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WTC Health Program9/11 Injuries

New Treatment Shrinks Lung Tumors Related to Ground Zero Exposure

July 30, 2019 | Michael Barasch

Victims of lung cancer stemming from inhaled or ingested toxic substances near the World Trade Center site might find hope in a treatment developed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In a clinical trial, a new type of immunotherapy was shown to reduce the size of tumors and cut the levels of cancer in the blood of mesothelioma patients. By gaining an understanding of how the body’s immune system battles cancerous growths, these doctors might have identified a way to assist patients whose conditions were previously considered incurable.

This innovative version of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy has generated excitement for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Effectiveness against late-stage, solid tumors — While immunotherapy has succeeded in cases involving blood cancers or soft, early-stage tumors, the cells used in the new treatment have been altered to break through mesothelin proteins that harden the surface of advanced tumors.
  • Improvement after a single treatment — In contrast to the slow pace of many methods used to fight cancer, significant results were evident even after one treatment, giving encouragement to doctors.
  • Ability to reach cancerous targets — In previous trials, when T-cells were injected into a patient’s bloodstream, they often became lodged in the lungs and weren’t able to attack the targets effectively. Under the program just developed, a patient’s own cells are injected directly where a tumor is located.

If the early optimism proves warranted, first responders, construction workers and others who have contracted cancer based on their proximity to Ground Zero might have a better chance of surviving and living the life they want. This makes it particularly important for potential victims to take advantage of the World Trade Center Health Program and other ways of identifying and treating medical conditions arising from harmful substances affecting Lower Manhattan after the September 11 attack.

Barasch & McGarry assists individuals who have developed cancer and other medical problems linked to poor air quality in the Ground Zero area. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer, please call [ln::phone] or contact us online.

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