Mesothelioma can be like a campfire that won’t go out.
Even with the best surgical technique, chemotherapy and radiation, every
doctor worth his or her salt will tell you that none of these therapies
– alone or combined – will always put out the fire completely.
You can pour water on it, stomp on it and try to smother it, but no matter
how diligent you are, the odds are if you dig deep and look hard enough
you’ll find a glowing ember. Over time, that ember can eventually
catch fire and spark a wildfire.
The word for that is “recurrence.” As in, we’ll slash,
poison or burn as much tumor as we can see, but after it’s all said
and done there will still be micro-tumors seeding in your chest, which
can eventually grow into a bigger tumor.
That’s not comforting. What
is comforting is knowing that smart people are working on strategies to knock
down recurring tumors before they can spark a wildfire.
I’m pleased to continue supporting this important research initiative
$100,000 donation to the
Pacific Mesothelioma Center. The scientists and doctors at PMC have developed a novel way of treating
mesothelioma recurrences with
cryoablation. The strategy involves delivery of compressed argon gas through a needle
which freezes and kills the tumor cells on contact. The treatment is minimally
invasive and can be done on an outpatient basis.
Cryoablation is currently being used to treat mesothelioma recurrences
at the Comprehensive Mesothelioma Centers at both
UCLA Medical Center and the
West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center.
PMC is researching ways to enhance the effectiveness of cryoablation by
combining it with cancer vaccines.
At Worthington & Caron, we see every day the stress endured by mesothelioma
patients. Not only do they have to worry about finding the right doctors
to treat their cancer, they also have to contend with the probability
that even if all goes well, they’ll still need to deal with a recurrence.
Mesothelioma patients are fortunate to have access to the Comprehensive
Mesothelioma Centers at UCLA and the West Los Angeles VA. Doctors at each
venue are uniquely qualified to both put out the fire, and knock it down
again if it flares up down the road.