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
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
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.