An Experimental Asbestos Cancer Treatment

Gene therapy is an emerging mesothelioma treatment, not yet approved by the FDA, that involves using a patient’s own genes to combat cancer cells and tumors. The therapy manipulates a patient’s genes, so to speak, to repair faulty ones. As with any cancer treatment, there are side effects with gene therapy, including:

  • Infection of healthy cells
  • Chills and fever
  • Nausea
  • Headache

The treatment is still new, so the long-term side effects of gene therapy have not yet been determined.

Carcinogenic substances, such as asbestos, effectively damage or mutate a person’s genes. In order for cells to function properly, they need proteins. Carcinogens can mutate the genes, preventing the cells from producing proteins as they should. Without proteins working properly, diseased cells can reproduce and spread. If this spread and growth goes on for long enough, the cells will form tumors.

Enter gene therapy. Gene therapy aims to repair defective genes before they form into malignant tumors. If it works properly, gene therapy can heal mutated genes or at least improve a patient’s prognosis.

The Process of Gene Therapy

In order to treat the mutated or defective genes, the doctor must introduce a modified virus into the patient’s body. The virus should then enter the cell in question and overtake the faulty gene, replacing it with a gene that is working properly. Some doctors are also experimenting with gene therapy that uses stem cells rather than viruses.

One of the advantages of working with Worthington & Caron, PC after a mesothelioma diagnosis is our connection to the leading meso doctors in the nation. We help asbestos cancer patients by introducing them to these physicians as well as emerging treatments such as gene therapy for those that qualify.