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Treatment Does Nothing for Mesothelioma Cancer Victims

Malignant pleural mesothelioma, one of the worse forms of mesothelioma cancer caused through asbestos inhalation, was recently discovered to be untreatable through chemotherapy. Often, chemotherapy is used to combat cancerous cells, providing a better chance of survival for victims.

Chemotherapy is often the number one form of treatment for many patients suffering from cancer. However, it was recently discovered that chemotherapy is essentially ineffective on certain types of mesothelioma, such as malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The study was published in a UK medical journal.

The study was completed by Nicholas J. Vogelzang, MD, director of the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas, and was released in May 2008.

Chemotherapy Ineffective Mesothelioma Treatment

The study found that chemotherapy not only did not offer any improvement among mesothelioma patients but was found to have no significant impact whatsoever on survival rate of victims.

According to the study, the median average of survival rate between victims who received an active symptom control (ASC) versus those who received the same treatment plus chemotherapy was less than a month apart, suggesting no beneficial impact, although, the study did suggest further investigation into treatments of ASC and chemotherapy were likely required.

What is Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma?

MPM is considered an advanced and more severe form of malignant mesothelioma and has been characterized as "an aggressive tumor with poor prognosis," according to a study published in The Oncologist, an international medical journal, in 2007. Breathlessness and difficulty breathing are side effects of the cancer, which is considered an aggressive form of lung cancer.

The condition is also difficult to treat because of the high rate of misdiagnosis among patients. Within the next 10 to 20 years, the number of reported mesothelioma cases is expected to increase.

Mesothelioma Causes

For years, mesothelioma has been linked to the inhalation of vermiculite asbestos fibers and dust. Vermiculite is a mineral that was heavily mined. Vermiculite mines around the world and flourished in areas such as Australia, Africa and the United States.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently in charge of regulating and issuing guidelines for the safe removal and cleanup of asbestos in homes and building throughout the country. However, there is a large number, although estimates are not clear, of structures with asbestos-ridden insulation currently in the United States and improper exposure to such could increase risk of developing a form of mesothelioma.

Additional Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment Options

While the unfortunate truth is that malignant pleural mesothelioma is usually fatal among victims, there are a few treatment options for managing the disease, however these often depend upon the symptoms and stage of the illness.

Surgery is the most common mesothelioma treatment, although a study released in July 2007 in The Oncologist emphasized that the role of surgery in managing MPM is debatable. However, the three main surgical techniques used to manage MPM are pleurodesis, pleurectomy/decorication (P/D) and extrapleural pnemonectomy (EPP).

The study noted that as of yet, there have been no controlled studies determining whether one surgical procedure is better than another. Of the surgical procedures, the P/D and EPP methods aim for local control of the disease and while P/D has a limited morbidity, EPP has between 1.5 to 5 percent mortality rates.

It is often recommended that individuals who suffer from this type of mesothelioma or any form of mesothelioma locate an experienced mesothelioma attorney. Because of the high costs and technical difficulties associated with mesothelioma treatment, a mesothelioma lawsuit may potentially offer relief in the form of monetary compensationArticle Submission, especially since mesothelioma is considered by some to have been highly preventable.

Article Tags: Malignant Pleural, Mesothelioma Treatment

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