In the spring 2015 edition of the UCLA quarterly newsletter,
, UCLA’s Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program presents their innovative
approach to treating this complex and difficult to treat cancer.
As one of the early pioneers for the lung-sparing
Pleurectomy / Decortication (PD) over the
Dr. Robert Cameron, director of the UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program, has long believed
that leaving the lung intact and removing only the pleura and visible
cancer cells surrounding the lungs is most beneficial to the patients
long term survival and quality of life. According to Dr. Cameron, “There
is no current treatment that will eradicate every cell, but our goal is
to help patients live for a long time with their disease while maximizing
their quality of life.”
After surgery, patients are then treated with a form of high dose
TomoTherapy, which is delivered to the cancer site with much greater precision than
common radiation therapy, patients also experience fewer negative side
effects as a result of the localized treatment.
The Comprehensive Mesotheloma team at UCLA has also pioneered treatments
to address tumor regrowth after the initial treatment, including
cryoablation. Continual low-dose administration of interferon can delay the regrowth
of tumors in some patients for five to ten years. If nodules resurface,
cryoablation, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure which freezes the tumor cells
and kills them can also be used instead of
Dr. Cameron’s team wants to approach mesothelioma care similar to
the approach of treating a chronic disease such as diabetes, holistically
and with continuous support. Given how rare mesothelioma is, Dr. Cameron
stresses patients to be treated at a specialty cancer center like UCLA
with experience and ongoing research in this disease.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cameron at UCLA please call his office
at (310) 470-8980.