Mesothelioma

Doxurbicin

Navelbine

Navelbine

 
What is Navelbine?
 
 
Navelbine is an anti-mitotic chemotherapy drug that is administered as a treatment for certain types of cancer, including non-small cell lung cancers and breast cancer. Navelbine is the trade name given to Vinorelbine, which is the first 5’ NOR semit-synthetic vinca alkaloid. Navelbine is attained through semi-synthesis from alkaloids extracted from the rosy periwinkle.
 
 
Navelbine was invested by renowned pharmacist Pierre Potier. The drug was derived from CNRS in France during the late 1980s and was formally licensed to the oncology department of the Pierre Gabre Organization. Navelbine was first approved in France in 1989 for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancers. Navelbine then earned approval to treat breast cancer in 1991. Navelbine received formal approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration during the winter of 1994. The Pierre Fabre organization now markets Navelbine in the United States where the chemotherapy drug went generic in the winter of 2003. 
 
 
Navelbine: Common Side Effects
 
 
Navelbine has a multitude of side effects that ultimately limits its use. The most common side effect attached to Navelbine is a lowered resistance to infection, bleeding, bruising, constipation, explosive diarrhea, general feelings of fatigue and/or weakness, inflammation of the vein which the drug was injected, tingling of the hands and/or feet and headaches. Less common side effects associated with Navelbine use include: allergic reaction and hair loss. 
 
 
How Does Navelbine Fight Mesothelioma Cancer:
 
 
Navelbine is one of the newest chemotherapy drugs available on the market today. Navelbine is derived from a group of drugs referred to as plant alkaloids; these drugs are applied to stop cancer cells from multiplying or separating into multiple new cells. Navelbine may be administered in tandem with other chemotherapy drugs to combat mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
Clinical trials for Navelbine have shown that roughly one quarter of all mesothelioma cancer patients–who applied the drug to their mesothelioma treatment plan—exhibited positive responses. This statistic is approximately 5% higher than the success rates for the bulk of chemotherapy drugs. In some instances, the patient’s mesothelioma cancer stabilized for several months.
 
 
Navelbine, as a mesothelioma inhibitor, is injected through the patient’s vein or via a central line. Navelbine may be also administered via a capsule. If your medical professional has chosen the capsule form, the drug must be taken with a full glass of water and you must stringently adhere to the schedule created by your doctor for your chemotherapy plan. Your doctor will determine the suitable dosage levels as well as the frequency of the Navelbine mesothelioma treatments. Navelbine dosage is dependent on your body weight, size, overall health and the stage of your cancer. 
 
 
Dissimilar to the majority of mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs, Navelbine does not work by altering the patient’s DNA structure. Instead, Navelbine interferes with the cancer’s cell division. 
 
 
During the cancer’s cell division process (referred to as mitosis), the cell’s DNA is replicated so that there are two identical sets of chromosomes, which are constructed with a series of micro tubes. These tools are utilized to attach themselves to the chromosomes; the micro tubes pull one copy to one side of the dividing cell and the other to the opposite side. The micro tubes are constructed by long chains of a distinct type of proteins referred to as tubulins. When administered, Navelbine binds itself to the tubulins to stop the microtubules from being formed. Without the application of functional microtubules, the call will not divide and eventually die. 
 
 
While Navelbine possesses a lower toxicity than most chemotherapy drugs, this particular mesothelioma drug still exhibits certain problems, including a reduction in the number of red blood cells and platelets. Navelbine may also cause granulocytopenia, which is regarded as a severe decrease in the number of white blood cells needed to fight infection. A doctor will typically recommend a patient to have white cell blood counts in the 1,000’s before Navelbine is administered. Dosage is subsequently adjusted depending on the blood counts measured on each treatment day. Pregnant women should avoid taking Navelbine because it is known to cause birth defects.
 
 
What is Mesothelioma?
 
 
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that formulates from the alteration of cells in the mesothelium–a two-layered membrane that environs the lungs, abdomen and chest cavity. Mesothelioma is observed in three forms; each type is directly linked to prolonged asbestos exposure. Because of this relationship with the dangerous filament, individuals with a protracted history of asbestos exposure are at risk of developing the deadly disease.
 
 
When asbestos fibers are inhaled, the dust adheres to the mesothelium. These carcinogens foster tumors which are susceptible to proliferation. The destruction of protective tissues gives way to mitosis to remote areas in the body, including several vital organs. At this stage in the cancer’s life, malignant mesothelioma is regarded as inoperable.
When undisturbed, asbestos does not pose a risk to humans; however, when asbestos is contacted, carcinogenic dust is released into the atmosphere, thus becoming susceptible to inhalation. When asbestos dust is inhaled, the probability of developing mesothelioma significantly increases. 
 
 
The wide majority of mesothelioma cases may be observed in the abdomen cavity or the lungs. Common symptoms include: pleural effusion (build-up of fluids in the pleural cavity), painful swallowing, night sweats, chest pains, bowel obstruction, difficulty breathing, unexpected weight loss, and a painful cough.
 
 
Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose during the disease’s earliest stages. Complications associated with mesothelioma diagnosis derive from the cancer’s slow-developing nature and fairly routine cellular structure. Mesothelioma symptoms will not present themselves until 25-50 years following the patient’s preliminary exposure to the deadly mineral.
Treatment for mesothelioma cancer is largely based on the stage (progression) of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. Mesothelioma stages represent the degree of the cancer’s proliferation; in its last stage (4th stage), mesothelioma has already spread to several organs beyond the point of origin. 
 
 
Because a delay in diagnosis, malignant mesothelioma prognosis is often bleak; the average survival time is 4 to 18 months. 
 
 
Mesothelioma may be detected in the following forms: pleural, peritoneum and pericardial. Pleural—the most common form of the cancer–attacks the pleural cavity, which is the thin layer of lubricating cells located between the chest cavity and lungs; Pericardium mesothelioma develops in the layer of tissues that protect the lungs; and peritoneum mesothelioma terminates the protective membranes surrounding the abdomen (the peritoneum). 
 
 
As stated above, treatment for mesothelioma cancers are elastic to the stage that the disease was diagnosed in. Details concerning mesothelioma stages are as follows:
Stage I Mesothelioma: During the first stage of the cancer, mesothelioma features a localized tumor located in the lining of the lungs, the diaphragm or the sac surrounding the heart. Securing a diagnosis at this stage is exceptionally rare. Those lucky enough to receive a 1st stage diagnosis may be ruled eligible for curative mesothelioma surgeries. These operations will attempt to extract cancerous tumors from the body.
 
