One of the most valuable things in a mesothelioma patient’s life is time. Time to spend with family. Time to address their legacy. Time to do the things that they have long dreamed of doing. In the face of a terminal diagnosis, most find themselves frustrated by how much time they spend in the hospital or getting medical treatments, even though they know that those treatments are the only way that they can extend their survival. Now a group of researchers in the Netherlands are saying that it may not be necessary for some of those treatments to take as long as they traditionally have.
According to the researchers, mesothelioma patients have typically been administered chemotherapy drugs through infusion in a process that generally takes about three hours per session. The three-hour time period has been considered necessary in order to protect the kidneys from potential damage, but it often represents a significant interruption of the patient’s life, particularly for those who have to travel in order to get their treatment. In an attempt to lighten the load and make receiving chemotherapy less intrusive, the Dutch researchers evaluated the effect of a more rapid delivery of the chemotherapy drug to patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, as well as patients with small-cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. There were 230 patients who submitted to the study in all, with half receiving cisplatin via the traditional infusion method and half receiving a rapid infusion that took just one hour. All patients were then assessed to determine whether they had suffered any type of ill effects from the new process, and particularly for a decrease in eGFR, which is used as a measure of how well the kidneys are functioning. According to researcher Eveline S. Sense, PharmD, writing in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, “There was no significant difference in renal function between rapid infusion of cisplatin and regular infusion of cisplatin.” They concluded in their report that, “A 1-hour infusion of cisplatin is a safe and feasible method, which may potentially shorten duration of hospital admittance and enable treating patients in the outpatient setting.”
If you are a mesothelioma patient, you know that anything that can lighten your load and make life less stressful has value. For information on other resources that are available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.