Recent research conducted for lung cancer treatment has also proven to be beneficial in treating pleural mesothelioma. Lung cancer treatment has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of the asbestos-induced form of cancer making treatment options for those suffering from mesothelioma more widely available.
Similarities and Differences
Lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma share symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and weight loss. They both affect areas associated with the lungs, with lung cancer forming in lung tissue, and mesothelioma forming in the lining of the lungs. Treatment options vary, but include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
The two forms of cancer differ dramatically in terms of risk. While lung cancer can be caused by smoking, air pollution, and exposure to asbestos, pleural mesothelioma is only caused by exposure to asbestos, making it an incredibly rare and dangerous form of cancer. As particles of asbestos can become trapped in bodily tissues indefinitely, ongoing damage can carry on as victims age. Mesothelioma is also difficult to diagnose, and patients diagnosed from the rare form of cancer suffer from a lack of treatment options as the cancer progresses.
Advancements in Treatment
Increased cancer research and advancements in technology have resulted in a large variety of cancer treatments. Today, it is common for medical professionals to create personalized treatment plans, particularly where mesothelioma patients are concerned.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not changed its specified treatment options for unresectable mesothelioma, patients can participate in clinical trials or utilize the FDA’s expanded access program to explore further treatment options. Further treatment options include:
Immunotherapy Drugs: Immunotherapy drugs include Pembrolizumab (Keytruda), Nivolumab (Opdivo), and Atezolizumab (Tecentriq). Keytruda, when used in combination with chemotherapy, has demonstrated double the effectiveness. Recent clinical trials for patients with pleural mesothelioma have resulted in reduced tumor size and an increased life expectancy while on Keytruda.
Opdivo and Tecentriq have recently been used as second-line treatments where chemotherapy has stopped working, and have helped to alleviate the symptoms and extend life expectancy of patients with mesothelioma.
CimaVax Vaccine: The CimaVax vaccine was developed in Cuba, and has recently been used in clinical trials in the U.S. It has been used for over two decades to treat lung cancer, is relatively inexpensive, and can be administered with other treatments easily. Although the vaccine was developed for lung cancer patients, it has proven to be effective in treating mesothelioma by reducing breathlessness and coughing, as well as slowing the overall growth of lung related cancers.
CAR T Cell Therapy: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy has shown promise in mesothelioma patients participating in customized gene therapy clinical trials. CAR T Cell therapy consists of reprogramming white blood cells called T cells to recognize and destroy specific types of cancer. CAR T cell therapy has worked well in combination with immunotherapy in mesothelioma patients.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler Assist Victims of MesotheliomaIf you or someone you love has been impacted by mesothelioma, contact a Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyer at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. To set up an initial consultation, complete our online form or call 215-569-4000 or 800-369-0899. For more than three decades we have served the people of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.