And Clinical Trials
While there is no known cure for mesothelioma, research has provided a wide array of material on this deadly form of cancer in the form of mesothelioma research and clinical trials. Ever since asbestos was identified as a causative factor in mesothelioma cases in South Africa in a 1960 study, a great deal of mesothelioma research has focused on learning about the effects of asbestos upon cells, and how the cells are changed by exposure to this material.
Important Mesothelioma Studies
A 1992 study about DNA and other cellular effects of asbestos found that not only can DNA adhere to asbestos fibers and transfer from once cell to another, but also that mesothelial cells appear to be sensitive to all asbestos fiber types. Therefore, while amphibole asbestos fibers such as crocidolite and amosite have been most commonly linked to mesothelioma, exposure to chrysotile asbestos fibers also causes mesothelioma and can produce negative prognoses. Natural asbestos fibers are usually mixtures of all different types, so exposure to any type of asbestos fiber should warrant great concern.
In 1988, a study of asbestos fibers revealed that people with pleural mesothelioma had seven times as much asbestos in their tissues as people without the disease. Peritoneal mesothelioma patients had 16 times as much asbestos as people without the disease. During an investigation in 1998, researchers found that people with a family history of cancer may have a greater chance of developing mesothelioma or may be more susceptible to mesothelioma following asbestos exposure.
National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials
The National Cancer Institute has carried out many clinical trials involving the treatment of mesothelioma. These trials involve real patients who have been diagnosed with every stage of mesothelioma, and have some value regarding the development of new treatments.
While many new trails are being carried out on a regular basis, however, there are no guarantees. On the other hand, several new methods of treatment have resulted from mesothelioma research:
- Photodynamic therapy uses fixed frequency light to target abnormal cells and kill them off by the activation of photosensitizing drugs.
- Immunotherapy fights the abnormal cells through the enhancement and development of the body’s immune system, and intensity modulated radiation therapy is a radiation treatment that targets only the affected area/tumor and avoids contact with healthy cells and tissue.
- Alimta is a drug approved by the U.S. FDA as a treatment for mesothelioma. It suppresses enzymes that cause rapid tumor growth, and combining it with the chemotherapy agent cisplatin can increase life expectancy by a few months.
- Gene therapy is also being explored.
Contact us for more information
If you or a loved one is battling asbestos related disease, contact the Louisiana mesothelioma attorneys at the Law Firm of Landry, Swarr and Canella. You can count on our experience to help you find the best treatment options as well as competent and tough legal representation to ensure your family is protected during this difficult time.