Malignant Mesothelioma Research a Cancer Research Priority
Malignant mesothelioma research has become a priority in recent years because of the ever-increasing number of cases. With more and more individuals who were exposed to asbestos decades ago reaching the age at which this virulent cancer manifests itself, continuing research into malignant mesothelioma cancer seems to be assured.
One of the most important focuses of this research is determining how asbestos inhalation actually leads to malignant mesothelioma; that is, why do these inhaled fibers trigger a proliferation of cancerous cells in the lungs, peritoneal cavity and chest wall cavity? If researchers discover about how and why this happens, finding a cure will be significantly easier – and there may be ways to prevent malignant mesothelioma in the future.
Malignant Mesothelioma Research Focuses on Treatment Options
Just as valuable to patients who have already been diagnosed is the intensive research being done regarding more and better treatment options. Mesothelioma doesn’t respond to chemotherapy and radiation therapy as some other forms of malignant cancer, so researchers are searching for alternatives.
A few alternatives being researched include anti-angiogenesis (using drugs that stop any blood supply from getting to the cancer cells, thereby killing the malignant cells) and anti-growth factors (which prevent cancerous mesothelioma cells from either growing or reproducing).
A multi-phase, multi-treatment approach to treating malignant mesothelioma is also being studied at research labs across the country. Over the years doctors have discovered that no one approach to treating mesothelioma is efficient. Rather than simple trial and error approaches with a variety of treatment modalities, new malignant mesothelioma cancer research focuses on finding the absolute best combination of a variety of treatments in hopes of finding a standard protocol for patients that is most effective.
Gene therapy is the most recent development in malignant mesothelioma cancer research. Although it is still experimental, and in some ways theoretical in nature, gene therapy holds huge promise as a way to introduce certain viruses or genetic materials into the cancerous region in order to stimulate the body’s own immune system to destroy the malignancy.
With so much time, research and money being invested in malignant mesothelioma research, it is hoped that a cure will soon be on the horizon.
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