New treatment could reduce pleural effusion in mesothelioma patients

28 Feb 2017 by under Research/Treatment

Diagram showing a build up of fluid in the lining of the lungs pleural effusion CRUK 0541 100x100 New treatment could reduce pleural effusion in mesothelioma patientsA buildup of fluid around the lungs, called malignant pleural effusion, is usually one of the late-stage symptoms of , a deadly cancer linked to exposure that affects the lining of the lungs, heart or abdomen.

The accumulation of fluid around the lining of the lungs makes it difficult for them to fully expand, and, therefore, for patients to breathe properly. Japanese researchers believe they have found a new, viable way to treat pleural effusion called intrapleural perfusion with hyperthermic chemotherapy (IPHC), according to Surviving Mesothelioma.

Typically pleural effusion is temporarily treated by draining the fluid, which is thought to possibly spread cancer cells, or by using a chemical or surgical procedure to eliminate the space where the fluid collects. In IPHC, researchers circulated a heated solution containing 80 mg/m2 of the platinum-based drug cisplatin through the pleural space to stop the production of the malignant pleural effusions, according to the news source.

In the study, 21 patients with pleural effusions — including seven with mesothelioma, eight with lung cancer and five with other cancers that cause the debilitating symptom — received the treatment for an hour, and then researchers measured how well the body absorbed the medication.

“(The study results show) the treatment resulted in complete control of pleural effusion for three months after IHPC in all cases,” according to study authors. In addition, the research team determined the amount of medication in the pleural space was more than in those who receive it intravenously, and because less of the drug ended up in patients’ blood serum, the new method produced fewer serious side effects.

 

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