Monday, January 3, 2011

What Radical Mesothelioma Treatments Are Available?

Current radical mesothelioma treatments include chemotherapy treatments, radiation treatments, surgical treatments and experimental therapies and drugs. Research news reports the limited success of present treatments for Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma research news indicates that traditional treatments viz. single or multi-drug chemotherapy has a response rate of about 20%. Radiation treatments, usually used in conjunction with surgery or chemotherapy treatments can relieve pain and shrink tumors, making breathing easier. However, radiation treatments can also cause severe side effects.

Efforts To Combat Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can take between ten and sixty years to develop after inhalation of respirable asbestos fibers, but Mesothelioma progresses fast. Radical surgeries as mesothelioma treatments have had limited success. Surgical treatments attempted include extra-pleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy.

Treatment news indicates that in EPP over 15% patients die soon after surgery. EPP involves removal of pleura, diaphragm, pericardium, part of the phrenic nerve and the entire tumor-affected lung and has to be supported by chemotherapy or radiation.

The pleurectomy treatments involve removal of the pleura without removing the whole lung. These treatments are best in patients with good lung expansion who tend to accumulate fluid. In combination with radiation pleurectomy is reported in treatment news to have given 22-month survival in 50% and 24-month survival in 41% cases in a 27-patient group with mesothelioma of the epithelial subtype.

Surgical treatments of mesothelioma have not been shown to offer significant advantages over the limited non-surgical treatments. Experimental drugs under evaluation include treatments by Onconase, Lovastatin and an Endostatin and angiostatin combination.

The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America is funding research on mesothelioma cure. The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles has completed Phase I Clinical Trials on a new mesothelioma treatment drug called Veglin.

Phase II Clinical trials of Veglin have begun in July 2004, opening exciting treatment possibilities for mesothelioma victims.

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