Not only is mesothelioma extremely deadly, there is often very little doctors can to do help a patient diagnosed with this form of cancer. In fact, some of the most commonly used forms of surgical intervention can actually create more tumors than were originally present.
This phenomenon is known in the medical community as procedure tract metastases (PTM). PTM are a series of small tumors that grow along the path where a surgical incision was made or the tract in which a pleural catheter was placed in a patient with malignant mesothelioma. Essentially, PTMs occur following surgery or catheterization to treat mesothelioma and allow the cancer to spread to other parts of the body by creating a series of small tumors.
According to a recent news article from News 6, British researchers are conducting clinical trials on using radiotherapy to prevent PTMs from forming or spreading cancer. Currently researches in UK and other nationals are recruiting patients for surgical and large bore procedures in malignant pleural mesothelioma and radiotherapy trial (SMART). This multi-center randomized trial hopes to evaluate the efficacy of radiotherapy within 42 days of plural surgery in halting development of PTM tumors. Some patients will be randomly selected to only have radiotherapy if a PTM develops.
Most mesothelioma patients are required to undergo at least some type of pleural surgery so it is easy to find patients for the study. The only challenge is getting patients to consent, but since most patients do not have many viable treatment options, it may not be so difficult to find volunteers.
While this may offer some hope for future victims, currently, Boston mesothelioma attorneys often work with families of victims who have recently passed away due to the deadly nature of the illness. One of the first things a surviving spouse or other family member will have to do is to open and estate in a Massachusetts Family and Probate Court.
If victim had a last will and testament, he or she probably named a person in the document to be appointed as personal representative (executor) of decedent’s estate. If this person is willing to accept appointment, the court will likely approve decedent’s selection. Personal representative will then have power to file a civil lawsuit for negligence against those responsible for asbestos exposure, which caused the deadly cancer.
The lawsuit will filed in the name of estate and personal representative will be able to sign necessary paperwork in his or her capacity as personal representative. Any money obtained through a settlement or jury verdict will be paid to estate and distributed to beneficiaries in accordance with decedent’s instructions in his or her will.
If decedent did not have a will, the probate court will appoint someone as administrator of the estate based upon the law of intestate distribution in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A person who dies without a valid will is said to die intestate.
Claims of estate can include demands for compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, funeral expenses, and special damages.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Australian Court Awards Highest Verdict for Asbestos Exposure Case in Nation’s History, Aug. 31, 2014, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog