Byford mesothelioma sufferer getting positive results from trial treatment

Byford mesothelioma sufferer getting positive results from trial treatment

A BYFORD resident with mesothelioma has seen some positive results from a new clinical trial in Perth.

Carpenter Ray Weller had fluid around his right lung in 2007 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009 when positive cancer cells first emerged.

He has since developed prostate cancer and had three rounds of chemotherapy for the mesothelioma before joining a clinical radiotherapy trial along with 15 others.

Professor Anna Nowak of the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital cancer centre is looking at how radiotherapy can improve quality of life or reduce pain for patients.

Dr Nowak said although radiotherapy was widely used in malignant mesothelioma to reduce painful masses, there had not been a trial to measure a reduction in pain or tumour response.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lungs, abdomen or heart and is caused by asbestos.

“Patients are also having a special type of PET scan, which measures oxygen levels in tumours,” Dr Norwak said.

“What we also hope to get out of this is a better understanding of how oxygen levels in tumours will determine how they respond to treatment.”

She hoped a future trial may involve the improvement of oxygen levels in tumours to make radiotherapy more effective.

Mr Meller said he joined the trial three months ago.

“I had three PET scans and had 13 days of radiation and they are monitoring the tumours,” he said.

“The tumours they targeted have responded reasonably well.

“I have wanted to get on a trial for a long time.

“I had a tumour on my side which was giving me pain and a lot of the treatment given to me was tested on people before me, so hopefully people can benefit from this one day; for me it was a win-win.”

Cancer Council WA gave $100,000 towards the trial.