Mesothelioma Attorneys

Drugs and Medications

Asbestos Cancer

Most people are aware of chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer. Chemotherapy uses chemical to destroy cancer cells. There are other types of drugs used to treat mesothelioma and other types of cancer. Many of these drugs are still being researched, but the hope is to find a treatment that is as effective, or more effective, than chemotherapy, without being as hard on the body. Chemotherapy attacks normal cells along with cancer cells, making it too harsh and too dangerous for some patients to use. Drugs which do not attack normal cells can help patients who cannot withstand chemotherapy.

Epigenetic Drugs

Epigenetic markers work as on/off switches to genes. Epigenetic traits can be passed from mother to child, due to factors which affected the mother, such as her diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Epigenetic conditions affect how genes are expressed without changing the DNA itself. Not only can you inherit epigenetic conditions from your mother, you can influence them yourself through diet and environmental factors.

Epigenetic drugs are primarily used to counteract compounds in the body which suppress anti-tumor genes. Epigenetic drugs are still being studied. They may be effective in both treating and preventing cancer in certain patients.

Anti-Angiogenesis Drugs

Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels. Anti-angiogenesis drugs stop tumor growth and help shrink existing tumors by preventing the tumors from forming new blood vessels. The tumors are starved for the blood and nutrients they need to thrive and grow. Anti-angiogenesis drugs are different from chemotherapy. They do not target normal cells, so may have fewer and less severe side effects.

Avastin (bevacizumab) was the first anti-angiogenesis drug approved by the FDA. You may also hear of anti-angiogenesis drugs referred to as anti-VEGF drugs. These drugs are used to treat many types of cancer and to treat eye conditions, such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, which involve the development of abnormal blood vessels.

Interferon

Interferons are naturally occurring proteins in the immune system which help fight threats such as viruses and cancer. Interferon is used as a drug in immunotherapy for cancer. It was originally approved for treatment of hepatitis C. Interferon restricts the blood supply to cancer cells, inhibiting their ability to grow and multiply. It also promotes the production of killer T-cells by the immune system. These cells help fight cancer.

Interferon can have very unpleasant side effects including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Anorexia
  • Fatigue