New Mesothelioma Treatment Developments in 2020
Mesothelioma Awareness Day is in September, so it is a good time to recognize new research for the cancer and look at how far we have come in the treatment of the disease. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium, which surrounds different organs, but it primarily affects the pleura. When people inhale asbestos fibers, the fibers can become lodged in human tissue, leading to cancer. With 3,000 people diagnosed with mesothelioma every year and no cure, new treatments being available give a chance for patients to live longer and better lives.
One overall treatment that is continuing to show promising results is immunotherapy. It uses the human body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. One of the most recent immunotherapy drugs to be approved for mesothelioma is Keytruda. Keytruda blocks the PD-1 pathway, which typically allows cancer cells to hide within the body. When functioning properly, T-cells move throughout the body to find and fight cancer cells. When cancer cells use the PD-1 pathway, they can avoid detection though. Keytruda allows the T cells to do their job and lets them detect and kill cancer cells.
Oncolytic viruses are another new treatment option for mesothelioma. They were tested alongside immunotherapy to determine their effectiveness. Oncolytic viruses infect and kill cancer cells, and once a tumor is killed, it releases new virus particles throughout the body. Oncolytic viruses are useful because they only affect cancer cells. Oncolytic viruses can be natural or man-made, but for research and cancer treatment purposes the oncolytic viruses used on mesothelioma are man-made.
Another new treatment for mesothelioma in 2020 includes Tumor Treating Fields alongside Keytruda. Tumor treating Fields were approved for mesothelioma last year, but the approval was for their use alongside chemotherapy. Tumor treating Fields work by delivering electrical current to the body through adhesive pads, preventing cancer cells from dividing. This slows the cancer spread and allows the cancer to be stopped or even killed. The combination of Tumor Treating Fields and immunotherapy, which are effective separately, could potentially help cancer patients more than standard approved treatments.
With Mesothelioma Awareness Day fast approaching, it is good to know that new treatments and new combinations of old treatments are being tested to help mesothelioma patients. There have been many advances in treatments over the years, and 2020 is a year that is seeing new great therapies and results for those suffering. If you would like to help, you can check out the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation or the Asbestos Disease Awareness Association. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can contact us to see if you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us today by calling 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form and our attorneys will do everything they can to fight for you!