New Therapies

The conventional treatments for mesothelioma are chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery which are quite ineffective and unfortunately it is extremely difficult to be completely cured from mesothelioma. However research on various types of treatments is advancing. More and more is being learned about mesothelioma and specialist are gaining valuable experience.

New therapies that are being studied include Multimodality Therapy , Anti-Angiogenic Therapy , Immunotherapy , Gene Therapy ,  Photodynamic Therapy.

Multimodality Therapy
Multimodality therapy involves studies about the combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery that can best be applied for the treatment of mesothelioma cancer.

Anti-Angiogenic Therapy
Angiogenesis is the process that involves the growth of new blood vessels from other pre-existing vessels.  When one has mesothelioma we have a situation where the amount of new blood vessels produced by the individual is excessive. New blood vessels feed the disease and spread the cancerous cells throughout the body of the patient. Therefore it is important to halt the growth of new blood vessels. Drugs are being studied in order to try to interfere with this process. 

This type of therapy helps the immune system to fight cancerous cells. The immune system may not be able to recognize the difference between normal cells and cancerous cells or the response to cancerous cells is weak. Immunotherapy helps the immune system to recognize that cancerous cells are harmful and so encourages the natural body defenses to attack such harmful cells.

Gene therapy
Different types of gene therapies are being studied for the treatment of mesothelioma. Gene therapy attempts to fight the disease at the DNA level. In some types of gene therapies cancerous cells are targeted in order to make them more prone to chemotherapy drugs.

Photodynamic Therapy
This involves the destruction of cells through a special light. Certain drugs are administered, usually intravenously some days before the process. These drugs make cells sensitive to light of a certain wavelength. Then these drugs destroy cells as they are exposed to this light.