In recent years, several clinical trials have shown promising results for the detection and prevention of mesothelioma. Here we will review these treatments and their potential effectiveness.
Chemotherapy is one form of mesothelioma treatment. To date, only one chemotherapy treatment (the combination of Alimta and Cislatin), has gained FDA approval. But new medications on the horizon may bring some good news to mesothelioma patients. A new drug, Onconase, may be one of the very first stem cell medications to make it all the way through clinical trails. This drug has a low toxicity, and is designed to shrink and then eliminate mesothelioma tumors. The FDA has placed Onconase on a fast track for approval because of its potential for helping mesothelioma patients. Yet another promising drug currently in clinical trails is Veglin. Veglin works by stabilizing and shrinking tumors. This drug is currently being tested on patients at the Keck School of Medicine at The University of California.
In addition to chemotherapies, other therapies are showing promise as well. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy is now being used across the country. This type of radiation is more precise in its delivery, making the treatment potentially more effective. There are also gene therapies under trial that reportedly use genetically modified viruses to stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells. And photodynamic therapy uses light to kill cancer cells.
When it comes to mesothelioma prevention and early detection, breakthroughs are happening in that area as well. The Fujirebo Diagnostics test, still under research, is the first biomarker test to use a simple blood screen to detect the presence of biomarkers for mesothelioma. Early diagnosis of mesothelioma is important for providing effective treatment, yet it is also a rare occurrence, as most mesothelioma patients do not notice their symptoms until it is too late.
While these research trials show great promise, it may be years before the treatments become available to the public. This is because the approval process is designed to ensure that patients are kept safe from dangerous side effects and that the effectiveness of the drug is proven.
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