Altered Viruses May Help Boost Immunotherapy for Malignant Mesothelioma

Viruses may soon be playing a bigger role in the fight against malignant mesothelioma and other thoracic cancers. A pair of biologists from Minnesota say there is evidence that, in addition to killing mesothelioma cells directly, specific kinds of altered viruses might help make mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment more effective. How Does Immunotherapy Work? Like many other types of cancer, mesothelioma tumors are able to grow unchecked in part by “hiding” from the immune system. Immunotherapy relies on a variety of different substances that stimulate the immune system and allow it to recognize enemies such as mesothelioma cells. Immunotherapy is considered one of the most important and promising methods for fighting many types of cancer, including pleural mesothelioma. In some cases, immunotherapy … Continue reading Altered Viruses May Help Boost Immunotherapy for Malignant Mesothelioma »

Searching for New Mesothelioma Drugs Among African Plants

Doctors in Cameroon and Turkey say two types of African plants deserve more study as potential treatments for malignant mesothelioma and other intractable cancers. The plants, including Elephantopus mollis,, Kalanchoe crenata, and four other medicinal plants, contain compounds that triggered cell death when tested on mesothelioma cells in the laboratory. At present, there is no cure for mesothelioma and no drugs that consistently slow its progression. Even the most powerful anti-cancer drugs in use today typically have only a modest effect on this aggressive asbestos-linked malignancy. Testing Plant Extracts on Mesothelioma Tumor Cells For their new study, scientists at two Cameroonian universities and Anadolu University in Turkey utilized the methanol extracts from the whole Elephantopus mollis plant (EMW), the bark … Continue reading Searching for New Mesothelioma Drugs Among African Plants »

Standardization Needed for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment

Mesothelioma researchers in Belgium and the US have some good news and some bad news about peritoneal mesothelioma treatment. The good news is that the combination of cytoreductive surgery to remove the mesothelioma tumor and intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) to kill residual cancer cells improves mesothelioma survival. Overall, the method is so effective that the authors say the combination should now be considered standard of care for peritoneal surface malignancies like mesothelioma. The bad news is that, although there are limited ways to perform surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma, there are many ways to deliver intraperitoneal chemotherapy. According to Paul Sugarbaker, MD, of the Washington Cancer Institute in Washington, DC, and his colleagues Lieselotte Lemoine and Kurt Van der Speeten of Belgium, … Continue reading Standardization Needed for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment »

Immunotherapy and Radiation: A Powerful Mesothelioma Combo

New research suggests that, in the battle against malignant pleural mesothelioma, a treatment combining immunotherapy drugs with radiotherapy may be a powerful new weapon. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania reached that conclusion after reviewing the few existing studies on this emerging multimodal mesothelioma treatment for an article in Translational Lung Cancer Research.   Current available treatments for pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive lung-related cancer,  include surgical resection, radiotherapy, and systemic chemotherapy. Certain investigational drugs, including new immunotherapy agents, are available through clinical trials. But the Penn Medicine researchers have found evidence that immunotherapy drugs and radiation, when used in combination for pleural mesothelioma, may be able jumpstart the immune system’s anti-cancer mechanisms like no other single treatment. Immunotherapy in Mesothelioma Immune checkpoint … Continue reading Immunotherapy and Radiation: A Powerful Mesothelioma Combo »

Predicting Mesothelioma Outcomes with Soluble Mesothelin

New research suggests that a protein often used to help diagnose and track malignant mesothelioma may also be a valuable prognostic indicator. Soluble mesothelin-related protein (SMRP) is a biomarker for pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive asbestos-linked cancer that causes few symptoms until in its late stages. The presence of SMRP in the blood indicates that mesothelial cells on the lining around the lungs have been damaged. By testing the level of SMRP in the blood of a person with suspected mesothelioma, doctors can both confirm the diagnosis and track how well mesothelioma treatments are working. The Mesomark laboratory test for SMRP has become a staple of mesothelioma care in recent years. Determining Mesothelioma Prognosis Many factors influence mesothelioma prognosis, or likelihood … Continue reading Predicting Mesothelioma Outcomes with Soluble Mesothelin »