 
Stage II Mesothelioma: In its second stage, the mesothelioma cancer spreads past the point of origin. The tumor may spread to the lymph nodes or chest wall. Although curative treatment methods may be undertaken for stage II mesothelioma patients, life expectancy is greatly decreased in this stage.
 
 
Stage III Mesothelioma: Tangible symptoms are noticed in this stage. The presence of symptoms makes diagnosis most common in stage III. Stage III mesothelioma cancer features proliferation to the lining of the peritoneum, the mediastinum, the heart or to the chest wall and/or diaphragm. Stage III mesothelioma sufferers face a vicious prognosis. This limited life expectancy warrants only palliative treatment options. Stage III mesothelioma cancer is not curable at this stage. Palliative treatment methods may be applied to boost the patient’s quality of life by mitigating the associated symptoms. 
 
 
Stage IV Mesothelioma: In its last stage, mesothelioma cancer features widespread proliferation to remote locations of the body. Because of this spreading, Stage IV mesothelioma is inoperable. Symptoms associated with stage IV mesothelioma are extremely painful. Similar to the cancer’s previous stage, only palliative treatment options may be applied to the sufferer. Median life expectancy for a mesothelioma stage IV mesothelioma patient is only 4 to 18 months.
 
 
If you or someone close to you has experienced a prolonged history of asbestos exposure, you must immediately schedule an appointment with a licensed medical professional. A physical examination and various imaging tests are necessary to observe your protective tissues and pleural space in the hopes of securing an early mesothelioma diagnosis. A doctor, after observing your history with asbestos, will request imaging tests, such as a CT scan, MRI and/or chest X-ray (the chest x-ray is often administered before the other imaging tests). If this pick-up on any irregularities, the doctor will suggest a biopsy; this evaluation extracts infected cells to affirm or rule-out a mesothelioma diagnosis.
 
 
Even if you do not notice any symptoms, seeking medical attention is a necessary precaution if you have a prolonged history of asbestos exposure. Early diagnosis is essential to mesothelioma treatment; although the cancer’s life expectancy is grim, your life may be prolonged or even saved if you secure early detection or an early diagnosis. 
 
 

Gemcitabine

Gemcitabine

 
What is Gemcitabine?
 
 
Gemcitabine is a nucleoside analog applied as a chemotherapy drug to combat several diseases, including mesothelioma cancer. Gemcitabine is administered through an IV and is extensively metabolized by the patient’s gastrointestinal tract. Generic gemcitabine dosage ranges from 1-1.2 g/m of body surface area depending on the type of cancer treated. 
Gemcitabine is utilized in various carcinomas” pancreatic cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer and bladder cancer. Gemcitabine is currently being investigated for utilization in esophageal cancer and is being tested for experimental use in lymphomas and four other tumor types. Gemcitabineis regarded as advanced means to fight pancreatic cancers. Gemcitabine is not as debilitating as some other forms of chemotherapy drugs. 
 
 
Gemcitabine, in 2000, became a prominent first line treatment method for Stage 4 bladder cancer with metastases; in this form, Gemcitabine is used in conjunction with cisplatin. This treatment method yields similar efficacy rates to former applied treatment methods, including the MVAC regimen. The Gemcitabine method involves taking cisplatin on the 2nd day of treatment and Gemcitabine on days 1, 8 and 15. In July of 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved Gemcitabine for use in conjunction with carboplatin for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancers that have relapsed at least 6 months following completion of a platinum-based therapy. 
 
 
The most common adverse side effect associated with Gemcitabine use is Neutropenia (seen in roughly 90% of patients). Neuropenia is a granulocyte disorder characterized by an unusually low number of neutrophils, which is believed to be the most important type of white blood cell. Neutrophils primarily comprise 50-70% of circulating white blood cells and act as the primary defense mechanism against infections by terminating bacteria in the patient’s blood stream. 
 
 
Gemcitabine Chemotherapy to Combat Mesothelioma and Other Lung Cancers:
 
 
Gemcitabine is used a chemotherapy drug through GemCarbo chemotherapy, which is a mesothelioma treatment option, consisting of a combination of Gemcitabine and carboplatin. GemCarbo chemotherapy is utilized to treat several different forms of cancer; however, the method is most commonly applied to lung cancer patients. Gemcitabine, when used in conjunction with carboplatin, is typically given as a day patient treatment. GemCarbo chemotherapy requires a blood test the day before; following this precautionary test, the drugs are given via an infusion. 
 
 
The GemCarbo treatment method is applied as a 21-day cycle and on the first day of treatment the patient receives both the carboplatin and the Gemcitabine. On the same day next week (8th day) the patient is given a drip of Gemcitabine only. There then follows a recovery or rest period, which lasts two weeks. This completes one cycle of GemCarbo chemotherapy. The next cycle of treatment is applied after the patient’s rest period, which lasts three weeks after the first injection. Typically 4-6 cycles of lung cancer or mesothelioma treatment is given over a period of 3-4 months and this makes up the treatment method. 
 
 
Gemcitabine is produced by Eli Lily and Company and marketed under the pseudo name “Gemzar.” Gemcitabine act as artificial nucleosides, which are molecules in the body that serve as the building blocks for the bases that make up RNA and DNA. 
 
 
In regards to chemical structure, Gemcitabine is very similar to deoxycytidine; the hydrogen at the 2’ carbon position in deoxycytidine is merely replaced with fluorines to construct Gemcitabine. 
 
 
Gemcitabine is a pyridimine type of nucleoside that substitutes deoxycytidine, which is regarded as the normal building block of cytidine. Once these similar bases are inserted, growing tumor cells are arrested since new nucleosides cannot be attached to the synthesized “look alike” molecule. Cells that fall victim to this trick proceed into what is referred to as a programmed cell apoptosis or death—this phase is similar to what the body naturally does to kill a cell when something is wrong with it. In this light, the cancer cells are rapidly terminated, as oppose to growing rapidly. Unfortunately, this process does not only target cells, but healthy ones as well, therefore killing all cells in the body undergoing a DNA replication. 
 
 
Gemcitabine is applied in the treatment of mesothelioma cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, non-small cell lung cancers, and breast cancer. When combined with cisplatin, Gemcitabine is applied as a first-line treatment for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancers or metastatic cancers that may not extracted through surgeries. 
 
