It’s been just over 18 months since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Novocure’s Tumor Treating Fields, now known as Optune Lua, for use in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The device has been introduced gradually in cancer treatment centers across the United States, and now St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Kentucky has announced that it too will be offering it to patients diagnosed with the rare and deadly form of cancer.
Kentucky Ranks 25th In the U.S. For Malignant Mesothelioma Deaths
Kentucky has a long history of industrial and military use of asbestos, and that has led to a high death rate from malignant mesothelioma. The state’s Greenup County reported an age-adjusted mesothelioma rate of 33 per million, placing it among the top 50 counties in the United States with the highest mortality rate from the year 2000 to the year 2004, and other areas in the neighboring region have an unfortunate number of asbestos victims seeking treatment.
In response to the needs of mesothelioma patients in the area, St. Elizabeth Healthcare has announced its adoption of Optune Lua, an innovative treatment that patients to take home for use. The portable device slows the growth of cancer cells through the delivery of low-grade electrical fields.
Mesothelioma Doctors Enthusiastic Over Tumor Treating Fields Device
According to Dr. Goetz Kloecker, medical oncologist with St. Elizabeth Physicians, the new technology can make a dramatic difference in patients’ quality of life. “Optune Lua is a new treatment that slows progression and improves the quality of life for people living with mesothelioma,” he said. “It is the first FDA-approved treatment for mesothelioma in 15 years.”
Studies have shown that use of Optune Lua can extend mesothelioma patients’ lives by 50 percent when combined with chemotherapy treatments. Dr. Kloecker’s enthusiasm was echoed by Doug Flora, MD, executive medical director of St. Elizabeth oncology services, who said, “Our commitment to cancer treatment for the region is evident in our new cancer center. As we create a center of excellence for thoracic cancers, it is important that we continue to bring new and innovative treatment options like this to St. Elizabeth and our community—options that aren’t readily available elsewhere in the region.”
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you would like more information on mesothelioma treatment or any other resources, we can help. Contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.