Mesothelioma Treatments

Mesothelioma Remission

With regard to cancer, remission is defined as a state in which the symptoms of cancer begin to disappear. Complete cancer remission is the total disappearance of symptoms and is usually due to intensive therapy (such as chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments) but has also occurred spontaneously, without any known or identifiable reason.

Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are unfortunately unlikely to go into remission, simply because the disease is not usually diagnosed until it has progressed to an advanced stage of development.

However there have been documented cases in which mesothelioma patients were able to control the disease and live with it for many years. Many of these patients have undergone alternative treatments (such as oxygen therapy and the use of techniques associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine). These patients have also taken vitamin supplements and consume a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods.

This is not to say that traditional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation have no effect on advanced mesothelioma. There have been cases reported about mesothelioma patients who have experienced remission after treatment. There are also new methods of diagnosis that may enable doctors to detect the earliest signs of mesothelioma, allowing the cancer to be found in its earliest stages when a patient has the best chance of responding favorably to treatment.

Early Detection

Almost all types of cancer, if caught early enough, can be removed surgically. When malignant cells are present in the body, there are protein "markers," or biological indications of their presence within the body. The problem is that not all cancers show the same markers, and many times a mesothelioma patient will not typically show symptoms until the cancer has progressed.

A new diagnostic tool developed in Japan also promises to help in the early detection of mesothelioma. Called Mesomark, this tool may enable oncologists to detect the earliest signs of the disease at a point that surgery to remove the diseased tissue will be a viable option for survival, not just a palliative treatment.

The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the better chance a patient has to respond to treatment and possibly enter remission.To learn more about this cancer and the current treatment options, please fill out the form on this page to receive a complimentary comprehensive packet about mesothelioma.

Chemotherapy and Radiation

Chemotherapy and radiation are common treatment options recommended to patients by a doctor. In a report appearing in the Japan Journal of Clinical Oncology in 1998, a 71-year-old woman suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma was treated with direct injections of cisplatin, a common chemotherapy drug, and etoposide, which is an extract of the North American mayapple plant. These medications were injected directly into the affected tissue and the patient was also given intravenous injections of caffeine.

Because of side effects, the etoposide and caffeine were replaced by tegafur-uracil, another standard chemotherapy drug. According to this report, the patient had achieved complete remission by day 223 of treatment.

External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)

This is the first type of radiation that oncologists typically use. If administered following resection surgery as part of a multi-modality course of treatment, it is called adjuvant radiation therapy. A study performed at Sloan-Kettering showed that such adjuvant radiation therapy following surgery greatly reduced the incidence of recurrence.

Alternative Therapies

Paul Kraus, a 14-year mesothelioma survivor, and several others have experienced success in stopping the progression of mesothelioma through diet, meditation and oxygenation therapy. Oxygenation therapy is based on evidence showing that cancer cells thrive in an anaerobic (oxygen-starved) environment. Although not standard procedure in the United States health care system (oxygen therapy is relatively inexpensive and cannot be patented), this has shown excellent results elsewhere in the world.

Dr. William Coley was an oncology pioneer during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He determined that the bacteria responsible for strep throat, when injected into a cancer patient, would cause tumors to go into remission by activating the body's own immuno-defenses. At the time, most of the medical establishment was embracing the new technology of radiation therapy, so "Coley's Toxins" received little attention.

Another alternative therapy that has reportedly been highly effective was developed by the late Dr. Demetrio Sodi-Pallares, best known for his work in electrocardiology. In the 1980s, Dr. Dodi-Pallares discovered that by changing a patient's diet and having the patient sleep on a pulsating magnetic mattress three hours a day (the type used by chiropractors to treat back pain), the patient's pleural effusions shrank and ultimately disappeared. Dodi-Pallares' work has received little notice in the United States.

Spontaneous Remission

In an Australian medical journal, Dr. Roger K. Allen of the Wesley Medical Centre in Brisbane published the case of a 61-year-old woman whose mesothelioma went into remission spontaneously, without any identifiable cause. In addition, the woman's remission was "unusually rapid."

Dr. Allen theorizes that the patient's own immune system and "cell-mediated immunity" contributed to the regression. If so, this could have tremendous implications for the use of immunotherapy in clinical treatments resulting in the remission of mesothelioma.

Patients and their loved ones often wish to be equipped with the most knowledge about treatment options to fully understand the possibility of remission.

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