Isolated chemotherapy may prove promising treatment technique

17 Aug 2017 by Sarah Mahan under Research/Treatment
160309 F OT558 019 100x100 Isolated chemotherapy may prove promising treatment technique

Credit: U.S. Air Force

German scientists are narrowing in on a possible new chemotherapy technique for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs as the result of asbestos exposure.

Researchers contend using chemotherapy in an isolated area while preventing it from circulating throughout the body may improve patients’ survival odds, according to Surviving Mesothelioma.  The researchers used a series of balloon catheters to restrict circulation. The study stated, “Isolation of the chest was achieved by insertion of a venous and arterial stop-flow balloon catheter via a femoral access. The aorta and inferior vena cava were blocked at the level of the diaphragm and the upper arms were blocked by pneumatic cuffs.”

In a technique called isolated thoracic perfusion with chemofiltration (ITP-F), the chemotherapy drugs were administered directly to the aorta and then allowed to circulate in the tumor area for 15 minutes before a machine was used to filter the drugs out of the blood. Results of the Phase II study have seen positive results. Typically, mesothelioma patients rarely live a year after diagnosis due to the difficulty of treating the cancer and its long latency period — often occurring decades after initial asbestos exposure. Of the 28 patients with advanced pleural mesothelioma in this study, none developed life-threatening side effects and nearly half were alive one year after treatment, according to the news source. Thirty-one percent of patients survived two to three years and 18 percent survived five years after treatment.

“ITP-F for patients with advanced pleural mesothelioma, progressive after standard therapies, is an effective and well-tolerated treatment modality, offering comparably long survival data at a good (Quality of Life),” the researchers concluded.

 

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