 
Gemcitabine treatment is applied in a doctor’s office, hospital or clinic depending on the mesothelioma’s patient and what is deemed most suitable. Gemcitabine is administered as an infusion or IV drip. Gemcitabine is applied through a fine tube that is inserted into a large vein for short term therapy. For long term therapy, a port or central line is the medium for the drug; in this application, Gemcitabine is inserted under the skin into a vein near the collarbone or administered peripherally through a central catheter by way of a vein in the patient’s arm. When kept clean and infection-free, these ports are an easier means to administer Gemcitabine without the patient requiring needle sticks for each application. Administering Gemcitabine through IV typically takes about 30 minutes; however, this administration may take much longer if additional fluids or drugs are administered with Gemcitabine.
 
 
As is the case with all forms of mesothelioma medication, each person’s reaction to the drug is different. While some mesothelioma patients will observe few side effects, others may experience a significant number. Gemcitabine side effects vary from patient to patient and differentiate depending on whether the patient is given multiple chemotherapy drugs. 
 
 
Moreover, as is common with the bulk of chemotherapy drugs, financial assistance is available for patients that receive Gemcitabine therapy for their mesothelioma treatment. 
 
 
 
Side Effects of Gemcitabine:
 
 
The following side effects are common (occurs in more than 25% of cases) for patients taking Gemcitabine to combat lung or mesothelioma cancer: 
 
 
Fever (develops within 6-12 hours of first dose)
 
 
Fatigue
 
 
Nausea (typically mild)
 
 
Vomiting
 
 
Skin Rash
 
 
Poor Appetite 
 
 
Patients who take Gemcitabine to combat mesothelioma or other lung cancers will also experience low blood counts. Red and white blood cells, as well as platelets, may temporarily decrease, which in turn, increases the risk of infection, bleeding and anemia. Blood counts are at their lowest during Nadir, which is the point in all chemotherapy sessions where the patient has decreased blood cell rates. 
 
 
In addition to the above side effects, Gemcitabine in conjunction with carboplatin yields a temporary increase in liver enzymes and blood or protein levels in the patient’s liver. 
Less common side effects (observed in 10-20% of cases) for Gemcitabine use include:
 
 
Explosive diarrhea
 
 
Hair loss
 
 
Mouth Sores
 
 
Difficulty Sleeping
 
 
Shortness of breath and other problems with lungs
 
 
General fatigue/weakness
 

PET

PET

 
What is Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer?
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is a rare medical condition that impacts the mesothelial cells of the serous membranes. The most common type of this cancer is pleural mesothelioma, which disrupts the lining of the lungs. Each year, approximately 2,000-3,000 cases of mesothelioma cancer are diagnosed.
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma cancer disturbs the r lining of certain large cavities in the body. These cavities, labeled the serous cavities, serve as a shield for a number of vital organs in the body, including the lungs. The membranes that border these cavities protect several organs from abrasions and friction that occurs as the organs move rub each other during typical movement, such as breathing. Said membranes derive from mesothelial cells, which form to create the mesothelium—the tissue layer of the serous membranes. 
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma is observed in three distinct forms:
 
 
Pericardial Mesothelioma Cancer: Forms in the pericardium (lining of tissue surrounding the heart).
 
 
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cancer: Forms in the peritoneum (membrane surrounding the abdomen). A subset of this type of mesothelioma may also form in the male testicles, specifically the peritoneum–the lining surrounding the scrotum.
 
 
Pleural Mesothelioma Caner: As previously stated, pleural mesothelioma cancer is the most common form of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma cancer disrupts the lining of the lungs. 
 
 
All types of mesothelioma derive from a localized tumor. The tumor will lie dormant for several years; however, proliferation is rapid–the disease will quickly spread to surrounding organs and tissue. The majority of mesothelioma patients contract the disease from previous exposure to asbestos filaments. It must be noted; however, that not every individual who is in contact with asbestos-containing materials will develop mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
Although the medical condition is abnormally rare, it is extremely deadly. When finally detected, mesothelioma cancer is often in its advanced stages. As a result, prognosis for mesothelioma patients is deemed far bleaker than patients with other types of cancer that are frequently detected earlier. On average, survival rates following a mesothelioma diagnosis is only 1 to 2 years. This timeframe; however, fluctuates based on the type of mesothelioma cancer found. 
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is difficult to accurately diagnose because the symptoms are slow-developing—mesothelioma patients will not notice symptoms for 10-15 years following infection. Furthermore, mesothelioma cancer, at its roots, possesses similar cellular makeups to other forms of cancer. These characteristics make the disease nearly impossible to detect; however, with advancements in technology and innovations in diagnostic tests, the early-stage diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer has improved greatly. A PET or Positron Emission Tomography machine is an example of the strides we have made in detecting this horrible disease. 
 
 
What is a PET Scan?
 
 
A PET scan (short for Positron Emission Tomography) is a nuclear imaging technique that produces a three-dimensional image of body processes. The PET machine detects pairs of gamma rays that are emitted indirectly through a positron-emitting tracer. These rays are introduced to the patient on a biologically active molecule. Following this introduction, three-dimensional images of tracer concentration within the patient’s body are constructed by computer analysis. 
 
 
PET scanning provides more detailed information than other imaging devices, such as MRI or CT scans. A PET image will detect biological alterations to reveal extremely small tumors within the body. Able to detect whether these tumors are benign or malignant, a PET scan also reveals the extent to which the cancer has proliferated. Information offered by a PET scan will prove beneficial when determining a subsequent treatment option. 
 
 
How does the PET Scan Work?
 
 
A PET scanning machine employs a camera to produce powerful images of the body’s biological functions. Compounds are labeled with signal-emitting tracers, which are then injected into the patient. A scanner will then signal the tracers to emit their compounds as they travel throughout the body and collect information of various organs that are targeted for observation. A computer will then reassemble the signals into images that accurately reflect the levels of uptake of the compounds. 
 
 
Because a cancer will metabolize sugars (or other compounds) at higher rates than normal tissues or organs, a PET scan will show the areas of abnormal activity. The PET scan is also able to differentiate scar tissues from tumor and measure the metabolic functions of cancers to track the suspected effects of radiation or chemotherapy. 
 
 
PET Scan for Mesothelioma Diagnosis:
 
 
PET scans are helpful for lung cancer patients and prospective mesothelioma sufferers. The imaging device allows said patients to avoid chest surgery by locating tumors that a normal imaging device would not detect. In the United States, Medicare has formally approved the use of PET scans for the diagnosis and staging of malignant mesothelioma cancer, as well as cancers of the lung, colon, mouth, throat, rectum, esophagus and colon. 
 
 
Studies show that PET scans hold incredible promise for diagnosing mesothelioma cancer while determining its stage or the extent of tumor proliferation. In a comparison of PET scanning with surgical biopsies, PET successfully indicate the presence of mesothelioma cancer in 24% more patients. Such studies indicate, that although a CT or MRI scan is deemed the standard test regarding mesothelioma cancer detection, PET scans play an up and coming role in diagnosis. 
 
