Possibilities of Targeted Therapies for Mesothelioma Treatment Compared with Current Chemotherapy

Possibilities of Targeted Therapies for Mesothelioma Treatment Compared with Current Chemotherapy
Possibilities of Targeted Therapies for Mesothelioma Treatment Compared with Current Chemotherapy
July 11, 2016

Chemotherapy is one of the management options available at the moment for the treatment of mesothelioma. Chemotherapy involves the use of certain chemicals that have the potential of destroying the cancerous cells. Chemotherapy improves the chances of the patient’s survival but sadly, it does so by only a few months on the average.

Chemotherapy is usually a second line of action

For mesothelioma, there may be need to remove the tumor through surgical process before it is then followed up with chemotherapy. Because of the nature of the tumor, total removal by surgery may not be possible and the remaining tumor cells are targeted with chemotherapy.

Read also: Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families

Targeted therapies will focus more on the disease

Whereas chemotherapy is not specific and affects both healthy and diseased cell which makes it a potentially dangerous form of treatment for mesothelioma victims, a more specific treatment is the targeted therapy still under development by scientists. As the name goes, targeted therapy will aim to remove the diseased cells or stop them from developing. There are a number of them scientists are working on, for example anti-angiogenesis, virotherapy and so on.

Testing of the new drugs will take place in a scientifically sound manner

Some of the new drugs and targeted therapy techniques already developed are awaiting clinical trial. Since the trial will have to be done on humans and those with the disease, it is imperative that the test has to be carried out in a secure environment and in the best scientific manner so that the effectiveness of the agent against the disease can be properly monitored likewise the eventualities of any side effects.

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

Testing is often limited by volunteerism

The testing of new drugs is often limited by the amount of people willing to volunteer as test samples. There have been cases of volunteers in the past going through irreparable cellular or organ damage and sometimes death. Those sorts of stories often limit the will of those that have ailments under study from giving up themselves as test samples.

Remarkable progress has been recorded with GDC-0980

The use of GDC-0980 has provided some hope for those that have pleural mesothelioma. When the agent was used on a test subject, remarkable shrinking of the tumor was observed. However, fifteen percent of the test subject showed some side effects from GDC-0980 dozing which includes hyperglycemia and pneumonitis.

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

Virotherapy and anti-angiogenesis represent the future of mesothelioma treatment

While virotherapy will employ the services of genetically modified virus to attack tumor cells, anti-angiogenesis will prevent the formation of new blood vessels where the cancerous tumor multiplies. These two methods will have a near zero damage to normal cells which will help the patient build immunity against the diseased cell.

Targeted therapy will be the new adopted form of treatment

If all goes well, some of the old means of treatment and palliative care such as chemotherapy and surgery may be abandoned for targeted therapy because of its specificity to the disease. Targeted therapy has also shown more promise in eliminating the tumor more effectively that their predecessors.

Read also: How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress

Article highlights

  • Chemotherapy uses a combination of chemicals to eliminate the tumor.
  • Chemotherapy and surgery were the only available form of treatment.
  • Chemotherapy can extend the life span of a mesothelioma patient by few months.
  • Targeted therapy will have less impact on normal cells.
  • There has been remarkable success in shrinking the tumor using targeted therapy under development.
  • Some of the targeted therapy under study is virotherapy and anti-angiogenesis.
  • Virotherapy will make use of virus to kill tumor cells.
  • Clinical trial is affected by the willingness of patients to volunteer.
  • Side effects and success have to be noted in drugs under study.
  • Targeted therapies will replace the current available forms of mesothelioma treatment.

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