Receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma, while not as common as it used to be, can still be quite scary, with a five-year survival rate of just 15 percent. With any amount of unseen tumor cells still left behind after surgery, they rapidly multiply. Dissimilar to many solid cancers, mesothelioma is scattered and spreads itself throughout the thoracic cavity in the body. Aggressive surgery is often used to attempt to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma. Luckily, there has been a breakthrough in technology that may now increase the effectiveness of such surgery.
Recently, it has been found that by adding a contrast agent during the surgery, it becomes easier to do a complete surgery by its ability to detect macroscopic residual disease and eliminate all of it. This could help avoid what has most inevitably turned into a recurrence of cancer. A thoracic surgeon of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania explained that TumorGlow could change the entire field.
The doctor’s recent study, which was conducted between Jan. 2016 and April 2017, involved 20 surgical patients with pleural mesothelioma. The purpose of these procedures is to completely resect the tumor. To be able to combat the issue of recurrence, doctors have attempted to implement other solutions, including hypothermic intraoperative chemotherapy, neoadjuvant hemithoracic radiation, and photodynamic therapy. Unfortunately, the results of these were only modest.
The ability to implement TumorGlow makes things much easier to see, similar to wearing night vision goggles. For the technology to work, the patient must be systematically infused with the special dye, intravenous indocyanine green (ICG), 24 hours prior to the surgery. Then, during the surgery, the dye is activated by near-infrared imaging that lights up the tumor cells. They will show up differently than simple inflammation. This injection of the dye was well-tolerated in the study, with only one patient experiencing minor toxicity.
The study concluded that the TumorGlow can aid in determining where the tumor is but does not replace current available diagnostic testing. Surgery remains the most important option.
If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos and are suffering from mesothelioma, it is extremely important that you receive the attention and care that you deserve. At Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A., our Wilmington mesothelioma lawyers understand the intricacies that are associated with a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Let us be the support for you during this difficult time. With offices in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 today.