Following the backlash of asbestos-related exposures and illnesses, many people were wondering how scientific research was going to proceed. The response has been encouraging, with cancer specialists and other doctors working each day towards a cure for malignant mesothelioma. While a way to completely eliminate the cancer from the body does not presently exist, there are several successful mesothelioma treatment programs as well as clinical trials that are working towards developing a way to eliminate this unfortunate form of cancer.
Treatments for patients of malignant mesothelioma commonly fall in line with treatment of other lung and lung-related cancers. Curative treatments are those which remove the cancer from the body completely. While there are no cures for mesothelioma, any treatment could theoretically be curative, so long as it is successful in completely removing the cancer from the body. While the treatment may be curative, it is important to remember that curative treatments do not rule out the recurrence of the disease.
While curative treatments may not prevent the disease from recurring, it is important to be aware of current initiatives that are working towards a total cure for the disease. There have been instances of unique treatment programs that have prevented the recurrence of the disease for several years. Paul Krauss was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1997 and given only a few months to live by his physician. Today, Paul Krauss is still alive and active and has dedicated himself towards spreading awareness of the disease and working with others in developing treatment programs that would be as successful as his has been.
Combination treatments, which integrate two or more different treatment options, such as surgery coupled with radiation, or surgery paired with radiation and chemotherapy have been successful in extending life expectancies. Researchers believe that when the right combination of therapies is found, prognoses will be far longer than anyone could have imagined when the disease first manifested. Technology has also afforded new possibilities to mesothelioma patients. CT (Computer Topography) scans have been able to map three-dimensional images of the body’s internal organs for targeted chemotherapy or radiation therapy to be administered.
Another novel technique is being integrated with surgical resections of mesothelioma tumors. Heated chemotherapeutic agents have shown increased proficiency in the elimination of cancer cells. Side effects of chemotherapy have, in the past, prevented physicians from delivering an optimal dosage of the drug. However, a novel procedure known as intracavity heated chemotherapy treatment has integrated these two concepts into a successful program. Heated chemotherapeutic agent is administered directly to the affected area during the surgical removal, destroying any remaining cancer cells in the area and extending prognoses well beyond typical timeframs.
It is through technology and advancements such as these that cancer specialists and physicians are laying the groundwork for a cure.