A New Take on Mesothelioma Treatment Could Deliver Amazing Results

April 22, 2014

Hope is something that mesothelioma patients cling to wherever they can find it. A new study could deliver just that.

Clinical research performed by doctors at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Cancer Center showed that mesothelioma patients may have a much better chance of surviving the disease if they have radiation therapy before – rather than after – their surgery. According to the lead author of the study, Dr. John Cho, the three-year survival rate of patients treated in this fashion was 72 percent, compared to the average of 32 percent.

In a press release issued by the hospital, Dr. Cho said that the 25 patients involved in the study experienced shorter treatment, fewer complications and a speedier recovery. The findings were published Jan. 20 in the online version of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, is caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease is particularly difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to several others. In addition, it can take decades after exposure to develop. Once it does, it can be very aggressive, eventually invading the entire organ.

The full name of the treatment method is Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy, or SMART. This approach, according to the release, slashed the treatment cycle for the patients involved in the study from five months to one month. In addition, it also eliminated the ability of the cancer to move elsewhere in the abdomen or chest during surgery – thus reducing the risk of recurrence.

The radiation technique used – intensity-modulated radiation therapy – was applied over a five-day period. It was applied around tumors while sparing healthy tissues in the spine, heart and other areas. The following week, patients had surgery to remove the affected lung.

Dr. Marc de Perrot, the co-author of the study, is an associate professor of surgery at the University of Toronto as well as the head of the Toronto Mesothelioma Research Program. According to the release, Cho, de Perrot and the rest of the research team have used the approach to successfully treat 20 more patients since the study was completed.

And that is exactly the kind of hope mesothelioma patients are looking for.

If asbestos exposure has resulted in a diagnosis of mesothelioma in either you or someone you know, you may have a potential mesothelioma lawsuit. The mesothelioma law firm of Baron and Budd is ready to fight for your rights. Our mesothelioma lawyers are ready to help you, just as we have helped others suffering from asbestos exposure for more than 35 years.

Call us at (866) 538-0485 or contact us here if you would like to learn more.