Mesothelioma is a deadly and aggressive form of cancer. It develops in the lining of the organs, and many people die not long after their diagnosis. The short-term mortality rate for mesothelioma is so high in part because the cancer is so difficult to treat. It takes decades to present noticeable symptoms and then frequently progresses quite quickly.
Recently, researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine announced exciting clinical research that could help guide the treatment of those recently diagnosed with mesothelioma.
What researchers tried
Mesothelioma has no known cure and typically does not respond well to traditional treatments like chemotherapy. Patients often experience all of the painful side effects of their cancer treatment with little improvement in their long-term prognosis. Researchers have started trying more creative approaches to battle mesothelioma, including immunotherapies to help the patient’s body fight cancer. A combination of therapies may be the most promising option for those coping with mesothelioma.
Patients that underwent immunotherapy before a surgical excision procedure to remove cancerous tissue showed substantially better responses to treatment than those who simply had the surgical procedure. Given that their bodies already knew how to fight cancer before doctors removed the cancerous tissue, they may have a better chance of avoiding or slowing future cancer growth.
Researchers point to the combination of pre-surgery immunotherapy combined with surgical removal as a very promising combination of treatments for those with mesothelioma. Paying for the most cutting-edge mesothelioma treatments often requires that those exposed to asbestos pursue a compensation claim. Workers may need to take legal action to seek compensation so that they can receive treatments like immunotherapies that standard insurance does not yet cover.
Holding companies accountable for exposing you to asbestos and therefore causing your mesothelioma can lead to better medical care and potentially more security for your family.