California Mesothelioma Doctors Studying Cryoablation

Mesothelioma specialists at the Pacific Mesothelioma Center (PMC), David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA, have long been advocates for using cryoablation to treat mesothelioma tumors that return following surgery. Now PMC researchers reportedly are looking for ways to boost the effectiveness of cryoablation with immunotherapy.

Cryoablation Destroys Mesothelioma Cells with Extreme Cold

PMC surgeon Dr. Robert B. Cameron treats mesothelioma patients with a surgical procedure that preserves the lung while removing as much cancer as possible. The procedure — known as Pleurectomy/Decortication, or P/D — differs dramatically from the extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery in which other mesothelioma doctors remove the entire affected lung. Retaining the lung gives patients a better quality of life following surgery, the PMC team believes.

During surgery, mesothelioma patients may be treated with an interleukin 4 (IL-4) toxin that is effective at targeting remaining cancer cells. After surgery, mesothelioma patients receive an innovative form of radiation therapy that precisely aims high doses of ionizing radiation at the site of the mesothelioma tumor.

Unfortunately, no alternative provides an absolute cure for mesothelioma. When the tumor returns, UCLA doctors rely on cryoablation to slow the cancer’s regrowth. Cryoablation kills mesothelioma cells by freezing them. Doctors use a needle to apply compressed argon gas to any cancerous cells. The outpatient procedure can be done in four hours and usually causes few side effects.

PMC doctors are now involved in research to learn whether cryoablation works even better in combination with immunotherapy.

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