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FDA approves new mesothelioma treatment

People in Georgia with mesothelioma may be excited to learn that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the first new treatment for the aggressive, rare lung cancer in 15 years. The treatment makes use of a device that creates electric fields. These fields can stop the solid tumors involved in mesothelioma from dividing further. This type of lung cancer can be highly aggressive and is almost always linked with some form of asbestos exposure, usually in the workplace.

Because mesothelioma treatment is difficult and often ineffective, there are few new treatments that have come forward. This machine produced by Novocare was approved under a policy called the Humanitarian Device Exemption. This FDA policy allows for easier approval for treatments that could provide relief for people with rare diseases. Experts said that mesothelioma patients who cannot receive surgery for their tumors generally only have palliative care as an option, which aims to ease their pain from their terminal illness. While palliative care can reduce symptoms, it cannot extend life or mitigate the spread of the cancer. This device is a new option that could potentially provide longer survival to some mesothelioma patients.

Other innovative devices have been approved to treat other incurable forms of cancer. Another device made by Novocure was approved in 2011 for treatment of the strongly aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma. Mesothelioma is believed to develop from the specific types of damage caused by asbestos particles that linger in the lungs. In many cases, the rare cancer develops many years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma patients often go through great suffering because of the negligence of manufacturers, contractors and other companies that failed to protect workers from asbestos exposure. People suffering from mesothelioma may want to consult an attorney about the potential to seek compensation for their injuries.

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