Clinical Trials Underway For Treatment of Asbestos Cancer
Mesothelioma researchers are now concerned with increasing the effectiveness of treatments and of course, ultimately finding a cure. This is where clinical trials come in; they are extremely important to the study of asbestos cancer because this form of cancer is so rare. This means that there is a lot less opportunity for the observation of mesothelioma as opposed to, for example, breast cancer.
Clinical trials also give patients access to treatments not yet released to the public. Each trial involves four phases which build off one another to help a treatment reach clinical acceptance. Many types of mesothelioma treatments are being studied currently in clinical trials, including Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, gene therapy, and photodynamic therapy.
More Precise Radiation
IMRT is a very precise type of radiation, sparing any damage to healthy surrounding tissue. More importantly, this radiation is delivered externally, so it is entirely non-invasive.
Gene therapy is still in the stage of experimentation. Clinical trials have, however, shown results with promise. Gene therapy kills cancerous cells by activating the immune system using laboratory-modified viruses. Another technique still in experimentation is immunotherapy, which attacks the antigens in cancerous cells through the manipulation of the immune system.
Many researchers are happy with the results exhibited by the experimentation of photodynamic therapy. This type of therapy uses light energy to kill cancer cells; a photo-sensitizing drug is injected into the patients where it remains in cancer cells longer than healthy ones. A light is then emitted, one that is specific to a certain wavelength, and a reaction occurs, killing the cancer cells.
Mesothelioma does not yet have a cure, but researchers are testing various techniques in clinical trials currently. Just some of these techniques include photodynamic therapy, gene therapy and immunotherapy, as well as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy. The future for mesothelioma treatment looks bright due to many promising results.