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Treating Mesothelioma

Treating Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancerous disease that affects the serous linings of various internal organs in the human body. Among them, the lungs, heart and the stomach are widely affected.

It is estimated that each year 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed. The patients suffering from this cancerous disease have prior exposure to asbestos, which is considered to be the only known cause of mesothelioma. Mesotheliomic patients are often told of their short survival duration of 6 – 12 months, but doctors specialized in treating malignant mesothelioma at leading cancer centers expect more. Though mesothelioma causes immense pain and suffering to the victim, along with short life expectancy, certain treatments have resulted in the successful reduction and removal of the cancerous tumors of mesothelioma.

In this article, we will elaborate on the significant treatments available to patients suffering from the asbestos- related cancer (mesothelioma). Please be advised that only a professional doctor specializing in cancer can diagnose mesothelioma. It is recommended for patients suffering from the symptoms of mesothelioma, to consult a cancer specialist for a possible treatment. After examining medical reports and asbestos-exposure history, the doctor can announce the preliminary diagnosis. The doctor can also conduct a needle biopsy to finalize the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. For more relevant and latest Mesothelioma Information and diagnosing mesothelioma, check out www.mesoblog.org. Additionally, it is noteworthy that the treatment of mesothelioma depends on many factors, including the stage of the cancer, the circulation of the malignant cells, pathology reports determining the nature of the cancer cells and patient’s age and health.

Following are the mesothelioma treatment options available to the patients for treating the cancer:

•Surgery

•Chemotherapy

•Radiation or Radiotherapy

•Immunotherapy

•Clinical Trails

•Complementary Therapy

*Nutrition

*Fitness and Exercise

*Meditation and Stress Reduction

Treating mesothelioma is not an easy task. It requires immense pain endurance and patience. Nonetheless, with proper treatment and medications, along with the love and support from the family members and friends, mesothelioma can be controlled.

Jennifer White is a professional Health Writer having expertise in the field of cancer especially Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer. For Her more articles kindly visit the following portal: Mesothelioma Cancer Portal


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10 Options in Treating Mesothelioma

10 Options in Treating Mesothelioma

As with any cancer, treatment for Mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the progression of the disease, the age as well as state of health of the patient.

It is the oncologist who specializes in the disease who will decide on the line of treatment. The disease is difficult to treat and in most cases the prognosis is poor. Treatment options include:

If the diagnosis is done in the early stages surgery may be recommended to remove all cancerous tissues. This means thoracoscopy, VATS or video assisted thoracic surgery, mediastinoscopy (used for staging), or laproscopy. Often, doctors will advise palliative procedures like chest tube drainage and pleurodesis, thoracoscopy and pleurodesis, pleuroperitonial shunt, or pleurectomy, which treat the symptoms of mesothelioma rather than the disease.

Radiation is prescribed aggressively for mesothelioma patients and is often given in combination with surgery or in order to control symptoms, palliatively. Research on using radiation therapy using implants or UV light therapy is in progress as traditional radiation therapy damages surrounding healthy tissue.

Chemotherapy is an option and around 12-20% of patients respond to the drugs. Anti-cancer drugs destroy cancer cells and prevent their spread. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy is not considered to be curative. The aim is to prevent spread of the disease; shrink the tumor prior to surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy; to annihilate any remains of the tumor in the body post surgery; and to relieve pain and other discomfort, palliative chemotherapy. Experts recommend prescribing premetrexed along with cisplastin. These drugs have shown positive results and this is now standard care for Mesothelioma not treatable by surgery.

Biological therapy using interleukin 2.

Immunotherapy where the body’s own immune system is stimulated to fight the disease. Biological response modifiers, BRMs, are used in treatment. These enhance the functions of the immune system; regulate metabolic reactions that promote growth of cancers; alter cancer cell division; block or reverse processes that lead to formation of cancers; and prevent spread of cancer.

Gene therapy, where attempts are made to correct the gene sequence that causes the cancer. This is of two kinds, replacement gene therapy and knockout gene therapy.

Administration of lovastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug.

Photodynamic treatment where a photosensitive medication is activated using a laser. This is done during the surgical removal of cancerous tissues.

Draining of fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity followed by introduction of medications into the cavity to prevent fluid accumulation is done for patients who have uncontrolled fluid accumulation and intense discomfort stemming from it.

Combination therapy or Trimodal therapy which means surgery accompanied by radiation and chemotherapy.

Often, complementary medicines are also used. Termed to be holistic this kind of treatment focuses on a patient’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being.

