Mesothelioma Research - Mesothelioma is one of the most deadly types of cancer known to man. As such, there is a lot of money and time spent on mesothelioma research every year. Scientists and doctors are looking for ways to more specifically pinpoint the causes of the disease, to more readily and quickly diagnose it, and of course to improve the effectiveness of treatments. There is still a lot of mesothelioma research that needs to be done to help fight this very deadly disease.
A significant amount of mesothelioma research is geared toward finding out the specifically the root cause of the cancer. That means focusing on how mesothelioma affects the mesothelium and determining if there is any way to prevent those effects. Since there are different types of asbestos fibers, mesothelioma research is also looking at the different ways that those fibers can interact with the human body. This is important because asbestos already exists in so many buildings around the world, and it’s important to learn what levels of exposure, if any, are safe.
Another area of mesothelioma research is focused on a virus called SV40. Little is known about this virus, except that it is somehow linked to mesothelioma in some people.
Finding better ways to treat those suffering from the cancer is also a major focus area of mesothelioma research. Treatment for the cancer has always has multiple approaches, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation treatments. All of these different methods could potentially be improved to improve the lifespan of mesothelioma patients, and maybe even reduce mortality rates. Perhaps the most promising treatments being explored by mesothelioma research are “multimodality therapies” which combine all of the different ways to treat the disease.
In terms of individual treatments, each has its own specific problems. In the case of radiation therapy, the problem has always been the mesothelioma tumors aren’t well-defined. This means that radiation poses a major risk of damaging nearby body tissue when used against the cancer. Some new variations on radiation therapy have been cropping up in mesothelioma research. These treatments include three-dimensional conformal radiation treatment and intensity-modulated radiation therapy, which can use high tech computers to help make pinpoint radiation attacks.
Mesothelioma research is also looking for ways to improve chemotherapy and surgical methods as well. For example, there are some new chemotherapy drugs that are being used in clinical trials. Doctors have also been looking into techniques such as photodynamic therapy and gene therapy to help fight the mesothelioma problem.