Mesothelioma Risk and the Timing of Asbestos Exposure

The timing of a person’s exposure to asbestos may play a bigger role in the development of malignant pleural mesothelioma than previously thought. A new French study has found that asbestos exposure earlier in a worker’s career appeared to raise their risk of developing pleural mesothelioma more than asbestos exposure later in their work life. Exposure Timing and Mesothelioma Risk The study evaluated the cases of 1,196 male workers who were exposed to asbestos on the job between 1987 and 2006. These cases were matched with 2,369 men of their same age who had not been exposed. The researchers used an asbestos exposure matrix organized by job to calculate the amount of asbestos exposure and the timing of each man’s … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk and the Timing of Asbestos Exposure »

Mesothelioma Risk in the Families of Asbestos-Exposed Workers

A new Italian study is a sobering reminder that living with someone who has worked around asbestos can have fatal consequences. Researchers examined the cases of 33 women and 2 men with malignant mesothelioma whose only known exposure to asbestos was through a family member – usually a husband or father – with a history of occupational asbestos exposure. Like asbestos-exposed workers, these family members were found to have a higher risk for pleural mesothelioma, although the framework through which they could seek compensation for their illness is less clear. When Mundane Tasks Become Deadly Asbestos, a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral, was once added to all kinds of construction products to increase strength and heat resistance. Before the link between asbestos and … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk in the Families of Asbestos-Exposed Workers »

IMRT Beats Conformal Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma

The targeted radiotherapy technique known as intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) may offer a safer way to treat pleural mesothelioma tumors with fewer side effects. Researchers at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey recently compared the outcomes of  twenty-four radiation therapy plannings in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma and found that IMRT was both less dangerous and more effective. Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Radiotherapy is often used in pleural mesothelioma treatment as part of a multi-modal approach that typically also includes surgery and chemotherapy. In many cases, patients will receive radiotherapy after surgery in an effort to destroy residual mesothelioma cells that could potentially seed new mesothelioma tumors. But radiotherapy for mesothelioma is a complex proposition, largely because of the shape and location of most mesothelioma … Continue reading IMRT Beats Conformal Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma »

Retreatment with Alimta Leads to 4+ Year Survival for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patient

geriatrics

There is new evidence that re-treatment with Alimta (pemetrexed) can significantly prolong survival for people with peritoneal mesothelioma, even after their cancer has come back. Cancer researchers in Zagreb, Croatia recently published the case report of a 45-year-old patient who lived for more than four years after a diagnosis of advanced peritoneal mesothelioma. His doctors credit his survival to cytoreductive surgery, intraperitoneal chemotherapy, and several rounds of systemic chemotherapy with Alimta after he relapsed. Treating Peritoneal Mesothelioma Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare subtype of mesothelioma that affects the membrane surrounding the abdominal organs. Because it accounts for only a fifth of annual cases of the asbestos cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma has been studied even less than the more common pleural mesothelioma. … Continue reading Retreatment with Alimta Leads to 4+ Year Survival for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patient »

New Report May Fuel Debate Over Mesothelioma Surgery

A new Swiss report on the two major types of mesothelioma surgery appears to raise as many questions as it answers, adding fuel to the fire in the ongoing debate over surgical technique. While thoracic surgeons around the world remain divided over the best type of surgery for the asbestos cancer,  the report suggests that the two primary curative approaches have similar rates of complications and relapse and that the data on survival has yet to be confirmed. Comparing Surgical Approaches The findings are part of a 16-year University of Zurich study of the the two major types of surgical mesothelioma treatment – extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), which involves the removal of the diseased lung as well as the mesothelioma tumor, … Continue reading New Report May Fuel Debate Over Mesothelioma Surgery »

Get your free copy of
“Surviving Mesothelioma” Today!