The main challenge of trying immunotherapy for mesothelioma

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2023 | mesothelioma

Medical professionals have acknowledged for years that mesothelioma does not respond the way that other cancers do to traditional treatments. Surgery can remove tumors, but they can rapidly regrow and spread. Chemotherapy and radiation often cause a significant reduction in someone’s quality of life without that loss of comfort and function necessarily translating to an improved prognosis or longer lifespan.

Thankfully, researchers have not abandoned the search for workable mesothelioma treatments, and there have been some very promising developments of late. For example, recent clinical trials combining pre-operative immunotherapy with the surgical removal of mesothelioma tumors have shown promise for helping people live longer or maybe even achieve remission, a previously impossible feat for those with mesothelioma. Yet, not every person with a diagnosis of mesothelioma tries immunotherapy treatments.

The cost keeps many people from accessing care

Although immunotherapy may show great promise for helping people address previously untreatable and deadly forms of cancer, therefore, even well-known and trusted immunotherapy drugs cost tens of thousands of dollars to administer. The newest, most cutting-edge treatments could cost $100,000 or even more. For example, treatments that involve getting a patient’s body to produce new stem cells carry price tags that can reach nearly seven figures.

The price alone wouldn’t necessarily deter everyone, as many people have insurance. Unfortunately, without FDA approval, immunotherapies are often experimental medications that insurance won’t cover. Therefore, those hoping to receive the best and most effective treatments will usually need their own financial resources.

Asbestos claims can help fund someone’s treatment

Individuals with deadly cancers often do not want to take on massive debt or use every last penny in their bank accounts to pay for their treatment, as they desperately want to leave something meaningful or valuable for their loved ones when they die.

However, those diagnosed with mesothelioma who can connect their harm to workplace exposure or dangerous products may be in a position to pursue a civil lawsuit. A successful asbestos lawsuit might help someone to cover the cost of more effective treatment options, including immunotherapy drugs. Understanding that legal action might be the only way to benefit from the best treatment possible may motivate people to hold a business accountable for their prior exposure to asbestos.