Mesothelioma is commonly treated by surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, which to be honest, doesn’t add much to the patient lifespan. Three treatments option that we mentioned before, the so-called ‘standard treatments,’ have been tested and approved by the government. However, not all of the mesothelioma patient responding well to this kind of treatments, which make the life expectancy for them is lower than the other who don’t resist. If we continue to treat those resistant patients using standard treatments, it might bring more harm than goods to them. But, thanks to the advancements in our technologies, several experimental treatments could be an option for patients that not respond well with the standard treatments. This kind of treatment differs from alternative ones that usually include herbs, acupuncture, and such things. Experimental treatments are based on scientific experiments that are still being tested and improved over time. When the success rate of this treatment is big enough, it could be considered as a standard treatment in the future. Here are some experimental treatments that you could try if the standard treatments don’t work for you. Please remember to always consult your doctor before deciding to get these treatments.
Immunotherapy is a therapy that boosts your immune system in a way to fight mesothelioma. This therapy is divided into two different techniques, which are active immunotherapy and passive immunotherapy. Active immunotherapy works by using immune memory to allows the immune system to recognize and react properly to an antigen. By doing so, immune cells are being triggered to fight cancer cells in more extended period than they usually did. In contrast, passive immunotherapy doesn’t trigger immune memory, and using synthetic immune proteins to kill cancer cells.
Gene therapy works by replacing cancer-affected genes with the fresh one from a new set of DNA. There are two main types of gene therapy being used today, which are gene transfer and oncolytic virotherapy. Gene transfer works by introducing new genes to cancer cells in order to slow their growth, or kill the cancer cells altogether (also known as suicide gene transfer). On the other hand, oncolytic virotherapy works by introducing a virus into the patient’s body to eliminate mesothelioma cells.
This kind of therapy is similar to gene therapy, which targets changes in patient DNA. The main difference between those two is that epigenetic treatment works by changing DNA expression instead of altering the DNA sequence like gene therapy did. Epigenetic therapy using drugs to target DNA sequence and reverse any damage that has been done by cancerous mutation. Recent studies show that this therapy works best for the patient with pleural mesothelioma.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment for mesothelioma that uses photosensitizing agents such as light and drugs to eradicate cancer cells and stop it from spreading further. This treatment showed a promising success rate and a lack of side effects, which lead to significant improvement in patient’s quality of life. This treatment is the most likely to be the standard treatment for mesothelioma in the future.