 
If you are a prospective mesothelioma sufferer, the availability and suggestion of a PET scan is dependent on your medical help and your particular situation. Frequently, your medical professional will determine, based on your particular case, whether you should receive a PET scan.  
 
 

Types of Mesothelioma Drugs

Types of Mesothelioma Drugs

 
Chemotherapeutic Agents:
 
 
Chemotherapy is the most common drug to fight all cancers, including malignant mesothelioma. Chemotherapy drugs seek out and attack all cells that rapidly divide in the body. This action allows the chemotherapy drugs to target cancer cells (all cancer cells exhibit unusual speed with regards to transforming and/or dividing). That being said, chemotherapy has a number of drawbacks. Most notably, chemotherapy mesothelioma drugs target every rapidly-dividing cell in the body (chemotherapy mesothelioma drugs are not exclusive to cancer cells). For a number of mesothelioma patients, this causes side effects, like nausea, hair loss, aching and fatigue and a weakened immune system. Despite these side effects, chemotherapy is regarded as one of the best mesothelioma treatment options. Chemotherapy mesothelioma drugs include the following:
 
 
Carboplatin
 
Cisplatin
 
Doxorubicin 
 
Navelbine
 
Onconase
 
Paclitaxel 
 
Pemetrexed
 
Cyclophophamide
 
 
What is Carboplatin?
 
 
Introduced in the late 1980s, Carboplatin is recommended by many physicians to treat mesothelioma cancer because its side effects are regarded as far less severe when compared to other mesothelioma drugs, such as Cisplatin. Carboplatin is most commonly administered to treat neck, head, ovarian and small-cell lung cancers. 
 
 
Carboplatin mesothelioma treatment is primarily administered on an out-patient basis at a cancer treatment center or hospital. Carboplatin is administered intravenously, typically once a month. For mesothelioma patients requiring more frequent chemotherapy, or where carboplatin is used in conjunction with other mesothelioma drugs, carboplatin may be administered as an in-patient treatment. In this setting, carboplatin requires a stay of three or more consecutive days in a medical facility. 
 
 
Common side effects of carboplatin include: impaired immune function, hair loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, stomach pain, constipation, impaired hearing or vision, fatigue, feelings of weakness and an increased tendency to bleed or bruise. 
 
 
What is Cisplatin?
 
 
Cisplatin is a platinum-based mesothelioma drug that is used to treat several cancers. Cisplatin was first approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 1978. As a solitary agent, Cisplatin has a low response rate of less than 14 percent in the bulk of pleural mesothelioma cases. However, when the mesothelioma drug is used in conjunction with other mesothelioma medications, patients have experienced improved results. For instance, a combination of Cisplatin and Alimta (Pemetrexed) is regarded as the most effective chemotherapy regimen for a pleural mesothelioma patient that is not eligible for extraction surgery. Treatment with this type of mesothelioma drug combination has shown to prolong life expectancy. 
 
 
Throughout treatment, a mesothelioma patient will receive a combination of Alimta and Cisplatin every three weeks. Alimta is applied through an IV and typically takes 15 minutes to complete. A dose of Cisplatin will follow this dosage and will typically take two hours to administer. The dosage level and number of cycles is dependent on the mesothelioma patient’s response to treatment as well as any adverse side effects experienced. 
 
 
The basic goal of Cisplatin is to promote cell death. With this mesothelioma treatment, it is recommended that the patient take a B12 supplement once a week before care begins. A folic acid supplement will also be suggested to curb cisplatin’s side effects. 
 
 
What is Cyclophosphamide?
 
 
Cyclophosphamide is a mesothelioma chemotherapy drug that is manufactured by Roxane Laboratories. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved Cyclophosphamide for use in several types of cancers, including leukemia and breast cancer. Although the drug has proven efficient in combatting other cancers, Cyclophosphamide as a mesothelioma treatment is still deemed unproven. Doctors have observed mixed results in Cyclophosphamide clinical trials but remain optimistic that the drug can be effectively administered in mesothelioma treatment regimens. 
 
 
Unlike traditional mesothelioma drugs that are administered intravenously, Cyclophosphamide may be given to a patient in one of three ways: tablet form (taken once or twice daily); injection and through the traditional intravenous medium (applied once every other week).
 
 
Cyclophosphamide is a type of mesothelioma drug known as an alkylating agent. This means that Cyclophosphamide is designed to inhibit tumor growth by impeded with the DNA of cancerous bodies. In this matter, Cyclophosphamide relies on the liver to break the drug down so that it is bound with the DNA in mesothelioma cells. Once it does this, Cyclophosphamide prevents cell division and promotes the termination of cancerous bodies. 
 
 
Cyclophosphamide is met with the normal side effects that are observed in chemotherapy. Weight loss, nausea, hair loss and fatigue are typically seen with Cyclophosphamide treatment. Additional side effects may be observed, such as abdominal pains, shortness of breath and chest pains. 
 
 
What is Doxorubicin?
Doxorubicin is a commonly-applied chemotherapy drug that is used to treat mesothelioma cancer. Doxorubicin was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in a variety of cancers, including lung and breast cancer. Doxorubicin’s benefits are undergoing research for use in mesothelioma patients. 
 
 
Studies show that Doxorubicin, when used alone, can extend a mesothelioma patient’s life expectancy. The results show increased survival rates when the drug is used in conjunction with additional chemotherapy drugs. 
 
 
Doxorubicin is administered intravenously; the regimen takes approximately 30 minutes. Studies are currently evaluating whether Doxorubicin can be applied to a heated chemotherapy initiative. When Doxorubicin is utilized with heated chemotherapy, a surgeon puts the heated drug inside the patient’s abdominal cavity or chest during surgery so it makes direct contact with the cancerous growth. 
 
 
In clinical tests, Doxorubicin consistently yields positive results; the bulk of trials obtain a medial life span of nine months. When Doxorubicin is combined with other chemotherapy drugs, some mesothelioma patients have benefitted from an extended median life expectancy of up to several years. 
 
 
What is Gemcitabine?
 
 
Gemcitabine is a mesothelioma drug that is applied to patients with bladder, breast and/or pancreatic cancers. Gemcitabine is typically used in conjunction with other mesothelioma drugs to treat these forms of cancer. 
 
 
The wide majority of mesothelioma drugs, including Gemcitabine, work by killing cells with complex chemical reactions. Gemcitabine aims to impede the growth of asbestos-based cancers by terminating existing cancer cells and impeding with DNA replication in other cell bodies. Gemcitabine, like other mesothelioma drugs, target cells that divide rapidly. Unfortunately, this type of mesothelioma treatment will also affect healthy cells, including cells involved with the immune system and hair growth. 
 
