Published on:

New Treatment may Change Standard of Care for Mesothelioma Patients

When a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, he or she is often told they have a short time left to live. There are treatment options available, but they require cutting away cancerous organ tissues and applying chemotherapy wash directly to the site of the cancer. Sometimes, a patient will have an entire lung and portion of the other lung removed, and even with these invasive and painful treatments, a patient many have his or life extended by a matter of months to a few years.

surgeonsAccording to a recent article from Lauderdale Dailey News, a new treatment for mesothelioma patients may actually change the standard of care for many patients. Bevacizumab is a drug that was developed to treat cancer patients by restricting growth of new blood vessels inside tumors. Attendees at a recent conference on cancer treatment believe this drug, with a brand name of Avastin, should be added to the traditional combination of mesothelioma drugs consisting of pemetrexed and cisplatin chemotherapy products. Avastin is currently being used for patients with colorectal cancer and some forms of lung cancer and may have promise in treating mesothelioma patients, according to researchers.

More specifically, doctors and scientists have found, in patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM), the “new triplet” is showing an ability to significantly increase survival periods and is doing so within “acceptable toxicity” levels. For this reason, they believe the triplet should be considered as the new appropriate standard of care for these mesothelioma patients.

However, as our Boston mesothelioma attorneys can explain, new and experimental treatments can be very expensive and are often not covered by health insurance policies. Treatments designed to make a patient live longer, but do not actually cure a disease, are often not covered by health insurance.   Generally health insurance companies are not willing to spend money and take risks that do not have a hope of lowering the amount of money they will have to pay out. As sad as this may be, many health insurance companies often see patients who die quicker as good for business. It is for this reason your mesothelioma attorneys will work to get you full and appropriate compensation, including payment for treatment, as part of a mesothelioma settlement or jury verdict, should the case go to trial.

Damages in mesothelioma cases can include compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, payment of past and future medical expenses, special damages, and, in some cases, punitive damages, which can far exceed compensatory damages.

In the case of this new triplet, it is estimated the treatment will cost each patient around $8,000 to $12,000 per month to get the chemotherapy, and this is often far out of reach for these patients, and there isn’t any time to argue with insurance companies.

In addition to this new drug, the immunotherapy orphan drug CRS 207 is currently in phase one trials. Phase one trials are the first level of human trials and focus on safety and toxicity. Many believe this drug may provide a realistic treatment option for mesothelioma patients in the future, and it has shown promising results so far, but it is still very early in the testing process, and it may take many years until it reaches market, and that is far from certain.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:
New treatment for Mesothelioma may have changes, June 5, 2015, Lauderdale Daily News

More Blog Entries:
Bankrupt Asbestos Producer Sets Aside $375.5 Million for Future Mesothelioma Victims, Jan. 24, 2015, Boston Asbestos Injury Lawyer Blog