Patients who suffer from mesothelioma in Louisville and across the country may soon have access to a promising new treatment. Every year, approximately 3,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with mesothelioma. When found early, mesothelioma has a 41 percent two-year survival rate. When found in a later stage when a solid mass has formed, the survival rate drops to 17 percent.

The new treatment targets these late-stage cases. The treatment, which was presented at the annual American Association for Cancer Research conference, specifically targets the mesothelin protein that coats each of the mesothelioma cancer cells. The chimeric antigen receptor therapy has been used in the past with successfully treating blood cancers but had not been effective at treating solid tumors. New developments in the therapy directly target the tumors.

The study involved 21 patients; 40 percent of the patients had tried three lines of therapy prior to the chimeric antigen receptor T-cell treatment. The treatment resulted in a 50 percent decrease in the mesothelin protein. Additionally, the new treatment showed no degree of toxicity in patients. Doctors hope that once the treatment passes additional clinical trials, it will be used to help treat over 2 million mesothelioma patients in the United States.

Mesothelioma is cancer that is formed in the mesothelin, a thin layer of tissue that covers many organs in the body. Most cases of mesothelioma affect the mesothelin in the lungs and chest wall. The main cause of mesothelioma is the inhalation of asbestos or asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a product that was commonly used in the construction of buildings. Employers who contracted with employees to work in these buildings may be responsible for damages to the injured parties. A lawyer may be able to help a patient or affected family members receive damages for medical care and wrongful death.