As Roxanne Nelson reports for Medscape, scientific research presented at the 2014 Congress in Madrid, sponsored by the European Society for Medical Oncology, or ESMO, indicates that high-dose radiotherapy does not appear to benefit patients suffering from malignant pleural mesothelioma (in patients who have also undergone chemotherapy and radical surgery).
It has long been known that nearly all cancer patients develop a certain degree of resistance to chemotherapy after receiving the treatment for varying periods of time. This means that for some patients, especially those that suffer from lung cancer and other forms that are prone to spreading, chemotherapy treatment can actually cause worse cancers to come back, leading to greater illness and, in many cases, death.
Although mesothelioma has been causing pain, injury and death to people in Illinois and across the U.S. for many years, there is still relatively little that doctors and researchers know about the disease. As a result, mesothelioma remains resistant to standard treatment methods, and about 2,500 Americans die from the disease every year.
Recently, members of the United States House of Representatives introduced a bill which, if passed, would allow new medications and treatments for mesothelioma and other deadly diseases to reach the market much more quickly. The Faster Access to Specialized Treatments bill, or FAST Act, would update and codify the Food and Drug Administration's "accelerated approval" process, which the lawmakers say has become much slower in recent years.
For many years, pregnant women who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another form of cancer have faced an impossible choice: undergo chemotherapy and risk severely injuring the baby, deliver the baby early and risk the complications of premature birth, or terminate the pregnancy.
Mesothelioma is a terrible disease for many reasons. Not only does it cause severe pain and discomfort in those afflicted with it, but it also comes with a dismal rate of survival. Following a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is rare to survive more than a couple of years. This is one of the reasons that victims of asbestos exposure should be given every opportunity to be compensated for their pain and suffering.
Earlier this week, we began a two-part series discussing a new mesothelioma treatment breakthrough that was achieved by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Aside from potentially erasing the need for a complete lung removal in patients suffering from pleural mesothelioma, the combination of a partial removal plus photodynamic light therapy may extend the life span of mesothelioma patients.
Last month, we wrote about a recent study at the University of Pennsylvania which indicated that a new combination of less-invasive mesothelioma treatments and surgical procedures may be more effective at treating pleural mesothelioma than the more radical lung removal surgery. Although much has yet to be learned about these new medical innovations, researchers are encouraged by the positive early results.
A recent study has indicated that a new combination of less common mesothelioma treatment methods may more effectively increase the chances of survival of those who suffer from the deadly disease. According to researchers at the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the new findings have the added bonus of reducing the need for surgical lung removal in mesothelioma patients, allowing patients to have more normal lives following their mesothelioma treatment while also removing some of the risk of surgery.