Doctors in London are reporting a case of long-term mesothelioma survival with anti-inflammatory treatment for mesothelioma.
The 64-year-old pleural mesothelioma patient had been a heating engineer. When he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, he elected not to have standard cancer treatments.
His doctors advised him to start on a regimen of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs. On just the anti-inflammatory treatment for mesothelioma, the man was still alive four years after his diagnosis.
Mesothelioma and Inflammation
When asbestos fibers get into the lungs, they stay there permanently. Studies suggest that the inflammation caused by these biopersistent fibers may play a role in mesothelioma tumor development.
The idea behind anti-inflammatory treatment for mesothelioma is to reduce inflammation to slow down tumor growth. This experimental approach proved to be a good one for the patient in the newly-published case report.
Testing Anti-Inflammatory Treatment for Mesothelioma
As a heating engineer, the patient in the new case study likely worked with asbestos insulation. Research shows that the longer a person is exposed to asbestos, the more likely they are to develop mesothelioma. The man came to his doctor complaining of a cough that would not go away.
Tests showed the patient had the epithelioid form of pleural mesothelioma. The cancer caused fluid to collect around his lungs. This fluid is common in people with mesothelioma. It can trigger mesothelioma symptoms such as cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.
Standard first-line mesothelioma treatment is chemotherapy with Alimta. But this treatment does not work for everyone. Even when it does work, it does not usually extend survival by more than a few months.
The patient in the case report decided not to have chemotherapy. Instead, he enrolled in a clinical trial to test anti-inflammatory treatment for mesothelioma.
“He was advised to correct his low vitamin D3 level and to start using anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, bromelain and low dose Naltrexone,” writes AG Dalgleish in Respiratory Medicine Case Reports.
One year later, a CT scan showed no change in the patient’s mesothelioma.
Anti-Inflammatory Treatment for Mesothelioma Kept Working
Pleural mesothelioma is incurable. Most patients have a life expectancy of 12 to 18 months.
But the patient on the anti-inflammatory treatment for mesothelioma was still living four years after his diagnosis. At that point, another CT scan showed “modest but definite” progression of his cancer.
Eventually, the patient had radiotherapy for a lump on the opposite side of his chest. When mesothelioma spread to his abdomen, the man turned to another unconventional approach. He used the cannabinoids CBD and THC which are derived from the marijuana plant.
“A CT scan after he had been on this for six months, showed that his disease was fairly stable with marginal progression,” his doctors report.
Anti-inflammatory treatment for mesothelioma is just one kind of alternative therapy.Some of the longest-living mesothelioma patients have utilized a variety of unconventional treatments.
Dalgleish, AG, et al, “Long-term benefit from immune modulation and anti-inflammatory treatment in metastatic mesothelioma”, November 21, 2019, Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmcr.2019.100971