Doctor showcases new FDA-approved treatment for Mesothelioma

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 4:57 PM CDT
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(WZAW) - Each year, an estimated 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer that forms in the lining of major organs in the chest or stomach. Over 70% of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos, making it the leading cause of the disease.

The most common form is malignant pleural mesothelioma, but less than 30% of patients were candidates for surgery to remove the tumor, according to a SEER-Medicare data set analysis in elderly MPM patients, opening the door for new and innovative treatments. In 2019, the FDA approved a new treatment for MPM called Optune Lua, which is the first treatment approved by the FDA for the disease in more than 15 years. Optune Lua is a wearable and portable cancer treatment that delivers Tumor Treating Fields to the region of the tumor. TTFields are low-intensity alternating electric fields tuned to specific frequencies that continuously disrupt cancer cell division.

Optune Lua for MPM is classified as a Humanitarian Use Device, approved under the Humanitarian Device Exemption. The HDE pathway was created to encourage companies to innovate in rare diseases with underserved patient populations.

On Tuesday, in advance of Mesothelioma Awareness Day, Dr. Rupesh Kotecha, joined NewsChannel 7′s Stella Porter to discuss the history of MPM, who is at risk, the symptoms to look for and this innovative treatment option.

About Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM)

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare thoracic solid tumor cancer that has been strongly linked to asbestos exposure. Malignant pleural mesothelioma causes symptoms, such as chest pain and shortness of breath, that are frustratingly similar to those of more common illnesses. There are approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma annually in the United States.

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Mesothelioma Awareness Day takes place on September 26 every year with the goal of teaching people about this rare, aggressive and preventable cancer. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation is the only nonprofit charity organization dedicated to ending mesothelioma and the suffering caused by this cancer, by:

For information on how to get involved in your community and set up a fundraising campaign yourself, visit:

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