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Mesothelioma cancer treatment options are currently limited, but a new wave of potential treatments is on the horizon. Earlier this year, two Phase I clinical trials opened to study promising new drugs that target specific genetic mutations. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, staying informed about these and other potential treatments is essential.

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that typically develops in the lungs, heart, or abdomen lining. It is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is typically treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. However, these treatments are often ineffective and can be very costly. Recently, there have been several promising new treatments for mesothelioma that are currently in development. These include new drugs that target specific genetic mutations and immunotherapy treatments.

Medical study offers hope for new treatment options for patients with mesothelioma.

A new study has found that targeted gene therapy may be an effective treatment for mesothelioma. The study, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, Nature Medicine, focused on a genetic mutation found in around half of all mesothelioma cases. Using a modified virus, the researchers delivered a therapeutic gene directly to mesothelioma cells. In laboratory tests, researchers found the treatment killed cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. The findings suggest that this targeted gene therapy could potentially be used to treat patients with mesothelioma. However, further research is needed to confirm the efficacy of the treatment in humans.

Another recent study has found that immunotherapy may also be an effective treatment for mesothelioma.  The study focused on a specific type of immunotherapy known as checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Checkpoint inhibitor therapy blocks a protein that helps cancer cells evade the immune system. In laboratory tests, immunotherapy shrunk tumors and improved survival in mice with mesothelioma. These findings suggest that immunotherapy could potentially be used to treat patients with mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma and railroad workers

Asbestos was used extensively in the railroad industry until the 1980s. As a result, many railroad workers were regularly exposed to asbestos, putting them at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma. A recent study evaluated the records of nearly 4,000 mesothelioma patients and found that those who had worked in the railroad industry were more likely to have been exposed to asbestos than the average worker.

Compensation for railroad workers with mesothelioma

The attorneys at Doran & Murphy have uncovered evidence that the railroad industry was aware of the dangers of asbestos as far back as the 1930s, yet failed to protect their workers. Under the Federal Employers Liability Act, railroad workers that have developed mesothelioma, even after they leave the railroad, may be entitled to compensation. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options. Call us today to learn more.