The current standard mesothelioma treatments fail to cure the disease and generally only slightly improve mesothelioma patients’ life expectancy. While a cure remains nonexistent, innovative treatments offer new hope for mesothelioma victims. In clinical trials, new mesothelioma treatments, such as intraoperative photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy, are currently being tested on patients.

Mesothelioma Intraoperative Photodynamic Therapy

Intraoperative photodynamic therapy is a new treatment for pleural mesothelioma that uses special drugs and light to kill cancer cells during surgery. First, a dye that is designed to make cancer cells more sensitive to light is injected into a vein several days before surgery. During surgery, a special light is shined on the pleura in order to kill as much cancer as possible.

At this point, it is still unclear whether or not intraoperative photodynamic therapy offers any advantage over other mesothelioma treatments. So far, only one study has been done to evaluate intraoperative photodynamic therapy’s benefits and the results suggested that this treatment was no better than standard mesothelioma treatments. However, intraoperative photodynamic therapy is still being studied and there is still a chance that it may be helpful in treating mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma and Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a new mesothelioma treatment approach that uses the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer within the body. Without help, the body’s immune system will not fight mesothelioma cells because the body has been tricked into thinking that the cancer cells are normal. However, immunotherapy drugs, called biological response modifiers, have been discovered to trigger the immune system to recognize the mesothelioma cells as bad and attack them.

Although immunotherapy is still being studied, immunotherapy has shown promise in phase II clinical trials so far. In fact, immunotherapy caused some tumors to significantly shrink in early-stage mesothelioma patients. If proven effective, immunotherapy may be able to prevent mesothelioma from spreading into other tissue systems. In addition immunotherapy may suppress the body’s ability to grow new cancer.

Contact Us Today

If you need mesothelioma treatment, such as immunotherapy or intraoperative photodynamic therapy, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses.  Please contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options. 

Published November 17, 2011 by