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Shorter-duration radiation therapy may help mesothelioma patients

For Kentucky patients living with mesothelioma, the prognosis often isn't all that good since this is an aggressive form of cancer that's usually detected in later stages. While some cancer specialists believe that immunotherapy - the artificial stimulation of the immune system's natural disease-fighting abilities - has the potential to help patients respond better to treatment, there isn't clear evidence that it is effective with more aggressive types of cancer. This is why there is now a focus within the medical research community on a type of shorter-duration radiation therapy known as hypofractionated radiation.

Linked to long-term asbestos exposure, mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer that may not affect individuals until many years after their initial exposure. Since asbestos was widely used in the military, many patients are veterans. According to one estimate, military veterans may account for more than 30 percent of newly diagnosed mesothelioma cases each year.

The effort to find an effective way to treat this disease has included clinical trials with various immunotherapy drugs. Because of the unpredictability of these drugs, researchers have turned their attention to boosting agents to help immunotherapy drugs perform better when used to treat cancers such as mesothelioma.

Using non-ablative hypofractionated radiation is being studied as a possible method for speeding up the delivery of radiation to affected tissues in a way that's safe for patients. One doctor commenting on this research notes that non-ablative hypofractionated radiation combined with targeted immunotherapy could be "a promising strategy" for the treatment of mesothelioma in the near future.

When a cancer diagnosis is made that involves mesothelioma, an attorney can prove to be a much-appreciated asset because of the complex nature of these cases. If there is evidence of occupation-related exposure, a lawyer may be able to help patients secure fair compensation for medical care and other burdens with legal action. It some cases, it's also possible to file a claim against an asbestos trust fund. Since statutes of limitations often apply, it's advised that patients seek legal advice shortly after receiving their diagnosis so all available options can be explored.

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