New treatment offers hope for mesothelioma victims

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2020 | Asbestos, mesothelioma |

In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the combined use of two drugs as a primary treatment for mesothelioma that is inoperable. The FDA approved the combination of Opdivo with Yervoy as a primary treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, or MPM. The FDA approval of the drug combination is the first to happen in 16 years and only the second such treatment approved for medicinal use in Illinois and across the country.

Hope for otherwise low survival rates

The FDA previously approved the combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin to treat the cancerous condition in 2004. The additional treatment provides new hope for those suffering from MPM, which is the most commonly diagnosed type of mesothelioma. The affliction impacts about 20,000 U.S. citizens every year and is often so advanced at the time of initial diagnosis that surgery cannot remove it. Victims are generally older adults and often have other medical conditions that can complicate treatment.

Current survival rates are low, which makes the new drug combination especially important in reversing that trend. Clinical trials showed patients lived a median 18.1 months with the newly approved drug combination. Patients treated with chemotherapy survived a median 14.1 months.

Long time between exposure and diagnosis

Asbestos exposure often takes decades to fully manifest itself in the deadly lung cancer. It happens when workers and others inhale asbestos fibers that embed themselves in the inner lining of the lungs. Over time, the lungs develop potentially deadly mesothelioma that often does not fully show symptoms for several decades. The long interval between initial exposure and diagnosis of mesothelioma makes it an especially deadly cancer.

Mesothelioma can strike nearly anyone

Prior extensive use of asbestos has led to many people across the nation developing mesothelioma. Those afflicted with mesothelioma might have legal claims that they can press in a civil suit. An experienced asbestos liability attorney in Illinois may help to review your situation and help to build the strongest case when a liable party is still around.