May 12, 2012 – Mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive form of cancer that is caused by the exposure to asbestos fibers. The disease can take years to manifest, but many patients fall victim to the disease within a year of diagnosis. While there is no cure for mesothelioma, treatments are available to ease the pain and suffering and to extend a victim’s life expectancy. Mesothelioma researchers are always looking for new developments and therapies to improve or extend the lives of those suffering from mesothelioma.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery the results of their medical study of a potential mesothelioma treatment combining surgery and light. The medical findings are reported to be both promising and safe with additional studies needed. Focusing his law practice on the fight for justice for individuals injured by the devastating effects of asbestos exposure, Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyer, Ben Shein of the Shein Law, is encouraged by these findings in that the Benjamin Shein Foundation, a charitable organization, regularly supports research for the cure and treatment of mesothelioma.
Multimodal Mesothelioma Treatment is a Lung-Sparing Technique
Radical pleurectomy and decortication (P/D) is a two-step procedure that includes the removal of the involved thickened pleural lining, followed by an attempt to remove any visible tumor growth. The affected lung is scraped to remove the maximum amount of cancer cells. The lung is left intact. The goal of treatment is to allow the lung to more easily expand. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a unique type of treatment that uses a light sensitive drug and light to target and kill cancer cells. The procedure involves a patient being injected with a photosensitizing medicine. Both healthy and cancerous cells absorb the drug. After several days, the drug has left the healthy cells but remains in the mesothelioma cells. A laser light is then focused on the tumor where it produces a kind of oxygen that kills the cancer cells and sometimes the blood vessels that supply the tumor.
Statistics Show Encouraging Results for Mesothelioma Patients
Thirty-eight patients participated in the University of Pennsylvania study. Ninety-seven percent of the patients had stage III/IV mesothelioma and eighty-two percent had the epithelioid type. All of participants underwent the pleurectomy and decortication in combination with the photodynamic therapy.
Thirty-five of the 38 patients also received systemic therapy. Complete resection was obtained in 37 of the patients. There was one post procedure mortality from a stroke. Unusually long survival rates were experienced among the participants. The median survival rate was 31.7 months for all the patients.
Thirty-one of the 38 patients had the epithelial type of mesothelioma. They showed a longer median survival rate of 41.2 months when compared to those with the nonepithelial subtype. In addition, this group also had a slower rate of disease progression. However, the time it took for the disease to reoccur was not prolonged. In conclusion, it was noted that this treatment approach is safe and shows promising results. The researchers have suggested that additional investigations will be necessary to better understand the results and are currently underway at the University.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyer Ben Shein Is Here To Help
Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyer Ben Shein has witnessed firsthand the pain and suffering that a mesothelioma diagnosis can cause and has dedicated his practice to helping the victims and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered from exposure to asbestos and developed mesothelioma, it is imperative for you to contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Mr. Shein can guide you through the complex litigation process while he fights to secure the financial compensation that you rightfully deserve. For a thorough review of your case, call Mr. Shein at 1-877-Sheinlaw (1-877-743-4652) or contact him online.