Chicago, IL (Mesothelioma News)-According to a new study to be published in an upcoming print version of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, scientists have developed an investigational vaccine for mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. When researchers from the Netherlands tested the vaccine on 10 patients, they found that it “infuses a patient’s own dendritic cells with antigen from the patient’s tumor”-and “that it induced an immune T-cell response against mesothelioma tumors.”
The American Cancer Society reports that 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma arise each year; the scientists who developed the cancer vaccine hope that this new treatment will save thousands of lives, as reported by Bloomberg Business Week. The disease usually attacks the lungs first and can then spread to the tissues of other human organs. The typical survival rate after a diagnosis of mesothelioma is around 12 months, with standard chemotherapy treatments usually extending survival time by only three months. Scientists believe that new mesothelioma cases will continue to climb until 2020.
Researcher Dr. Joachim Aerts stated, “We hope that by further development of our method it will be possible to increase survival in patients with mesothelioma and eventually vaccinate persons who have been in contact with asbestos to prevent them from getting asbestos related diseases.”