Newly Emerging Treatment Options for Mesothelioma

Newly Emerging Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
Newly Emerging Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
July 6, 2016

Since the emergence of mesothelioma, scientists have been on their heels trying to improve on the existing treatment options. Some of the earlier treatment options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The emerging treatments are not only interesting but also present a novel approach that will have little damage on the normal body tissues.

Surgery is a very effective treatment

The major problem with surgery is that one has to wait till the tumor has grown to some extent before surgery can be done. Also, in the process of surgery, it is hard to identify the places the disease has spread to leading to sometimes partial removal of the tumor.

Read also: Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families

Chemotherapy and radiation kills healthy cells

Chemotherapy and radiation would have presented the best treatment options but they too have their imminent problems. During chemotherapy and radiation, it is hard (or impossible) to limit the treatment to infected cells alone. A good number of healthy cells and tissues get involved in the process and are killed.

Anti-angiogenesis treatment will prevent formation of cancerous blood vessels

It has been discovered that cancerous tissues would require their own blood vessels to grow and angiogenesis is simply talking about the growth or development of new blood vessels. Therefore, anti-angiogenesis therapy will focus on the prevention of the formation of those new blood vessels that would aid the growth of cancerous tumor.

Read also: The Need for Mesothelioma Patients to Plan Realistic New Year Resolution

Biological/Immunotherapy uses the body’s immune system against cancer cells

When a foreign agent enters the body, the normal response would be the production of antibodies by the body and building up of other immune cells and the entire immune system. The body can recognize normal cells and cancerous cells. Biological response modifiers (BRM) are employed to promote immune therapy.What BRM does is to amplify immune response and make cancer more susceptible to destruction.

Cells treated with photosensitive drugs will die

Research has revealed that when cells are treated with photosensitive drugs and exposed to light of certain frequencies, they would die. This is the concept employed in photodynamic therapy (PDT). Here photosensitive drugs are administered to the affected area and a laser light is administered to activate a certain form of oxygen that would destroy cancerous cells. The timing has to be precise at a time when the drug is no longer in the healthy cells but still in the cancerous cells.

Read also: Different Questions You are Expected to Ask Your Mesothelioma Oncologist

Gene therapy either adds or deletes genes to control cancerous growth

In a gene therapy, the genes of the cancerous cells are modified in one of two ways. Either the mutated gene or missing genes are replaced or the products of the oncogene are knocked off. Both techniques aim to reduce cell division.

Virotherapy breeds virus to attack infected cells

Advances in science have made it possible to manipulate organisms at gene level. Virotherapy is just one of the numerous means through which such manipulations can be beneficial to man. In virotherapy, a virus is modified in such a way that it attacks cancerous cells alone and then gets introduced into the body.

Other unconventional means as the experts suggest

There are several other unconventional means of mesothelioma treatment that have been employed by different people but be warned that before dabbling into any of those consult your professional healthcare provider first.

Read also: How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress

Article highlights

  • The earlier methods in mesothelioma treatment have a lot of complexities.
  • Radiation and chemotherapy remove the healthy cells along with the infected cells.
  • Surgery cannot be carried out at the early stage.
  • Newer techniques prevent the loss of healthy cells and are more precise in target.
  • Virotherapy employs virus to kill infected cells.
  • Gene therapy is capable of manipulating the genes of infected cells.
  • Photodynamic therapy uses light to get rid of cancerous cells.
  • Biological therapy amplifies the immune response to effectively fight cancerous cells.
  • Anti-angiogenesis blocks the formation of new blood vessels.
  • Cells treated with photosensitive drugs will die when light at a particular wavelength is beamed on them.

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