Development and Cancer Research is an ongoing process. In the field of the treatment of mesothelioma, researchers focus on the improvement of traditional treatments and the development of new techniques to relieve pain of patients. New agents and chemotherapy combination are now giving hope to patients of mesothelioma and increased survival among them. Several recent advances have improved diagnosis and treatment of the incurable disease. In the hope of healing in the foreseeable future is therefore not something surreal.
Computer tomography scans are not only a diagnostic tool in the treatment of mesothelioma. CT scans now enable the surgical team to accurately determine the position of the tumors in the anatomy of the patient. This allows cytoreduction to be more effective. Adequate Cytoreduction is essential to the improvement of the chances of survival of the patient. More the number of cells of the tumor which are removed, the less are the chances that cancer develops and spreads.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
Photodynamic therapy is one of the last researched mesothelioma treatments. PDT made use of a photosensitizer. It is a drug which produces active oxygen when exposed to a certain wavelength of light. Active oxygen destroys all the adjacent cells. When the patient is treated with the photosensitizer (for example with the porfimer sodium), drug invades the whole body. However, by the very nature of the molecule, it remains attached to the cancer cells for a longer period. Therefore, after a period of 24 to 72 hours, when the agent has been removed normal cells, the tumor is exposed to light (usually a transmitted tissues by optical fiber laser focused by an endoscope). Active oxygen destroys tumor cells directly with the minimum of damage to normal cells. PDT also helps decrease indirectly by destroying the blood vessels that feed tumors and tumors by activating the immune system to fight the tumor.
The advantage of PDT is that it can be used repeatedly with much less side effects than other treatments. The main drawback is that the light cannot usually achieve tumor cells which are more than 1 cm deep. Therefore, PDT is more effective in skin cancers and cancers in the wall of the internal organs and cavities. Fortunately, mesothelioma falls into this category.
Inhibitors of angiogenesis
Angiogenesis means the development of new blood vessels. Blood vessels are an essential factor in the growth of tumors. All malignant tumours develop their own vascular system that transports nutrients from the blood circulation of the tumor, fuelling its growth. Controlling the development of these vascular systems has been an important strategy in the fight against cancer mesothelioma. Angiogenesis inhibitors are drugs that block angiogenesis. This cuts off the coast of supply oxygen and nutrients to the tumor growth stops immediately.
The advantage of angiogenesis inhibitors is that they are not as toxic than most other chemotherapy drugs. They can be continuously given to the patient and are thus more effective in the fight against cancer. Bevacizumab (Avastin) is an example of an anti-angiogenesis in the trial drug clinic mesothelioma.
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