Currently, researchers in Scotland are testing the effectiveness of administering Mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs via inhalation using a nebulizer. Up to this point in time, these types of drugs have primarily been administered by I.V., although a couple of the chemo drugs can be taken by mouth.
According to the research team and scientists at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, delivery by nebulizer has many potential benefits due to the fact that the chemotherapy drug can be targeted and concentrated to only the affected area of the body. This would potentially decrease side effects, make the drug a better treatment option for people in a more fragile state, and allow the drug to work more quickly. It is believed that this will be a good option for patients who do not qualify for surgery.
In most cases, Mesothelioma occurs after Asbestos fibers have been inhaled into the lungs. These fibers find their way deep into the tissue of the lungs and fester there. After a period of time, the constant irritation causes cancerous tumors to form in the lining around the lungs. This condition is called Pleural Mesothelioma. It is an extremely aggressive form of cancer that spreads and metastasizes quickly. The average life expectancy following this particular diagnosis is 12 to 18 months.
The first line treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma diagnosed in the early stages is chemotherapy using the platinum based drug, Cisplatin. Currently, it is delivered by infusion. However, this method of delivery not only destroys the cancerous cells, it also destroys healthy cells in the body and severely dampens the immune system. Researchers believe that using an inhaled delivery system will decrease the damage to healthy cells and potentially increase the speed in which the cancer cells are destroyed. The recovery time following these chemotherapy treatments would potentially decrease, and this could help people with Mesothelioma live longer and healthier lives.
In a recent press release, it was noted that this delivery system would be ready for human trials in the near future. Researchers are hopeful that human trails will show that using a nebulizer delivery system of the drug Cisplatin in Mesothelioma patients will allow for more comfortable treatment for the patients, less side effects, and faster results due to the drug being concentrated in the area where it is needed. It is hoped that this treatment method will allow for patients to enter remission at higher rates and more quickly than with traditional chemotherapy delivery methods.