 
Gemcitabine is typically administered as an out-patient regimen. The drug is given through an IV; Gemcitabine treatment typically involves a trip to the clinic, hospital or doctor’s office. The procedure will last only a few hours (actual administration of the drug lasts about 30 minutes). In the bulk of cases, Gemcitabine is administered once a week for up to 2 months, though the dosage and length of treatment are dependent on the type and stage of mesothelioma treated. 
 
 
Common side effects of Gemcitabine include: tendency to bleed and bruise easily, vomiting, nausea, swelling in the feet, hands and ankles, less frequent urination, blood in urine, explosive diarrhea, chest pains, sores in the mouth, confusion, impaired speech and/or vision, change in kidney function, change in liver function, fever, aching body and chills.
Those treated with Gemcitabine will also experience reduced immune system capabilities. 
 
 
What is Navelbine? 
 
 
Navelbine is a mesothelioma chemotherapy drug used for mesothelioma treatment. Navelbine is a semi-synthetic mesothelioma drug that is extracted from periwinkle—a type of flowering plant. 
 
 
Mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs, such as Navelbine, work by entering cells and binding structures needed for cellular division.  This function impedes cells from dividing; because the targeted cells cannot function properly, the cells terminate themselves. Thus, mesothelioma drugs like Navelbine can both slow the proliferation of cancer and/or kill existing cancer cells. 
 
 
Primarily used in tandem with other mesothelioma treatments, such as surgery, or in conjunction with other chemotherapy drugs, Navelbine is often administered once a week for several weeks. The mesothelioma drug is injected intravenously on an out-patient basis; administration takes roughly one hour. The number of treatments and the dosage levels are dependent on the stage and development of the patient’s mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
Mesothelioma patients taking Navelbine may notice the following side effects: allergic reactions (symptoms often include swelling of the lips, tongue and face) extreme fatigue, blood in stool, explosive diarrhea, tendency to bleed or bruise easily, constipation, shooting pains in abdomen, difficulty breathing, persistent cough, numbness, chest pain. 
 
 
What is Onconase?
 
 
Onconase is a chemotherapy drug that is currently being tested for use in mesothelioma patients. Similar to most chemotherapy drugs, Onconase infiltrates the cancer by targeting only rapidly dividing cellular structures. After Onconase is administered, it adheres to these cells, impeding their growth and ultimately leading to their demise. Onconase stands out from other mesothelioma drugs because it yields manageable side effects. 
 
 
Onconase is manufactured by Tamir and is still undergoing testing by the Food and Drug Administration. The United States FDA granted Onconase orphan drug status to expedite the approval process. Also known by its generic name, ranpirnase, Onconase is also a candidate for lung and breast cancer. 
 
 
Onconase is administered intravenously every week for one half hour. The amount of weeks a patient receives the mesothelioma drug varies depending upon factors such as the patient’s overall health, other chemotherapy drugs applied to the individual and their response to the treatment. When Onconase adheres to the surface of an infected cell, it penetrates the cell’s protective lining/membranes. When inside the cell, the mesothelioma drug scrambles the cells ability to process information, causing an interruption in its procedure. This expedites the death of the cancer; the tumors attached to the cell stop growing and eventually shrink. 
 
 
Onconase is typically used in tandem with other chemotherapy agents or mesothelioma drugs to bolster the regimen’s efficacy and potency. Onconase will yield small side effects that are regarded as significantly more manageable than those perpetuated by other chemo plans. 
 
 
What is Paclitaxel?
 
 
Paclitaxel is a mesothelioma drug that is currently being tested for use in mesothelioma patients. Research has shown Paclitaxel to be effective and safe against some forms of cancers, and the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for use against non-small cell lung cancer, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. 
 
 
Despite Paclitaxel’s success in treating some cancers, mesothelioma clinical trials yield less optimistic outcomes, with most mesothelioma patients experiencing little to no benefits. A wide majority of medical professionals believe that Paclitaxel works best when combined with other mesothelioma treatments, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery. Because of this combined effort, recent mesothelioma trails focus on a multimodal therapy with regards to Paclitaxel use. 
 
 
Paclitaxel is administered by doctors or nurses, who inject the drug into a vein; Paclitaxel administration takes roughly 3 hours and is done every three weeks. For mesothelioma treatment, Paclitaxel is used in tandem with other mesothelioma drugs (most notably carboplatin and cisplatin). In this form of multimodal therapy, the mesothelioma patient will receive both mesothelioma drugs intravenously on the same day. 
 
 
Paclitaxel is an anti-microtubule agent. When inside the body, this mesothelioma drug binds to proteins in microtubules, which are needed for cell division. Paclitaxel , thus, blocks the cancer cell’s natural functions; the cell is impeded from proliferation. When the cell is impeded from dividing, it eventually dies. And because mesothelioma cancer cells rapidly spread and divide, the microtubules are the localized target. 
 
 
Like all mesothelioma drugs, Paclitaxel will damage healthy cells in addition to cancerous ones. This unbiased attack on all cells results in side effects such as: hair loss, nausea, fatigue and mouth sores. The mesothelioma drug may yield more dangerous side effects, including: numbness in the extremities, excessive fatigue, slowed heartbeat, chest pains and explosive diarrhea. 
 
 
What is Alimta?
 
 
Alimta (or Pemetrex0 is a widely-used mesothelioma drug that was just recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Typically used in tandem with Cisplatin, Alimta is the first mesothelioma drug that is specifically approved for mesothelioma treatment. This particular mesothelioma drug is regarded—when surgery is not an option–as the most effective form of treatment for pleural mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
Alimta is a multi-pronged anti-folate mesothelioma drug that works by impeding the enxymes needed for cell division and DNA replication. During clinical testing, Alimta (when used with Cisplatin) added over three months to the lives of mesothelioma patients (the drug also proved effective in mitigating associated symptoms). 
 
 
Alimta is administered to mesothelioma patients every 3 weeks on an outpatient basis. This form of mesothelioma treatment will consist of a 10-minute IV infusion followed by two hours of Cisplatin administration. The dosage levels and number of cycles is dependent on the patient’s response and intensity of resulting side effects.
 
 
Alimta’s side effects are typically mild to moderate for the majority of mesothelioma patients. A percentage of patients will experience extreme side effects. In general, Alimta’s side effects include: fatigue, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, explosive diarrhea, pale skin, headache, dizziness, weakness, rapid heartbeat, muscle pain, changes in mood, low red and white blood cell count and depression. 
 
