Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. However, it generally takes 20 to 50 years after inhaling asbestos fibers before a patient develops any symptoms. Once a patient develops symptoms and gets diagnosed with mesothelioma, the disease is generally in a very advanced stage, and the patient may only have a very short time to live. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma.
According to a recent news article from the New York Times, an experimental treatment being used for people dying from brain tumors may have future applications for mesothelioma patients.
The medical device that is glued to a patient’s scalp and generates a low alternating current electrical field that the manufacturer calls tumor-treating fields. It’s believed the electrical fields can stop tumor growth by preventing cancer cells from dividing.
Currently the device is being tested on brain tumors in 700 patients who reside in a dozen countries. The specific type of tumor the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for clinical trials is known as a recurrent glioblastoma and is the same cancer that killed Senator Ted Kennedy.
The new device is seen as a treatment and not a cure, as it has only been shown to extend a patient’s life by a few months, and many in the medical community do not believe the device actually works. There is no accurate way to determine a particular patient would have died a few months earlier had it not been for the electrical device.
If testing goes well, the manufacturer hopes to use the new treatment for mesothelioma patients to extend their lives after being diagnosed with the deadly illness. The device must be used along with radiation or chemotherapy in many cases.
As our Boston mesothelioma attorneys understand, medical advances like these may bring some hope to patients, but there is still a long way to go in terms of finding a cure or treatment for this form of cancer.
The truth is that mesothelioma is a deadly, painful disease, from which people suffer because companies were more concerned with making money than with health and safety. While the general public was not aware of the dangers of asbestos until the late 1970s, asbestos manufacturers and users of asbestos products knew of the dangers long before it was public knowledge.
There is significant evidence to prove the industry was well aware of the dangers during the time asbestos was being produced, and companies took steps to help ensure the public did not find out. Some asbestos producers even began labeling their products as safe when they knew it was just the opposite.
Failure to warn of a known danger is a common claim in a mesothelioma lawsuit. These companies had a duty to warn consumers of known dangers and chose not to so. They made this choice because they were making a lot of money selling asbestos and knew that it would take many years for people to develop mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other respiratory illness.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
Electrical Scalp Device Can Slow Progression of Deadly Brain Tumors, November 15, 2014, New York Times
More Blog Entries:
Australian Court Awards Highest Verdict for Asbestos Exposure Case in Nation’s History, Aug. 31, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog