A study in 25 patients with mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer associated with exposure to asbestos, suggests that radiation treatment before surgery can significantly increase survival. Patients were treated using a new approach dubbed SMART (Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy). They received an accelerated, 5-day course of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which conforms the radiation dose around the tumors while sparing nearby healthy tissues. They then underwent surgery to remove the affected lung. Seventy-two percent of patients survived 3 years or more after treatment; 3-year survival rates without SMART rank at 32%. People with known exposure to asbestos who experience shortness of breath, weight loss, and fatigue for more than 3 weeks should be evaluated by a doctor to ensure speedy access to treatment.