 

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy

 
What is Immunotherapy?
 
 
Immunotherapy is a medical term defined as a treatment effort to combat disease by inducing, enhancing or destroying the immune response. Various Immunotherapy efforts are designed to amplify or elicit an immune response. With regards to cancer treatment, immunotherapy treatments attempt to stimulate the immune system to first reject, and then destroy tumors. 
 
 
Immunotherapy is similar to gene therapy in that both treatment options rely on biological mechanisms to impede the spread of cancer. The primary difference between these two cancer treatment options is that while gene therapy introduces foreign chemicals into the body, immunotherapy concentrates on bolstering the immune system to terminate the cancer. 
 
 
Cancers, like mesothelioma, deceive the body into thinking cancerous cells are healthy. Because of this, the immune system does not activate itself to fight-off the disease. To effectively fight cancer, doctors will either destroy all rapidly-acting cells in the human body (cancerous or otherwise) or aid in the body’s ability to recognize cancerous cells. 
 
 
How Does Immunotherapy Work Against Mesothelioma?
 
 
The chemicals utilized in immunotherapy treatment provoke the immune system’s response. These drugs, which are known as biological response modifiers, encourage the immune system to be more aware regarding alterations in cell types. Immunotherapy attempts to realign the immune system; the goal of the associated chemical is to force the body’s defense system from recognizing mesothelioma cells as malignant. After recognition, the immune system will naturally trigger an attack to terminate the cancerous cells. 
 
 
The human body naturally produces biological response modifiers, but when cells undergo a cancerous transformation, the body’s natural response goes haywire. Cancers, such as mesothelioma, with prolonged malignancy, will irreparably alter the body’s natural defense system. Thus, to impede cancer’s malignant course and to bolster the body’s natural reaction, immunotherapy attempts to enhance the defense system to expedite the killing of cancers. 
 
 
By stimulating the immune system, immunotherapy aims to prevent mesothelioma cancer from metastasizing into other tissue systems. Also, immunotherapy will regulate and suppress the body’s ability to develop new cancers. As research continues to progress, doctor’s hope that immunotherapy treatments can eventually reverse the replicative ability of cancerous cells.  
 
 
What Types of Immunotherapy are Utilized to Eliminate Mesothelioma Cancer:
 
 
There are several different types of immunotherapy options used to combat mesothelioma. They include the following:
Interferon: This type of mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment inhibits the growth of cancer cells while simultaneously bolstering the immune system to combat the disease. 
 
 
Antiangiogenics: This type of mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment inhibits the growth of blood vessels that supply mesothelioma tumors with the blood they need to survive. 
 
 
Monoclonal Antibodies: This form of mesothelioma immunotherapy utilizes proteins to seek out and kill cancerous cells. These proteins can be programmed to discern irregular bodies that exist on the outer layers of cells. 
 
 
Interleukin2: A type of mesothelioma immunotherapy that utilizes a bodily protein that is naturally occurring in the immune system. Interleukin2 is used to enhance the defense system’s normal mechanisms. 
 
 
What to Know about Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma:
 
 
Mesothelioma immunotherapy is still in its infancy. This mesothelioma treatment options does no guarantee effective termination of cancerous cells. That being said, immunotherapy has proven effective in clinical trials and in some animal tests. The greatest hurdle regarding full efficacy stems from the natural behavior of mesothelioma—the cancer is so complicated and innocuous that is nearly impossible to distinguish its cells from healthy or undisturbed cells in the human body. 
 
 

Mesothelioma Risk Factors

Mesothelioma Risk Factors

 
Mesothelioma is a particularly rare and deadly cancer that often originates in the mesothelium—the lining of tissue that protects several internal organs in the body. Mesothelioma cancer frequently develops from exposure to asbestos filaments or fibers. The bulk of mesothelioma patients will exhibit a detailed history with–whether through employment or private handling– asbestos fibers and/or filaments.
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer exists in several forms; however, the most common cases develop in the internal cavity of the chest and the outer lining of the lungs.
 
 
Common mesothelioma symptoms include: shortness of breath (derives from a build-up of fluid between the chest wall and lungs), incessant cough and unexpected or severe weight loss.
 
 
One of the reasons why mesothelioma sufferers have such a poor prognosis is because the disease is nearly impossible to detect during its infancy stages. Mesothelioma symptoms may lay dormant for years; the slow-developing symptoms may not become evident until 15-20 years following initial infection. Because of this, the majority of patients will not be aware of their medical infection until the cancer reaches stage III or IV. When mesothelioma cancer advances to this point, the disease is deemed inoperable—only palliative measures are possible.
 
 
Similar to other forms of cancers, mesothelioma is categorized by stage. When the disease progresses the outlook—regarding survival rate–becomes utterly dreadful. The insidious nature of mesothelioma cancer works in tandem with its inconspicuousness symptoms to create a fatal disease. An overwhelming percentage of mesothelioma patients will die from the cancer within a year of diagnosis. Because most mesothelioma patients are made unaware of their condition until the cancer has already metastasized, treatment options are largely palliative in nature.
 
 
Due to these bleak characteristics it is paramount that you take the proper precautions when handling asbestos and other agents that may promote the formation of mesothelioma tumors.
 
 
Mesothelioma Risk Factors:
 
 
The primary risk factors caused by mesothelioma cancer is asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that was in wide-spread industrial use for its heat-resistant properties. Asbestos fibers are resistant to heat, making them effective in a wide variety of applications, including insulation, shingles, brakes, flooring and an assortment of other products.
 
 
When asbestos is broken up—common the mining process—dust is created. When this dust is swallowed or inhaled, the fibers settle in the stomach or lungs, where they can cause irritation that ultimately leads to mesothelioma. How this transformation takes place is not understood; it commonly takes 20 to 40 years for mesothelioma cancer to develop from asbestos exposure.
 
 
Moreover, some people, with decades of experience handling asbestos, never develop mesothelioma cancer. And yet, others, with only limited contact with asbestos exposure, will develop the cancer. This peculiar dichotomy indicates the presence of other factors in determining whether someone gets mesothelioma or doesn’t. For example, you may inherit a predisposition to mesothelioma cancer or a similar condition to increase your susceptibility.
 
 
Other Mesothelioma Risk Factors:
 
 
These factors may increase your risk of procuring the disease:
 
 
Personal History in Dealing with Asbestos Fibers: If you have been in perpetual or direct contact with asbestos in the past, your risk of mesothelioma is greatly increased.
 
