"[This] is the first human study on DC-based immunotherapy in patients with mesothelioma," wrote Joachim G Aerts M.D., Ph.D., a pulmonary physician at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands.
The findings have been published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The U.S. and other developed countries have prohibited the use of asbestos for decades, but the time between asbestos exposure and diagnosis of mesothelioma can up to 50 years. The incidence of mesothelioma, therefore, is still on the rise and expected to continue to increase until 2020. Once diagnosed, mesothelioma has a median survival time of 12 months. The standard chemotherapeutic treatment only improves survival time by about three months.
Mesothelioma compensation cases run into the billions of dollars and new claims continue to this day. This has been a bonanza for lawyers and good for people stricken by this that they get some benefits, however, for many the legal proceedings have added anxieties to their already dwindling quality of life. If a vaccine comes onto the market quickly the researchers hope to immunize those exposed to asbestos who have not as yet developed mesothelioma.