In the case of Mesothelioma which is untreatable one can opt for clinical trials of new treatments that are in progress in several research laboratories and centers. The best advice on the line of treatment would be that recommended by the oncologist or physician.

Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for
Health & Medical Discussion
, the premier REVENUE SHARING discussion forum for Health Forum including topics on health care, Children’s Health Issues, addiction, Cancer, fitness equipment, Burns & Injuries and more. His article profile can be found at the premier Health Article Submission Directory Health Articles.


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Related Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Articles

10 Options in Treating Mesothelioma

10 Options in Treating Mesothelioma

As with any cancer, treatment for Mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the progression of the disease, the age as well as state of health of the patient.

It is the oncologist who specializes in the disease who will decide on the line of treatment. The disease is difficult to treat and in most cases the prognosis is poor. Treatment options include:

More Information on Mesothelioma

1.    If the diagnosis is done in the early stages surgery may be recommended to remove all cancerous tissues. This means thoracoscopy, VATS or video assisted thoracic surgery, mediastinoscopy (used for staging), or laproscopy.  Often, doctors will advise palliative procedures like chest tube drainage and pleurodesis, thoracoscopy and pleurodesis, pleuroperitonial shunt, or pleurectomy, which treat the symptoms of mesothelioma rather than the disease.

2.    Radiation is prescribed aggressively for mesothelioma patients and is often given in combination with surgery or in order to control symptoms, palliatively. Research on using radiation therapy using implants or UV light therapy is in progress as traditional radiation therapy damages surrounding healthy tissue.

3.    Chemotherapy is an option and around 12-20% of patients respond to the drugs. Anti-cancer drugs destroy cancer cells and prevent their spread. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy is not considered to be curative. The aim is to prevent spread of the disease; shrink the tumor prior to surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy; to annihilate any remains of the tumor in the body post surgery; and to relieve pain and other discomfort, palliative chemotherapy. Experts recommend prescribing premetrexed along with cisplastin. These drugs have shown positive results and this is now standard care for Mesothelioma not treatable by surgery.

4.    Biological therapy using interleukin 2.

5.    Immunotherapy where the body’s own immune system is stimulated to fight the disease. Biological response modifiers, BRMs, are used in treatment. These enhance the functions of the immune system; regulate metabolic reactions that promote growth of cancers; alter cancer cell division; block or reverse processes that lead to formation of cancers; and prevent spread of cancer.

6.    Gene therapy, where attempts are made to correct the gene sequence that causes the cancer. This is of two kinds, replacement gene therapy and knockout gene therapy.  

7.    Administration of lovastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug.

8.    Photodynamic treatment where a photosensitive medication is activated using a laser. This is done during the surgical removal of cancerous tissues.

9.    Draining of fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity followed by introduction of medications into the cavity to prevent fluid accumulation is done for patients who have uncontrolled fluid accumulation and intense discomfort stemming from it.

10.    Combination therapy or Trimodal therapy which means surgery accompanied by radiation and chemotherapy.  

Often, complementary medicines are also used. Termed to be holistic this kind of treatment focuses on a patient’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being.

In the case of Mesothelioma which is untreatable one can opt for clinical trials of new treatments that are in progress in several research laboratories and centers. The best advice on the line of treatment would be that recommended by the oncologist or physician.

For more information on mesothelioma visit: Mesothelioma Information Follow my blog posts on mesothelioma http://mesotheliomainfoblogger.blogspot.com/


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Targeted Therapy- A New Way of Treating Mesothelioma

Targeted Therapy- A New Way of Treating Mesothelioma

Conventional Mesothelioma cancer treatment consists mainly of three main options- surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.

Newer medical therapies that are been discovered include the use of more targeted therapies that address the biological factors triggering mesothelioma growth might be a much more precise and effective way to combat this notoriously difficult cancer.

Mesothelioma is so difficult to treat properly because most often by the time it is diagnosed it is already in an advanced stage, and because it can take many biological forms. Current mesothelioma treatments were originally designed for other types of cancers, without considering factors that may be specific to mesothelioma. That may be why many patients only partially respond to treatment, and the average survival is just 12 months after diagnosis.

More specific “targeted therapies” that address the mechanisms that drive disease progression may actually provide a better means of prolonging the average life span of mesothelioma patients. “The term ‘targeted therapy’ refers to a new generation of anti-cancer drugs designed to interfere with a specific molecular ‘target,’ most often a protein or a receptor that is believed to have a critical role in tumor growth,” says lead study author Katalin Dobra, MD, PhD, a researcher in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

”Targeted cancer therapy takes advantage of our recent knowledge of the key mechanism that the malignant [cancerous] cell needs for its survival, and uses the special properties of mesothelioma cells to design novel therapeutic strategies,” Dr. Dobra says.