 
Living With Someone Who Works With Asbestos Fibers: Individuals who are perpetually exposed to asbestos may carry the filaments or fibers home on their skin and clothing. These fibers may ultimately put others in the home at risk of mesothelioma cancer. Individuals who work with asbestos fibers must shower and change their clothes before they enter the household.
 
 
Radiation: Research links mesothelioma cancer to the radioactive substance thorium dioxide. This substance was used in tandem with x-rays to diagnose various health conditions in the early 1920’s to the late 1950’s. Mesothelioma cancer is also linked to several radiation therapy treatments, particularly efforts to treat lymphoma and breast cancer.
 
 
Genetic History: Family history of mesothelioma cancer will greatly increase your risk for developing the disease. That being said, more research is required to understand this relationship.
 
 

Multimodality Therapy

Multimodality Therapy

 
What is Multimodality Therapy?
 
 
Multimodality therapy is a take on psychotherapy. It is widely based on the premise that humans are biological creatures that feel, think, act, imagine and interact; each of these modalities should be addressed in psychological treatments. Multimodal therapy is built around this general promise. 
 
 
Multimodality therapy is somewhat of a broad treatment action; it does not incorporate a specific course of treatment, but instead, refers to incorporating multiple treatment methods. 
 
 
Mesothelioma Multimodal Therapy:
 
 
Although a cure does not presently exist for mesothelioma cancer, several patients are undergoing new treatments to fight the cancer. A multimodal therapy approach is one that combines two or more treatment options, completed simultaneously, to combat the disease. When fighting mesothelioma cancer, medical professionals will recommend a multimodal approach; a combined effort will bolster a mesothelioma patient’s effort in eliminating the cancer. 
 
 
Medical professionals will recommend a number of different treatment options for mesothelioma patients. Common multimodal therapy packages will incorporate mesothelioma surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to fight the disease. In general, a specific treatment option is never isolated; mesothelioma patients undergoing multimodality therapy will always combine mesothelioma treatment options.
 
 
For example, a mesothelioma patient who undergoes mesothelioma surgery to remove cancerous tumors and tissues may also undergo radiation and chemotherapy to attack any leftover cancerous cells. If a mesothelioma patient is a candidate for surgery (typically these patients have early-stage mesothelioma) chemo and radiation therapy will typically be applied to their general treatment course. 
 
 

MRI Scan

MRI Scan

 
Mesothelioma Diagnosis: MRI Scan
 
 
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that develops from the mutation of cells in the mesothelium—the protective lining of several internal organs.
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos, when contacted, propels cancerous filaments into the air. These filaments, over a period of time, stick to the mesothelium. Over time, cancerous tumors form, which have the potential to rapidly metastasize. The bulk of mesothelioma patients, therefore, were at some point, previously employed in industries that utilized asbestos or worked with the fiber in some capacity.
 
 
Although there are several forms of mesothelioma cancer, the majority of cases develop in the internal wall of the chest cavity or the lining of the lungs. Common symptoms attached to mesothelioma will include: shortness of breath, stemming from a build-up of fluid between the abdomen and lungs, weight loss and painful coughing. 
 
 
One of the primary characteristics—and the major reason why the disease is so deadly—stems from its relatively innocuous symptoms. Mesothelioma cancer is nearly impossible to detect in their early stages. The difficulty attached to diagnosing mesothelioma stems from the condition’s dormant symptoms. A mesothelioma patient will often notice symptoms 15-20 years after the initial infection takes place.
 
 
Similar to other forms of cancer, mesothelioma is categorized by stage. As the disease shifts through stages, mesothelioma cancer becomes more deadly. This insidious nature is paired with mesothelioma’s inconspicuousness to create a deadly disease. Mesothelioma patients typically die within 6 months to 1 year of diagnosis. 
 
 
Frequently, mesothelioma cancers will not be diagnosed until the tumors metastasize to the vital organs of the body (such as the heart or lungs). When mesothelioma reaches stage III or stage IV it is ruled inoperable. If mesothelioma cancer, by chance, is caught before the disease spreads, curable treatments, such as surgery, may be suggested to extract the malignant tumors. Furthermore, a number of palliative surgeries are administered to mitigate the suffering associated with mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
If you have worked with asbestos in the past you should contact your medical professional to set-up a physical examination. You should schedule this appointment if you feel healthy or do not notice any symptoms. Upon evaluation, the medical professional may opt to have an MRI. These images will be requested if the doctor believes that you may be susceptible to mesothelioma cancer. The MRI is an essential tool for diagnosing mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
What is an MRI?
 
 
An MRI (also known as a magnetic resonance imaging device) is a form of imaging technology which involves the use of magnets that are able to generate images of the interior structures of the human body. This scan is extremely useful for evaluating soft tissues and diagnosing medical conditions, like malignant mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
An MRI works because the images are generated through the scanner, which is an advanced machine that utilizes magnets to form a magnetic field. The field excites the protons that that are located within the water molecules of the human body. These protons are aligned within the magnetic field and are then pushed by a complimentary magnetic field so that they are no longer aligned. When the protons realign within the field, they generate radiofrequency which are used to produce the image. Following this, multiple agents are used to increase the signal so that the MRI image can be excessively detailed. 
 
 
Diagnosing Mesothelioma Cancer from an MRI:
 
 
Similar to a CT scan, an MRI is an image-based scan that is far superior to x-rays. The supremacy of an MRI scan is found in its ability to see the internal tissue of the targeted area. Images generated from an MRI and CT scan may be similar; however, the MRI is more effective in visualizing the contrast of soft tissue. This means that an MRI can reveal the tiniest of variations between similar structures in soft tissue alignments and between different parts of a structure. 
When compared to other imaging devices, a CT scan is typically the opening scan, used to determine whether a person has mesothelioma cancer. In contrast, an MRI provides medical professionals with more detailed visualizations of the tissue. As a result of this specialty, an MRI is used when a CT scan is not conclusive. 
 
 
One of the primary uses of an MRI is for the staging and planning of mesothelioma surgeries. Medical professionals will utilize an MRI in order to determine how mesothelioma cancer has progressed and spread to the surrounding tissues so that mesothelioma surgery can be properly planned. 
 
 
Another difference between MRI and CT scans is found in the long-terms risks of the imaging tests. CT scans use ionizing radiation techniques that are known to damage the tissues of the human body. In contrast, an MRI will use magnetism, which does not have any documented risk factors on patients. 
 
 

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Pericardial Mesothelioma

 
What is Pericardial Mesothelioma?
 
 
Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare form of mesothelioma in which tumors develop in the pericardium—a vital membrane of the human heart. The bulk of pericardial mesothelioma cases are thought to derive from perpetual exposure to asbestos. 
 
