Can immunotherapy cure mesothelioma?

Immunotherapy cannot cure mesothelioma, but it can help you live longer. At this point in time, no one has been cured of this aggressive cancer, but advancements in diagnostics and treatment have allowed patients to live longer than ever before. Some people claim it has been more than a decade since their diagnosis.

If you have mesothelioma or maybe if you or your loved ones suspect having it due to asbestos exposure, you are probably spending hours online looking for new treatment options that can extend your life and improve its quality.

Many people with mesothelioma are seeking out alternative treatments so they can avoid the harsh effects of chemotherapy and other standard treatments. Even if they can’t save your life (at least not yet), they can still make the life you have left more comfortable by reducing your symptoms.

Alternative Mesothelioma Treatments: What You Need to Know

While alternative treatments may be appealing, it’s important to note that these treatments may interfere with any treatments you are already receiving. This is especially true if you are taking part in a clinical trial. Be sure to ask your medical team if any alternative treatment you’re considering has the potential to harm you.

Your medical team may be able to tell you about any alternative treatments that may work well in conjunction with the traditional treatments you are already using. They may also be able to direct you to clinical trials that will give you the opportunity to try out new treatments.

Immunotherapy treatments are one of the most popular types of clinical trial studies among mesothelioma victims. These studies offer hope in the face of a terminal diagnosis. They also give the patient a chance to help other people who have the disease.

How Immunotherapy Works

We’ve all heard the phrase “work smarter not harder.” That is exactly what immunotherapy accomplishes. This alternative treatment uses your own immune system to fight your cancer by training it to remember cancerous cells. This can help put your cancer into remission and make remission last longer. Some treatment options are:

  • Checkpoint inhibitors
  • Adoptive cell transfer
  • Vaccines
  • Targeted antibodies
  • Adjuvants
  • Alternative medical systems
  • Energy therapy
  • Mind-body interventions
  • Movement therapy
  • Bodywork
Photo Credit: Peshkova/iStock Photo

Immunotherapy boosts your immune system to improve its effectiveness. As advances are made in this field that uncover new ways to work with the immune system against various types of cancer, new treatments are constantly being tested on patients who are eager to receive any boost they can get.

How Immunotherapy Is Used to Treat Mesothelioma

When you take an immunotherapy drug, it will target and destroy proteins that can be found on the surface of mesothelioma cells. The problem with mesothelioma cells as opposed to other types of cancer cells is these proteins can actually protect the cancer that lies under the cell’s surface. That’s why the condition is so hard to treat.

To trigger an immune response, there are molecules on some immune cells that must first be activated. When this happens, it allows the immune system to differentiate between the body’s normal cells and the “invader” cells. Immunotherapy drugs trick the mesothelioma cells out of hiding behind those proteins so they can be attacked.

Even though there is still no cure for mesothelioma, these new treatments are incredibly promising. Today, those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma are sometimes able to live years longer than they were initially told they would. The next immunotherapy trial may be the one that unlocks the secret to survival, and maybe you’ll be a part of it.

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