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New Mesothelioma trial uses New approach to Chemo Approach


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New York – June 27, 2008 – Patients are now being recruited for a clinical research study on a new targeted radiation and chemotherapy treatment protocol for pleural mesothelioma patients.

The study is being conducted at the Mesothelioma Center within the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center. Researchers at the center say the current standard treatment for pleural mesothelioma is to remove the patient’s affected lung, which bears a potentially devastating outcome.

Dr. Robert Taub, the trial’s lead investigator, director of the Mesothelioma Center, and professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, says “Current surgical and chemotherapy treatments of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma are unsatisfactory, and have not been shown to significantly prolong survival. In this study, we will investigate whether a combination of chemotherapy and radiation targeted directly at the lung’s lining can improve outcomes while avoiding surgery.”

Dr. Taub also states this treatment approach has shown to cause minimal toxic side effects when compared to systemic chemotherapy. Minimized toxic side effects can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life, which can be sacrificed in conventional mesothelioma treatment.

“This trial is also significant because our center is the only one nationwide that is offering this experimental therapy to treat pleural mesothelioma,” notes Dr. Taub. “We are very focused on offering these patients the best treatment that medical technology can offer while simultaneously working to preserve quality of life.”

Researchers predict the targeted radiation therapy will only kill cells on the surface of the affected lung, sparing other areas of the lungs and nearby tissue. Dr. Rashid Fawwaz, co-investigator, radiologist, and professor of clinical radiology at Columbia, says “Delivery of radiation therapy directly into the pleural cavity is a strategy that has been employed since 1945. Today, direct injection of radioactive isotope P-32 may prove to be a significant and effective therapeutic approach for selected mesothelioma patients.”

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that typically affects the mesothelial lining of the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of the cancer, accounting for approximately 75% of mesothelioma cases. Those involved with the study hope the results will help decrease current mesothelioma treatment approaches that lead patients to undergo serious surgery.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 27th, 2008 at 1:56 pm and is filed under Asbestos Exposure, Mesothelioma, Mesothelioma Treatment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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