A new mesothelioma treatment called transarterial chemoperfusion may help patients live longer without serious side effects. It was specifically designed for patients whose cancer returned after mesothelioma treatment. Early clinical trials of this treatment have shown promise.
New Mesothelioma Treatment May Help Late-Stage Patients
Research suggests that transarterial chemoperfusion treatments can help those with mesothelioma increase their lifespans.
Transarterial chemoperfusion delivers chemotherapy drugs directly to where the cancer cells have grown in the body.
Mesothelioma patients who received this treatment had a median survival rate of 8.5 months, according to the Society of Interventional Radiology.
This is a huge breakthrough as the patients in this study had stage 3 and 4 (advanced) pleural mesothelioma. By the time the cancer reaches these stages it has spread throughout the body and is harder to treat.
Further, the mesothelioma patients in the study had already received treatments and their cancer still returned. This meant they had limited treatment options.
The hope is that new mesothelioma treatments such as this one will be able to improve the lives of other patients in the near future.
“The typical survival rate of patients with stage 3 and 4 [pleural mesothelioma] is around 12 months from diagnosis,” said Dr. Bela Kis, a radiologist who led the study. “But with this new treatment, we are hoping we might be able to extend patients’ lives beyond that, giving them more time with friends and family.”
What Is Transarterial Chemoperfusion for Mesothelioma?
Transarterial chemoperfusion is not like standard chemotherapy. It is administered directly into the arteries that supply blood to the pleura (lung lining). This sends the chemotherapy drugs to the exact spot where the cancer has formed.
In pleural mesothelioma, cancerous tumors first develop in the lung lining. The blood supply for this area of the body is supplied by the internal mammary artery and the descending artery.
Transarterial chemoperfusion uses these same arteries to chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, methotrexate, and gemcitabine directly to the cancer.
The results of this treatment have been encouraging. Patients who received a transarterial chemoperfusion showed a 70.3% disease control rate. Control rate is the percentage of patients whose cancer either shrank or stabilized following treatment.
Transarterial Chemoperfusion vs. Standard Chemotherapy
It can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days for mesothelioma patients to receive traditional chemotherapy, depending on their case. Standard chemotherapy also comes with a risk of side effects since it impacts the entire body rather than one area.
Transarterial chemoperfusion aims to solve both these problems.
The infusion takes about one hour with (an additional hour to recover) and its side effects are relatively mild.
Major side effects of this new mesothelioma treatment were reported in less than 2% of cases.
“We were pleasantly surprised to find that this treatment doesn’t come with the same side effects of traditional intravenous chemotherapy,” said Dr. Kis.
Accessing Transarterial Chemoperfusion & Other New Mesothelioma Treatments
Because of the success of the transarterial chemoperfusion clinical trial, Dr. Kis and his team have plans to expand their study so more patients can access the treatment. Recruitment for the larger study is currently underway.
The scientists plan to change the chemotherapy combinations and doses used to improve patient lifespans even more.
You may be able to join this new trial if you have pleural mesothelioma that returned after treatment. Connect with a specialist to see if you can join.
Even if you can’t join this trial, you may be able to access new mesothelioma treatment options currently being tested in other trials.
Our Free Veterans Packet can tell you more top mesothelioma treatments, clinical trials, and accessing medical care.