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New Treatment Using Transarterial Chemoperfusion Shows Promise for Mesothelioma Patients

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive tumor primarily caused by exposure to asbestos. While there is currently no cure, researchers continue to discover new methods in treating symptoms.
A team at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa has discovered that transarterial chemoperfusion has real potential to extend life expectancy for mesothelioma patients.
How does transarterial chemoperfusion work?
Doctors apply a high dosage of drugs including cisplatin, methotrexate, and gemcitabine directly to lung tissue affected by the disease. This concentrated approach helps to increase the benefits of the drugs but decrease the side effects. The procedure can be performed outpatient and usually lasts an hour, with an additional hour for recovery.
Why is this different from chemotherapy?
Traditional chemotherapy is delivered intravenously, which results in the drugs being spread throughout the body. With transarterial chemoperfusion, radiologists inject a portion of the drugs directly into the arteries and vessels that connect with the pleura. This allows for a more targeted approach to treating malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Is transarterial chemoperfusion effective?
Even with the many advances scientists have found in treating mesothelioma, it is likely only a small percentage of patients will benefit from this treatment and it requires an early diagnosis. The percentage of patients in the trial that underwent transarterial chemoperfusion and whose malignant pleural mesothelioma shrank or remained stable was 70.3 percent. They had a median overall survival rate of 8.5 months from the time of treatment.
What should I do next?
If you are experiencing symptoms of mesothelioma, we urge you to contact your medical provider or a Mesothelioma Center of Excellence to be evaluated and diagnosed. Those who have been diagnosed should reach out for assistance, as you and your family may be entitled to compensation from those responsible for the exposure to asbestos.

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