Experimental Mesothelioma Therapies / Treatments

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Currently, there is no known cure for mesothelioma patients. Although medical experts are making advances everyday, the treatments hope to extend the life of the patient, as well as alleviate some of the pain and suffering. The type of treatment is often based upon your age, and your health at the point of diagnoses. On average, patients of mesothelioma are 65 years old, which can be attributed to the latency period of the symptoms for this form of cancer. Additionally, the latency period leaves many patients in the later stages of cancer, therefore the choice of treatment must be carefully chosen.

In addition to many traditional treatments and therapies, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and drugs, there are many alternatives. Whatever the treatment choice, the most common is typically a combination of several therapies, both conventional and experimental. The choice is a personal one that should be made at the guidance of a physician, however one should always consider how they would like to spend their final months and years with family and friends. Some people may choose to take as many precautions as possible, and others may decide to spent their time with loved ones staying comfortable.

There are a number of experimental treatments and therapies to choose from if this is the path you would like to explore. Although alternative medicines have not yet been proven effective, some symptoms may be help to control symptoms of mesothelioma. The pros and cons of experimental treatments are unknown, some believe that their impact is equal to those of more conventional methods.

Gene Therapy: In order to better fight the disease, this therapy attempts to change the genetic composition of living cells, by inserting genes into the cells that can no longer replicate.
Immunotherapy: Similar to gene therapy, immunotheraphy tries to trick the body into thinking the cancerous cells are foreign that need to be fought off. In the case of mesothelioma, the cancerous cells are not considered to be foreign and therefore the body does not reject them. The end result can be a decrease in tumor size for those in early stages of mesothelioma.
Angiogenesis Inhibition Therapy: Angiogenesis is a process that delivers blood to tumors through blood vessels and capillaries. Tumors grow with blood supplies, and since mesothelioma tumors are located near tissure rich in blood, the tumors rapidly grow. This therapy attempts to slow the growing process by medicated the patient with angiogenesis inhibitors.
Alimta: When surgery is not an option for patients, Alimta, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for mesothelioma, has been shown to extend the life of patients, and decrease the symptoms of the disease. It is still undergoing clinical trials, and it is often when administered with Cisplatin. However, the side effects are similar to that of chemotherapy, such as nausea and vomiting.
Photodynamic Therapy: This form of therapy combines both drugs and surgery. First a drugs that causes cells to be sensitive to light is administered. Secondly, during surgery, the cancerous cells are exposed to laser light, in hopes of them dying. Photodynamic therapy is not common in mesothelioma cases, because it has caused several serious complications.
Multimodality Therapy: Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy are all administered in this form of therapy, in hopes of compensating for the weaknesses of each. However, because this can be an aggressive approach, the amounts and types of side effects are more likely to be numerous, and expensive.

Making the choices of the type of therapy you want to try can be a difficult one. The advice of a trusted physician, and the opinions of loved ones can help you make the best choice for you. Since there is no known 100 percent effective method, it is often a personal choice for your lifestyle.


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