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Experimental treatments



There are some experimental or non-traditional treatments along with traditional one. They are:

Alimta

This treatment is applied to Malignant pleural mesothelioma, affecting the internal lining located in the chest cavity. ALIMTA is combined with another drug used in chemotherapy - cisplatin.

Non-small cell lung cancer. In case of this disease cancer cells occur within the lung tissues.

Folic acid and vitamin B 12 are given to the patient before and during the treatment with ALIMTA in order to lower the possibility of the side effects to occur. A "corticosteroid" medicine is prescribed to take within 3 days while the ALIMTA treatment proceeds. Skin reactions caused by ALIMTA are reduced by applying corticosteroid medicines. Children didn't take part in ALIMTA studies.

Photodynamic Therapy

The principle of photodynamic therapy is to kill cancerous cells by affecting them with the energy of light and it is effective in combination with surgery. Despite the fact that this therapy is only tested for treating mesothelioma, it has been rather effective in other cancers treatment. During this therapy, the patient receives a special drug that gives cells the sensitiveness to the light of a specific wavelength, called photosensitizer. This drug collects in the tumor cells, apart from healthy ones. After the cells got sensitized, they are subjected to the light of a correct frequency through fiber optic cables that are implanted into the body, mostly with open-chest surgery. Due to this affection photosensitizer produces toxic oxygen molecule that destroy tumor cells.

Gene Therapy

This new treatment is mostly applied during the clinical trials. This approach allows to kill cancerous cells without touching healthy ones, which is the problem of ordinary chemotherapy. Gene therapy modifies the genetic defects that let cancerous cells multiply. The tumor receives so-called "suicide gene" that makes them sensitive to the drug, they didn't use to be before. Then the drug is applied to the cells that became sensitive destroying them and not affecting the healthy ones. University of Pennsylvania carries out the research of gene therapy.

Immunotherapy

This therapy (immunotherapy or biological therapy) makes the immune system of the patient's body to fight cancerous cells itself. This therapy is also known as BRMs (biological response modifiers). Despite it is still impossible to reach reasonable results, clinical studies are already held. Some cancer patients combine traditional treatments with the alternative ones and spiritual approach while dealing with the cancer.

Complementary and alternative treatments

These kinds of treatment are considered non-traditional and are aimed at fighting mesothelioma through following procedures: holistic medicine, acupuncture, modified diets, meditation, herbs, or guided imagery. Some patients consider that such things as diet is useful for fighting mesothelioma. American Cancer Society has published the suggestion that mesothelioma patients must eat fruit and vegetables at lest five times a day. They also consider that the stress and side effects may be minimized through relaxation techniques, like meditation. These treatments are known as alternative in case they are used as the only treatment, without applying traditional therapies. In case they are combined with traditional methods, then this combination is referred as complementary or integrative treatments.

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