Several new mesothelioma treatments are being developed. Researches mostly revolve around developing new treatments or improving upon the traditional treatments. Hopes are high for mesothelioma patients as new chemotherapy agents and combinations of agents are giving improved results.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a new mesothelioma treatment based on the theory that single celled organisms die when exposed to certain frequency of light. For this certain photosensitive drugs are administered intravenously. In a couple of days, the drug concentrates on the diseased cell and destroys it. Skin sensitivity, nausea and vomiting are some of the side effects.
Immunotherapy, sometimes called biological therapy, is another new method in mesothelioma treatment. In this method, the immune system of body is used to treat the disease. The body’s ability to treat itself might be hampered due to certain reasons. Immunotherapy tries to rejuvenate the immune system and there by improving the natural immune system which is the most effective way to combat any disease. The therapy also tries to repair immune systems that are faulty. Biological response modifiers (BRMs) are the substances used in immunotherapy. BRMs naturally occur in the body but it can now be prepared in laboratory and is found to give the same effect as the natural ones.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is new treatment used to improve local control of mesothelioma. In this radiation doses can be administered to tumor without causing damage to nearby normal cells. Treatment at the DNA level is an important breakthrough in science. Gene Therapy tries to correct or replace abnormal genes. Replacement gene therapy and knockout gene therapy are two main types of gene therapy. In replacement gene therapy the mutated or missing gene which causes mesothelioma is replaced. In knockout gene therapy, the gene responsible for tumor is completely eliminated. With more and more information regarding genes being unfolded, gene therapy treatment has a promising future in the treatment of mesothelioma.
Treatments which use some combinations of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, called multimodality therapy, are being researched upon. Heated intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy and use of pemetrexed drug, brand named Alimta, are some of the new developments in the treatment of mesothelioma.
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