In the past, asbestos was used as a very popular building material until it was discovered that exposure to it causes cancer.

Doctor Holding Xray

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is incredibly deadly, a new drug to treat this condition is currently being tested on 300 British patients.

The new method of treatment has already been used for several other types of cancerous tumor, but it is hoped that it will be an effective treatment for mesothelioma by harnessing the body’s own immune system in order to overcome it.

The drug is called nivolumab and it is reportedly effective in treating melanoma and kidney cancer. The medicine works by blocking a protein referred to as PD-1 on the surface of T-cells, which allows cells of the immune system to be activated and in turn, hunt down and kill cancer cells.

“The UK has one of the world’s highest incidences of mesothelioma and currently there aren’t many ways to treat it,” Professor Gareth Giffiths of the University of Southampton said. “Boosting the immune system by releasing killer T-cells that have previously been blocked could offer us a new way to treat more patients with this devastating disease.”

For more advice information around mesothelioma, visit the Mesothelioma Center website.