p>Las Vegas—(July 17, 2012)—Baron and Budd, the mesothelioma law firm sponsoring this website, attended the 2012 Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) Symposium last week. There we encountered a brain trust of compelling commentary from researchers, physicians and surgeons.
Over the last 15 years the international medical community has come forth with stunning developments in mesothelioma treatment— each stemming from the core premise that mesothelioma is stubborn to diagnosis in the first place. Without early detection, any treatment’s impact is diminished.
By consensus the most exciting area of evolving treatment is immunotherapy— the science of utilizing certain human proteins and enzymes to destroy abnormal cell formation. Leading oncologists believe immunotherapy could be the next ‘precipice’ for stymying all asbestos-related cancers because it can stimulate the body to fight its own battles.
Two approaches to immunotherapy are being honed: aggressive and passive. Aggressive immunotherapy uses internal (existing) bodily substances to search and destroy specific, isolated antigens (unhealthy molecules attached to cells), rather than stimulating the entire immune system to attack blindly. Passive immunotherapy uses man-made laboratory replications of fluids to inject into the body for the same purpose.
Mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers advance aggressively like wildfire, though mesothelioma is peculiar to other cancers in that it stays confined within the original site rather than jumping (metastasizing) to other internal organs.
Every human cell has unhealthy ‘antigen’ molecules attached to its surface— bacterial, viral or inflammatory. The immune system is designed to recognize and attack these harmful antigens with white cells (antibodies). Antibodies in action are what we call ‘infection,’ the body’s cavalry on the offensive.
Oddly, however, early stage mesothelioma cells are not recognized as harmful by the immune system: in other words mesothelioma— though very ‘abnormal’— triggers no red alert; it signals no cavalry. Mesothelioma, therefore, is left unchecked to develop and multiply since the immune system does not ‘get’ the message to charge.
The success of immunotherapy treatment, then, is contingent on helping the body’s immune system red-flag mesothelioma as the enemy— sequentially attacking and destroying it before it advances.