Significant progress has been made in the early cancer detection and treatment options but still there are cancers, such as Mesothelioma, that are not easy to treat. Since 2006, scientists have learned quite a bit about the differences between normal cells and cancer cells.
They are working overtime to come up with drugs that can treat mesothelioma without causing any side effects. Angiogenesis drugs are promising treatments that have no side effects attached and target the tumor rather than the normal cells of the body.
Immunotherapy and Mesothelioma
Commonly known as biological therapy, immunotherapy uses the immune system of the body to protect it against disease. Scientists have come to the conclusion that the immune system can distinguish between cancer cells and healthy cells and it can get rid of cancerous cells.
The main objective of immunotherapy is to repair and increase the
natural anticancer function of the immune system. Substances employed in immunotherapy are known as biological response modifiers. With biological response modifiers, you will find that your body can fight disease much better.
There are plenty of biological response modifiers such as antibodies and cytokines that occur naturally in the body. However, with advancements in technology, scientists are making biological response modifiers in the laboratory that can imitate natural immune response agents. These biological response modifiers increase the immune system so cancer cell growth can be reduced. They also create cancer cells that can be easily destroyed by the immune system.
Photodynamic Therapy for Mesothelioma
Photodynamic therapy is a treatment set on the basis of the "single-celled organisms" concept. The main function of photodynamic therapy is to get rid of the cancerous cells using fixed frequency light. By using fixed frequency light, photosensitizing drugs are activated. Generally, photosensitizing drugs are accumulated in body tissues.
In photodynamic therapy, a photosensitizing drug is administered intravenously. Within two or three days, photosensitizing drugs selectively focus on diseased cells while avoiding normal cells. After this, the treated cancer cells are exposed to a laser light directed on the cancer site using a fiber-optic device which allows manipulation of the laser light.
The major side effect associated with photodynamic therapy is skin sensitivity. If you are undergoing photodynamic therapy, you must avoid direct sunlight for a period of one month. Other side effects of photodynamic therapy are nausea, eye sensitivity to light, vomiting and a metallic taste in the mouth.
Other Therapies for Mesothelioma Patients
Gene Therapy treats the disease at the DNA level. For individuals with abnormal genes, this therapy can be quite useful. Replacement Gene Therapy where a missing gene is substituted. The p53 gene is often the main target for gene substitution.
Knockout Gene Therapy the emphasis is on the oncogenes products (cancer causing genes) that are responsible for tumor formation.