Researchers recently published the results of a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology detailing a potentially new treatment for patients of abdominal mesothelioma that will likely improve the condition for patients.
The study found that when patients suffering from abdominal mesothelioma were given a combination of two drugs, Alimta (pemetrexed) and Gemzar (gemcitabine), their condition improved.
The following are the results of the study:
Response rate among patients was 15 percent
The control rate of the disease for patients while on the medication was 50 percent
The median time to disease progression was 10.4 months
The median survival time was 26.8 months
The mesothelioma study involved 20 patients suffering from the condition.
Each patient also received various vitamins including folic acid, vitamin B12 and dexamethasone. The study was conducted by researchers involved in a multi-center U.S. trial. Researchers expect to continue studying the drugs effects on abdominal mesothelioma patients to determine if the treatment can be improved.
What is Abdominal Mesothelioma?
Abdominal mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of mesothelioma cancer. Commonly described as peritoneal mesothelioma, the cancer affects the abdominal lining, which is also known as the peritoneum.
Within the abdominal cavity is the serous membrane, which is also known as the parietal peritoneum, and this membrane continues on to the visceral peritoneum that lines the organs. With abdominal mesothelioma, the visceral and parietal peritoneum linings are affected with the development of cancerous cells.
Most often, abdominal cancer occurs when an individual first develops pleural mesothelioma, which is when the lining of the lung develops cancerous cells after inhalation of asbestos. Pleural mesothelioma can then spread to the peritoneal cavity and cause peritoneal mesothelioma, which accounts for less than one-third of all mesothelioma diagnoses.
How is Peritoneal Mesothelioma Contracted?
Abdominal, or peritoneal, mesothelioma is caused through the inhalation of asbestos fibers or asbestos dust. Asbestos is a material that is derived from vermiculite, a mineral that was mined heavily in the United States and around the world in the 20th century. Asbestos was most commonly used as an insulation within the construction industry because it was flame resistant and was developed at inexpensive prices.
Common symptoms of mesothelioma:
shortness of breath
inability to breath
wheezing or severe cough
However, many of these symptoms are generalized to overall cases of mesothelioma.
Specific symptoms exist for those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. These symptoms are as follows:
abdominal swelling, which can be caused by ascites or the buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity
swelling of neck and face
Abdominal Mesothelioma Treatment
Abdominal mesothelioma treatments commonly consist of surgical procedures to remove the infected cancerous areas. Often, the main surgery involved with peritoneal mesothelioma is known as cytoreductive surgery. This surgery is usually accompanied with perioperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy, and together the median survival rate for patients has been shown to increase slightly, although, treatment is dependent on a specific case-by-case basis.
Obtaining Peritoneal Mesothelioma Legal Help
Individuals who have been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma or any similar form of mesothelioma cancer are advised to locate an experienced mesothelioma attorney. Because mesothelioma is considered a highly preventable disease, individual victims who contract the illness were likely exposed to asbestos fibers or asbestos dust without knowledge of the danger of exposure levels. These individuals may be able to receive monetary compensation for the extremely costly medical bills associated with abdominal mesothelioma.
It is especially important for an individual to seek legal counsel for their mesothelioma lawsuit if they were an employee within the metal, mining, maritime, construction and welding industries.