Is Mesothelioma Curable?
Is mesothelioma curable? Unfortunately, researchers have yet to discover a cure for mesothelioma, which is caused by inhalation or swallowing of asbestos fibers that are carcinogenic to the human body. The main problem with successfully treating someone diagnosed with mesothelioma is the fact that this disease is rarely diagnosed in its early stages. Most diagnoses are made when the disease has progressed to stage three or four and not much can be done except to try to prolong the patient’s life and make the patient as comfortable as possible. Treatment plans involve surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, depending on the health of the individual and what would best treat the stage of the mesothelioma. Surgery to remove cancerous tumors from the lung’s lining is often implemented along with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy is commonly used to treat a wide variety of cancers and seems to work well on mesothelioma tumors by shrinking them which relieves pain and breathing difficulties. Immunotherapy is a somewhat new type of therapy which employs the use of cytokines and gene therapy. Cytokines are messenger proteins that can enhance the immune system, a vital component in successfully treating cancers and other aggressive disorders. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States has approved using photodynamic therapy for treating certain lung cancers as well as esophageal cancer but is still in the trial phase in regards to mesothelioma cancer. However, researchers consider this type of therapy promising and think it may become part of the treatment program for future mesothelioma patients.
Clinical trials are necessary to determine the efficacy and safety of drugs meant for treating debilitating disorders such as mesothelioma. With the use of volunteers, new anti-carcinogenic drugs and therapies such as photodynamic therapy can be thoroughly investigated and made available for patients suffering from a variety of diseases. With the advances being made in cancer research, scientists are constantly working on establishing new and improved treatments for mesothelioma patients.