There is no cure that currently exists to treat mesothelioma, a type of cancer that is commonly acquired through asbestos exposure. However, there are treatments available today to improve the prognosis, relieve pain and even extend the lifespan of its patients.

Today, a new treatment called prophylactic radiotherapy is being tested in the effort to extend the survival rate of mesothelioma patients. It is performed by irradiating the sites where mesothelioma treatments are performed, through a series of short, daily treatments. In theory, this will prevent the formation of new tumors effectively and with lower side effects.

Prophylactic Radiotherapy

To test the theory, researchers in northern France reviewed the cases of about 90 pleural mesothelioma patients who underwent at least one treatment followed by prophylactic radiotherapy sometime between 1990 and 2013.

In a year of being under observation, only 8% of the patients had suffered from a recurrence of mesothelioma tumors at the intervention sites. There were no serious side effects as a result of the treatment.

Sadly, these findings were contradicted by a later study. In a 2016 UK research, more than 200 pleural mesothelioma patients determined that irradiating the procedure tracts was not effective at preventing the spread and development of tumors.  

Find out about the study here.

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