The process starts with molecular screening to identify the characteristics of a tumor and how it behaves, what causes it to grow and spread. Then researchers test various therapies on cells in the laboratory to see if they can interfere with that process. Not until then can a new cure be tested on patients in clinical trials.

So far, Dr. Dobra’s team has identified three possible molecular targets, each with its own potential treatment:

• Proteasome-subunits are groups of enzymes that regulate cell progression and death. Potential treatment: Drugs called proteasome inhibitors have been shown to halt the growth of mesothelioma cells.

• The thioredoxin system contains components that are produced differently in cancerous and noncancerous mesothelial cells, and it is thought to contribute to the survival of mesothelioma cells. Potential treatment: In collaboration with other groups, Dr. Dobra has shown that the mineral selenite may trigger mesothelioma cell death while sparing healthy cells.

• Proteoglycans (PGs) are a class of proteins that differ based on the type of mesothelioma cell. They work by affecting the growth factors that help mesothelioma cells grow and divide. Potential treatment: Oligosaccharide sequences, which are made up of chains of sugar molecules, might interfere with the work of PGs.

One of these targeted approaches, proteasome inhibitors, is now being tested in clinical trials. The other two methods are also promising, but more research is needed before they can be tested on patients. Additional tumor targets are also being investigated.

The next step in the research is to combine various treatments-both traditional and experimental-to see which ones are most effective at targeting mesothelioma tumors, Dr. Dobra says. Attacking the tumors from as many different approaches as possible may offer the greatest benefit to mesothelioma patients.

Bello kamorudeen. For more information on mesothelioma visit http://www.mesotheliomacorner.blogspot.com


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More Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment Articles

Treating Mesothelioma: Surgery

Treating Mesothelioma: Surgery

Surgery is an important step in confirming and knowing the nature of the cancer. It can be conducted on patients with the combination of adjuvant chemotherapies and radiations, before and after the surgery.

Pleurectomy:

The most common surgery for Mesothelioma treatment is pleurectomy, in which doctors open the patient’s chest and remove the excessive fluid or tumor from the lining of the lungs (pleura). Although this procedure controls the accumulation of fluid and decreases pain, it still is not a cure. On the other hand, if the tumor is in its initial form and has not extensively grown, a pleurectomy can increase the survival rate of a patient when combined with chemotherapy and radiation. Additionally, a pleurectomy can be performed on patients with less-approving health conditions and has lower mortality rate than the extrapleural pneumonectomy.

Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP):

Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) is an invasive and severe form of surgery conducted on patients with Mesothelioma. In this treatment, parts of the lungs, the pleura (the lining of the lung), the pericardium (lining of the heart) and the hemi-diaphragm, along with the tumor cells, are removed. It decreases the progression of Mesothelioma, while allowing a patient to breathe smoothly. It is usually conducted on patients with early stages of the cancer and when the tumor is in chest cavity. EPP is recommended for patients with good heart and lungs conditions, in order to endure the severities of the post-operative term. Though the surgery combined with chemotherapy and radiation gives promising results, it does not guarantee a cure. Researches have shown that patients treated with extrapleural pneumonectomy and therapies have a medium life span of 35 months after the surgery, compared to only 9 months of pleurectomy. Still, some doctors question the surgery for its high risks, which include internal bleeding, blood clotting, pneumonia, amassing of pus, respiratory failure and even death. Thus, many surgeons recommend the idea of pleurectomy instead of the technically complicated EPP.

Thoracentesis:

A minor surgery is often conducted on patients who cannot undergo EPP or pleurectomy, called thoracentesis. In thoracentesis, a thoracic surgeon inserts a needle into a patient’s chest to remove the excessive fluid built up in the lining of the lungs (pleura). This method neither cures nor decreases the cancer, but rather alleviate the painful symptoms of Mesothelioma. In some cases, talc or other agents are infused into a patient’s chests to scar the chest wall and help them breathe properly without letting the tumor to increase, to some extent.

Paracentesis:

Paracentesis is a similar method of using a needle to extract fluid, but from the abdominal section of the body. It follows the same procedure of extracting fluid from the lining of the stomach or other abdominal organs. Patients with peritoneal Mesothelioma can benefit from paracentesis surgery.

Treating Mesothelioma Chemotherapy – Gemcitabine

Gemcitabine, a chemotherapy drug administered to combat numerous types of cancer, is being used to treat mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. It works by interfering with the process of DNA replication in rapidly developing cancer cells, thereby stopping the spread of harmful growths.

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