Currently, mesothelioma is classified as an "orphan," as it affects a relatively small number of individuals each year. However, given that mesothelioma can take 50 years to develop, its number of victims is growing and is expected to increase at least until 2020. Fortunately, funding for mesothelioma research is growing, too, as more doctors are specializing in the field.
Research Groups Are Making Advancements And Securing Funding
There is no known cure for mesothelioma, but progress in treatment methods is being made, increasing the life expectancy of those with the condition. As better surgical options are introduced and new drugs are put through clinical trials, more research groups are being created. Other organizations are trying to raise money for further testing and discoveries.
An important part of this process is gaining federal funding. While private organizations may hold rallies, produce pamphlets, and spread the word online, having funding from the government would provide a substantial boost to mesothelioma research. Fortunately, more recognition for the disease is slowly making that possible.
Experiments With New Treatment Options
In addition to increased funding for research, more doctors are specializing in mesothelioma, raising the potential for more research. One such breakthrough is photodynamic therapy. In this procedure, photosensitive drugs are injected into a patient, which are then taken up by cells in the body. Healthy cells get rid of the drug after a few days, but cancer cells do not. At that point, a laser is then used to target and destroy those cancer cells, which are identified via the drug. Immunotherapy -- the stimulation of a body's immune system -- and gene therapy are also newly developed methods are that being used to correct defective genetic patterns and are seeing success.
Looking For A Cure
For some research groups, finding a cure is their only goal. In fact, several mesothelioma-focused research programs have been developed at places such as the Yale Cancer Center in Connecticut, Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts. The hope is that, over time, these facilities will one day find that cure.
While a cure might seem to be a long way away, hope is not lost. Progress is being made in discovering not only the way in which mesothelioma spreads but how best to treat it. Progress is happening sooner than it seems, thanks to greater public pressure and increased funding. If you'd like to learn more about mesothelioma research, contact us today. We'll send you a free information package about the ongoing fight against this asbestos-caused cancer.