Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation is an organization which has a mission to find the cure for this fatal disease based on the non-profitable system. The organization or shortly known as MARF has been specialized themselves to support the mesothelioma research by providing funds.
This organization also acts as adequate resources for patients and their families. Through this organization, they can access various information including the latest treatment options and having contact with the mesothelioma top experts on the national level.
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has contributed a crucial development in finding the most effective treatments for this cancer from both the continuation of the existing treatments or new approaches.
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Due to the cancer rarity, information on this disease is not much can be found at any other common cancer. Therefore, new clinical experiments and developing treatments are intended to significantly extend the patient’s life expectancy.
Aside from what causes mesothelioma cancer, mesothelioma research has also resulted in the following achievements.
1. Biomarkers and Blood Test
Blood test and biomarkers are one of the largest improvement which has been made as tools to diagnose this cancer. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has established a way of detection through the substance in the blood. The diagnosis will be including the symptoms and history of asbestos exposure.
2. Mesothelioma Breathing Test
Mesothelioma Breath Test is developed to improve diagnostic tools that can detect this cancer in an earlier stage. This diagnostic tool has a component called chromatography-mass spectrometry.
It is kind of gas that has a function to differentiate between individuals with asbestos exposure who are at risk and patients with already existed malignant pleural mesothelioma.
3. A combination of Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has recognized that the only option to treat patients who are not eligible for surgery is a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. The combination drugs are including cisplatin, Alimta, bevacizumab.
This is the updated guidelines which should be conducted at first-line treatment. A study has been performed on 448 patients. Half of them were treated using the combination of all three drugs. Meanwhile, the other half were treated using only cisplatin and Alimta.
The results show that therapy using a combination of all drugs including cisplatin, Alimta, and bevacizumab has improved the overall survival. If patients without bevacizumab had an average survival of 16 months, those with all three drugs have extended their survival average to 18.8 months.
4. Curative Radiation Therapies
The mesothelioma researchers have also studied how radiotherapy can be used to treat the cancer curatively. Based on the studies, surgery which has been conducted after radiation therapy can extend the average survival significantly to 51 months. Radiation therapy should be done with the intensity-modulated approach to get the best result.
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The whole treatment will start with radiation therapy, then it continues to surgery on extrapleural pneumonectomy. Besides a combination with surgery, researchers have also learned the effect of immunotherapy which has been done before radiation therapy.
5. Upgraded Palliative Care
Palliative care is really important to patients as it can reduce the symptoms they had endured. As this cancer spreading out through the body, it typically causes patients to get more symptoms along with the side effects of therapies. Palliative care can reduce these symptoms and provide a better quality of life.