In most cases, people in Illinois struggling with mesothelioma developed this rare, often deadly form of cancer due to contact with asbestos on the job. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and other organs. While it is caused by asbestos exposure, mesothelioma may develop 10 to 40 years after the initial exposure. Because the disease can take so long to develop, many people already have advanced mesothelioma by the time the malignancy is discovered. Few treatments have been effective in combatting this form of cancer, although medical research aims to find improved solutions.

Phototherapy offers hope for some mesothelioma sufferers

People with pleural mesothelioma, the form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs, may benefit from near-infrared phototherapy, according to scientists at Nagoya University in Japan. The study found that this type of phototherapy, which uses a type of light that is not visible to the naked eye but is capable of penetrating the skin, may have benefits for mesothelioma patients. Other studies have previously pointed to the potential of this powerful light therapy for other forms of cancer.

Treatment targets protein found in mesothelioma

In many cases, mesothelioma is diagnosed due to high levels of a protein, podoplanin, often found in cancer cells. The near-infrared treatment targets podoplanin in combination with antibodies that bind to cells containing the protein. These antibodies allow the cells to absorb light energy, leading to ruptures in the tumor cells.

People with mesothelioma may experience a range of painful symptoms, including shortness of breath, swelling of the arms, nausea, weight loss and fatigue. In many cases, this cancer was caused by exposure at a job site, despite companies’ knowledge of the dangers of asbestos. An attorney might help mesothelioma victims and their families to pursue compensation for their suffering.