 
How Does Pericardial Mesothelioma Develop?
 
 
Frequently, patients with pericardial mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos as part of their work. However, because of the rarity of pericardial mesothelioma, medical professionals are somewhat confused regarding how the condition develops and progresses within the human body. 
 
 
Asbestos was commonly used in the past as insulate and building material. Pericardial mesothelioma develops as a person inhales asbestos fibers. These fibers, which are shard-like in nature, stick to the lining of the lungs. The fibers become lodged in the mesothelium of the lungs, where tumors eventually develop. 
 
 
Pericardial mesothelioma progresses when these fibers make their way into the bloodstream and heart, where they eventually stick to the pericardium. Following this stage, pericardial mesothelioma evolves to the point where malignant tumors begin to firm. 
 
 
What are the Symptoms Associated with Pericardial Mesothelioma?
 
 
The majority of pericardial mesothelioma patients will not notice symptoms until the disease matures and evolves into its latter stages. During this stage, common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include: chest pains, hear murmurs, respiratory issues and general fatigue. To distinguish pericardial mesothelioma from other cancers or conditions and to ensure a precise diagnosis, medical professionals will often recommend an MRI—magnetic resonance imaging will show the extent of the condition and allow the medical professional to propose suitable treatment recommendations. 
 
 
How is Pericardial Mesothelioma Treated?
 
 
Unfortunately, pericardial mesothelioma is exceedingly difficult to treat. This poor prognosis is partially due to the rarity of the condition and the fact that pericardial mesothelioma is often diagnosed at its later stages. Approximately half of its victims will die within the first year after receiving a pericardial mesothelioma diagnosis.  
 
 
The bulk of pericardial mesothelioma treatments are designed to progress the patient’s quality of life. Treatments prescribed in the latter stages of pericardial mesothelioma aim at reducing the build-up of fluids in the pericardium. 
If the disease is caught in the early stages it may be treated with radiation therapy and surgery. These methods; however, are very difficult to execute, for the patients vital organs (most notably their heart) cannot be exposed to extreme amounts of radiation. As previously mentioned, early detection is exceedingly difficult and because of this, treatment for pericardial mesothelioma is not well-developed. 
 
 
Patient Rights and Mesothelioma:
 
 
Because asbestos exposure is the leading cause of pericardial mesothelioma, patients and their family members have the right to seek restitution for the costs associated with treatment and pain and suffering. This compensation package is typically easy to secure for those patients who worked in ship building or similar industries that widely used asbestos. 
 
 

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

 
What is Mesothelioma Cancer?
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is an uncommon form of cancer that develops from the mutation of cells in the mesothelium—the protective lining that serves as a shield for a number of internal organs of the human body. 
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is often caused by exposure to asbestos fibers or filaments. The bulk of mesothelioma sufferers typically have worked in jobs where they were in close proximity or direct contact with asbestos. 
 
 
Although there are a number of types, Mesothelioma cancer often forms in the outer lining of the lungs and the internal wall of the chest cavity. Symptoms associated with the disease are: shortness of breath (derived from a build-up of fluid between the lungs and the chest wall), substantial coughing and severe weight loss. 
 
 
In the bulk of cases, diagnosing mesothelioma cancer is exceptionally difficult. The problems tied-into diagnosis stem from the cancer’s slow-developing symptoms–mesothelioma symptoms remain harmless for decades following the initial formation of mesothelioma tumors. 
 
 
Mesothelioma, similar to other cancers, is categorized by stage. As mesothelioma progresses, the outlook becomes more and more pessimistic. The insidious nature of the cancer is attached to the disease’s inconspicuousness to create an extremely deadly disease—most mesothelioma patients die within one year of diagnosis. 
 
 
The brutal outlook associated with mesothelioma derives from an inability to quickly and accurately diagnose the disease. Mesothelioma cancer is rarely identified in its early stages. And when mesothelioma advances to its latter stages the disease becomes inoperable. That being said, there are several mesothelioma treatment options—some palliative and some curative—to either improve the patient’s quality of life or to tangibly extract the cancerous bodies. Moreover, there are several mesothelioma treatment options which are currently in clinical trials. 
 
 
What are Clinical Trials?
 
 
Clinical trials refer to sets of procedures in drug development and medical research that are conducted to promote safety and efficacy for health interventions. Typically, a clinical trial will take place only after substantial information has been gathered on the quality of the drug or treatment initiative. 
 
 
To accurately conduct a clinical trial an investigator will employ health patients or volunteers and place them into small pilot studies. These small groups will be agglomerated after the new drug or product is compared with a traditional or currently prescribed treatment method. As efficacy data amasses, the number of patients will increase to secure an accurate understanding of the drug’s effectiveness. Clinical trials will vary in size from a single center in one jurisdiction to multi-center trials in several countries. 
 
 
Types of Clinical Trials:
 
 
One way of classifying a clinical trial is to control how the researchers behave. For example, an observational study is one where investigators observe the patients/volunteers and measure their outcomes. In this type of clinical trial, the researchers will not actively manage the study.  By contrast, in an interventional study, the investigators five the subjects a specific medication or other product. Typically, the investigators will compare the treated subject to individuals who have received standard treatment or no treatment. Following this comparison, the researchers will then measure how the subject’s health fluctuates or changes. 
 
 
The United States National Institutes of Health organizes trials intro five different categories: 
 
 
Prevention Trials: These types of clinical trials look for more effective ways to prevent disease in individuals who have never had the disease or to prevent the condition from returning. These approaches will often include: vitamins, vaccines, lifestyle changes, minerals and medicines. 
 
 
Screening Trials: These types of clinical trials will test the most efficient way to detect a health condition or certain disease. 
 
 
Diagnostic Trials: These clinical trials are conducted to find more effective procedures or tests for diagnosing particular cancers or diseases. 
 
 
Treatment Trials: These clinical trials test experimental treatments, new approaches to therapy or surgery and new combinations of drugs. 
 
 
Quality of Life Trials: Appropriately named, a quality of life trial will explore ways to improve a patient’s comfort and the quality of life for those with chronic diseases.
 
 
Expanded Access Trials: These clinical trials provide partially tested and unapproved therapeutics before a small number of test subjects that have no other realistic treatment options. Typically this clinical trial type will involve a disease for which no effective treatment course exists or for those patients who have already attempted and failed standard treatments. An expanded access trial may also be undertaken for those patients whose health is so fragile that he/she does not qualify for participation in anonymous clinical trials. Frequently, case by case approval has to be granted by the pharmaceutical company responsible for creating the drug and the FDA. 
 

Gemcitabine

Navelbine