New hope for asbestos cancer sufferers

Date published: 08 January 2009

Sufferers of mesothelioma, the asbestos related cancer, have been given new hope through the development of a groundbreaking treatment in Germany.

Rochdale has one of the highest proportions of mesothelioma sufferers in the country. The town was once home to world's largest asbestos factory, Turner & Newall in Spodden Valley.

Nationally, figures for the cancer continue to rise as sufferers only show signs of the disease decades after first contracting it.

German Professor Thomas Vogl has been studying the use of Chemoembolization, a procedure that is most commonly used in the UK for liver cancer, with Mesothelioma and has had some success.

47-year old Debbie Brewer was told she had 6-9 months to live in November 2006.

She started to take Mistletoe in April last year, a therapy used to boost the immune system and educate it to fight the tumor, and a month later had her first trip to Germany to meet the Professor with the hope he could help her.

He performed the treatment in May and Debbie returned in June for a second treatment and was told the tumor had shrunk 10%.

After five treatments her tumor has so far shrunk 53% and she has been given a partial remission diagnosis and has been told the tumor may not return.

Many now feel that this treatment should be available in the UK as the treatments for Mesothelioma are limited to chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a major operation to remove the damaged lung.

There is currently a campaign to get trials started in the UK.

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