Advances in Mesothelioma Cancer Research

Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that is the result of exposure to asbestos. It is different from lung cancer. This affects the lining of the lungs, the abdomen and the heart. Every year, 2500 to 3000 American men and women are diagnosed of mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma cancer results primarily from being around an asbestos-filled environment. The ironic thing about the illness is that the person has no idea he already has it. It only appears twenty to fifty years after affliction. Symptoms include difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing and jabbing pains in the chest.

Since the lung is the target of gene therapy, especially for genetic disorders like malignant mesothelioma, more and more studies are being conducted to see the effects of this treatment. The progress may be slower than what is expected by most, but as soon as it has been confirmed that gene therapy can safely result to the recovery of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, then that is a major improvement of the 21st century.

Thing is researchers, doctors and medical students are all aware that mesothelioma cancer places a challenge for everyone involved in the medicine. There is hardly any treatment for the fatal cancer. Therefore, the studies that concentrate on the discovery of the treatment is often deemed as "experimental."

There have been incidences wherein traditional treatments are resorted to. Mixing the Western technology with Eastern herbal medicine could pretty much do the work, but the effectiveness of such remedies and its side effects are still to be discovered.

Patients with mesothelioma cancer can apply for clinical trial on these experimental treatments. However, tests involving new medicine or new devices on human subjects are meticulously controlled. These experimental treatments for mesothelioma cancer are done under the observation of the FDA or the Food and Drug Administration. Now, once approved and there are no side-effects, then this will be made available to clinics and drugstores all over the United States.

These are the experimental treatments for mesothelioma cancer: gene therapy, photodynamic therapy, immunotherapy, complementary medicine and alternative medicine.

Gene therapy is when there are modifications or replacements of the damaged or missing genes in the cancer cells of the patient diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. The methods of the treatment vary depending on the kinds of genes that are used. The whole process involves injection into the tissues.

Immunotherapy involves natural substances. In this procedure, the body uses up these substances to fight off the infections and the impending disease. This is used alongside other remedies in order to make the patients having mesothelioma cancer stronger and immune to other possible illnesses they can obtain.

It is also in this procedure where artificial immune systems are injected in order to stimulate the normal abilities of the patient.

The photodynamic therapy uses a drug that serves as stimulant.

In order to obtain more results, researchers try to mix and match alternative and complementary medicine methods that could

at least alleviate the symptoms of mesothelioma cancer. These may not be considered valid by the medicinal majority but more and more patients are turning to alternative healers and practices which they believe can be more effective. These are herbs, therapeutic massage, acupuncture and Eastern medicines.

Finally, a biopharmaceutical company in New Jersey concentrated on the discovery, development and commercialization of Onconase (scientific name: ranpirnase) to serve as the remedy for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. At the moment, onconase is being evaluated through clinical trials.

Once granted and approved by the Food and Drug Authority, Onconase will be sold exclusively in drug stores. Even if it is an orphan drug, it is still an important tool that could open doors how to treat the fatal cancer.


Elysiana Canlas


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