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How transarterial chemoperfusion may help mesothelioma patients

Scientists continue looking for better ways to treat mesothelioma, and many of their recent inquests have offered patients new hope. These include the development of two newly FDA-approved treatments. Soon, they may also include the use of transarterial chemoperfusion.

Every new treatment option provides doctors another tool to fight the disease. We recently addressed how Tumor Treating Fields (TTF) development has already improved some patients’ lives. Now, as doctors make greater use of the available treatments, a team of researchers from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center offers hope there may soon be another valuable option. They found that transarterial chemoperfusion can improve survival rates and cut down on unwanted side effects.

What is transarterial chemoperfusion?

Transarterial chemoperfusion (TACP) is a technique used to improve the targeting of chemotherapy drugs. Instead of circulating the drugs through the whole body, doctors deliver one-third of the cocktail directly into an artery that feeds the tumor and the other two-thirds into the descending aorta. This targets the tumor with a greater concentration of drugs and limits the harm they may cause to healthy tissue.

Who should receive TACP?

The treatment is still only in clinical trials, but the researchers leading the trials say it is intended for those with stage 3 or 4 malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). As they noted, people suffering from MPM in these stages are rarely candidates for surgery.

This means these patients often receive traditional chemotherapy, along with all its side effects. By comparison, TACP features:

  • A 70.3% control rate
  • A low major complication rate of just 1.4%
  • A less severe set of side effects, including mild nausea, chest pains, memory loss, hair loss and low white cell blood count

Notably, many of the side effects of TACP are also common with standard chemotherapy. In fact, they are often more pronounced.

Whats next?

The Phase II trials currently underway are scheduled to end in December 2021. At that point, the researchers will deliver their findings. In the meantime, the researchers say they hope to expand their study and explore different dosages and mixtures of the drugs involved.

How can mesothelioma victims learn more?

It’s natural for mesothelioma victims and their families to want all their options on the table, but it can be difficult to learn about clinical trials like those for TACP. Even the doctors who treat mesothelioma won’t always know what studies or trials might be receptive to their patients.

Even as they work with their doctors, victims and family members looking for new options might try reaching out to the trials directly. Or they may work with the mesothelioma attorneys who have developed support networks and try to help people access the best available care.

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