In 2003, the Human Genome Project (HGP) completed one of the greatest feats in the history of mankind. That year, after ten years of labor, an international team of experts gave us the genetic blueprint to build a human being. Twelve years later, in 2015, individual genome mapping came to market. Individual mapping is done today in 6 hours or less at a cost of roughly $1,000. What this means for the future of medicine is unfathomable.
Where doctor’s widespread medical knowledge was once reduced to a sophisticated form of trial and error, today’s cutting edge medicine has harnessed the power of individual genome mapping to provide targeted and personalized treatment plans. Now, that doesn’t mean we will soon be a disease-free nation, but it does inspire optimism. Here is how mesothelioma patients could see a benefit in the future.
For years, scientists have considered immunotherapy a key component to curing diseases in humans. Over the years, it hasn’t quite held up. What scientists are doing today is using targeted immunotherapy along with radiation and are seeing better results.
What is immunotherapy vs targeted immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that harnesses the power of your genetic blueprint to create living organisms that will help your body fight off infection and disease better. Targeted immunotherapy aims to stop the growth of cancer cells.
What is radiation vs hypofractionated radiation?
Radiation is a type of cancer treatment that uses X-rays, or other forms of radiation to destroy malignant cells in the body. Hypofractionated radiation is like radiation except the dose of radiation is divided into smaller doses and given more than once a day. In patients with Mesothelioma, radiation can be useful in shrinking tumors and is more tolerable than chemotherapy.
Combining immunotherapy and radiation to treat mesothelioma
Researchers in Canada have taken the lead on a new approach which combines the two treatment options to increase effectiveness in patients with mesothelioma. One of the doctors leading this approach is optimistic. “The combination of non-ablative hypofractionated radiation with targeted immunotherapy is a promising strategy for the near future in mesothelioma.”
While researchers have yet to find a cure, the incremental progress is beginning to add up significantly.