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Treatment for asbestos-caused mesothelioma

NEW YORK, June 26 (UPI) -- New York hospitals are recruiting patients for a clinical research study of a new treatment for pleural mesothelioma caused by asbestos.

Researchers at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center say the standard treatment for pleural mesothelioma is currently surgery to remove the patient's lung -- a potentially debilitating consequence, but the new treatment involves targeted radiation and chemotherapy.

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"Current surgical and chemotherapy treatments of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma are unsatisfactory, and have not been shown to significantly prolong survival," Dr. Robert Taub, the study's principal investigator, director of the Mesothelioma Center at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia and professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons said in a statement.

"In this study, we will investigate whether a combination of chemotherapy and radiation targeted directly at the lung's lining can improve outcomes while avoiding surgery -- in addition, this approach has shown to have minimal toxic side effects compared to systemic chemotherapy."

Researchers anticipate that the radiation therapy will kill the cancer cells on the surface of the lung while sparing other parts of the lung and surrounding vital tissues.

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