundreds of clinical trials are now underway, including some for mesothelioma, and it may improve chemotherapy results.
This vaccine, developed in labs in Cuba, targets lung cancer development and is also a form of immunotherapy. Although access in the US is limited now, clinical trials are launching, and some patients are seeking permission to travel to Cuba for treatment, although this is cost-prohibitive.
CAR T Therapy
The abbreviation stands for Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy and works by engineering the patients’ immune cells to treat their cancer. CAR T is, so far, the most successful form of Adoptive Cell Transfer (ACT) and attempts to harness immune response to target and attack cancer cells.
Also known as atezolizumab, this immunotherapy is in clinical trials now and has received initial FDA approval for bladder and urinary tract cancers and second-line approval for some lung cancers where chemotherapy has proven ineffective. Researchers hope for a clinical trial with mesothelioma soon.
Emerging Mesothelioma Treatments
For decades, the core of cancer treatment, including those for mesothelioma, was surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, used individually or in combination. But over the past few years, immunotherapy has emerged as an effective alternative that many cancer caregivers now consider the “fifth pillar” of cancer treatment.
Immunotherapy, also called biological therapy, seeks to harness the power of the cancer patient’s immune system to attack cancerous tumors. Last year, the American Society of Clinical Oncology suggested that immunotherapy was the best hope for mesothelioma patients because the rate of relapse following initial treatment is so high.
Dr. Michael S. Sabel, an ASCO rep, says a recent clinical trial of mesothelioma patients in France “showed that immunotherapy may represent an effective new treatment approach for mesothelioma, a disease for which we’ve long had too little to offer.” In addition to offering better results than standard cancer treatments, side effects of immunotherapy are typically milder than radiation and chemotherapy.
Educating yourself on the latest mesothelioma therapies is recommended so that you’re an informed patient and can make the best choices for your health. Never stop, start, or change any prescribed mesothelioma protocol without first consulting your physician.
If you or someone you love was diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact Bergman Draper Oslund. We fight for the rights of mesothelioma victims and have a track record of significant settlements for our clients. We’ve won more than $700 million for cancer victims sickened by asbestos exposure. Contact us to start a conversation about your compensation rights no matter where you live or were exposed to asbestos. Call (888) 647-6007 for a free case evaluation.