Treatment Options Improving in the ‘New Era’ for Mesothelioma

treatment options

Calling it a “new era” for malignant pleural mesothelioma, doctors from four of the nation’s top cancer centers have just published an update on treatment options for this rare disease.  The article was prepared by mesothelioma experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, NYU Langone Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  The article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology highlights the recent FDA approvals of a new medical device and a new immunotherapy combination for pleural mesothelioma. The authors say these and other advances are “generating momentum” to find better mesothelioma therapies.  Tumor Treating Fields Changing the Game Pleural mesothelioma is fast-growing and difficult to treat. Mesothelioma rarely responds … Continue reading Treatment Options Improving in the ‘New Era’ for Mesothelioma »

Lung-Sparing Surgery and Mesothelioma Survival

lung-sparing surgery

Italian researchers say lung-sparing surgery can lead to long-term mesothelioma survival, even if surgeons take a more conservative approach.  Lung-sparing surgery for mesothelioma is also known as pleurectomy with decortication (P/D). P/D surgery is less extensive than the other main surgical approach for mesothelioma but it is also less risky. Now, doctors at Venice-Mestre Hospital say that, as long as it is performed early enough and combined with other treatments, lung-sparing surgery saves lives. Their report in the Journal of Thoracic Disease details the outcomes of 155 mesothelioma surgery patients tracked for a median of a year-and-a-half.  Extrapleural Pneumonectomy & Lung-Sparing Surgery Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) is the most radical operation for pleural mesothelioma. In addition to removing the mesothelioma tumor … Continue reading Lung-Sparing Surgery and Mesothelioma Survival »

Hope for Mesothelioma? Parasite Triggers Tumor Regression in the Lab

tumor regression

A parasite found in cat feces triggered tumor regression in recent animal studies in China. It is a hopeful sign that the same process might be adapted to help human mesothelioma patients, too.   The parasite is toxoplasma gondii. It is a single-celled parasite that can only replicate inside live host cells. It is typically found in the feces of cats or in soil or water contaminated by their feces.  It is capable of entering most cells in most warm-blooded animals.  The goal of the new Chinese study was to determine whether toxoplasma gondii could modulate immune response in tumors. If it can, it might help immunotherapy drugs cause tumor regression in people with mesothelioma and other hard-to-treat cancers.  How Mesothelioma … Continue reading Hope for Mesothelioma? Parasite Triggers Tumor Regression in the Lab »

Quality of Life Similar Regardless of Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery Type

pleural mesothelioma surgery

New research suggests that the two major types of pleural mesothelioma surgery have about the same impact on patients’ quality of life afterward.  Thoracic surgeons at Switzerland’s University Hospital Zurich compared the results of 42 mesothelioma patients. Patients had either extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or lung-sparing PD surgery between 2013 and 2017.  Patients answered questions about their health in the weeks and months after pleural mesothelioma surgery. Their answers show that, where post-surgical quality of life is concerned, it may not matter which procedure a person has.  Two Approaches to Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery Pleural mesothelioma tumors start on the membranous tissue (pleura) that surrounds the lungs. A healthy pleura is thin and flexible and expands to accommodate the lungs during respiration. … Continue reading Quality of Life Similar Regardless of Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery Type »

Celiac Disease May Be a Little-Known Complication of Mesothelioma Immunotherapy

mesothelioma immunotherapy

A new French case report shines a spotlight on a little-known potential complication of mesothelioma immunotherapy: celiac disease.  Celiac disease is a chronic digestive and immune disorder brought on by sensitivity to gluten. Over time, celiac disease damages the small intestine causing long-lasting digestive problems. It can prevent patients from getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy.  The new case report appears in Frontiers in Immunology. It details the case of a 70-year-old man who developed celiac disease after treatment with nivolumab. The case suggests that celiac disease may be an underrecognized side effect of mesothelioma immunotherapy. It is a reminder for mesothelioma patients and doctors to pay close attention to digestive problems after treatment.  Stimulating the Immune System … Continue reading Celiac Disease May Be a Little-Known Complication of Mesothelioma Immunotherapy »

Goat Virus Proves Lethal to Mesothelioma Cells in Italian Study

mesothelioma cells

Researchers in Italy say a virus normally found in goats could offer a new, safer way to kill malignant mesothelioma cells and improve patient outcomes.  The virus is caprine herpesvirus 1 (CpHV-1). It has been blamed for bouts of spontaneous abortions in goat herds. But it does not appear to cause any disease in humans. In fact, previous studies show CpHV-1 can kill several types of human cancer cells.  The newest study of CpHV-1 was conducted at the National Cancer Institute IRCCS G. Pascale Foundation in Naples. Scientists there made two important discoveries. They found that not only can CpHV-1 kill mesothelioma cells without harming normal cells, but it might also have the potential to make chemotherapy work better.  Mesothelioma … Continue reading Goat Virus Proves Lethal to Mesothelioma Cells in Italian Study »

Korean Cancer Doctors Embrace PIPAC for Mesothelioma

PIPAC for mesothelioma

Five out of ten Korean oncologists surveyed feel positive about using an aerosolized chemotherapy system called PIPAC for mesothelioma and other types of cancer. PIPAC stands for pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy. The system turns liquid chemotherapy drugs into a spray that can be applied with a nebulizer. It was developed to treat surface malignancies like peritoneal mesothelioma that can be hard to treat with standard methods.  PIPAC can be used in conjunction with mesothelioma surgery or by itself as either a palliative or curative treatment.  The technology is still very new. Many doctors have never used it. But research conducted by the Seoul National University College of Medicine shows Korean doctors are ready to embrace it. How Spray-on Chemotherapy Works … Continue reading Korean Cancer Doctors Embrace PIPAC for Mesothelioma »

“Remodeling” Mesothelioma Cells May Improve Responsiveness to Immunotherapy

Responsiveness to immunotherapy

Italian researchers are experimenting with the idea of remodeling mesothelioma cells from the inside out to improve their responsiveness to immunotherapy. Malignant mesothelioma is highly resistant to standard cancer treatments. Immunotherapy is widely considered to be one of the most hopeful new approaches to this cancer. But this approach works better for some people than it does for others.  The difference may lie in the genes. Scientists at University Hospital of Siena believe that manipulating the gene expression of mesothelioma cells could be the key to bolstering responsiveness to immunotherapy.  Mesothelioma, Genetics, and Responsiveness to Immunotherapy Immunotherapy is a method of treating disease by using the body’s natural immune response. This can mean trying to attract more immune cells to … Continue reading “Remodeling” Mesothelioma Cells May Improve Responsiveness to Immunotherapy »

Could Phlebotomy Delay Development of Mesothelioma?

development of mesothelioma

New research from Japan suggests that removing some blood from the body might offer a way to delay the development of mesothelioma in people exposed to asbestos.  Nearly all cases of malignant mesothelioma occur in people with a history of asbestos exposure. Scientists know that asbestos causes mesothelioma. But they still do not know exactly how.  What is clear is that both iron and byproducts of metabolism called reactive oxygen species (ROS) appear to play a role. Blood removal or phlebotomy can temporarily reduce iron and ROS levels.  The new report from Yasumasa Okazaki, a pathologist with Japan’s Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, details how phlebotomy in asbestos-exposed mice delayed the development of mesothelioma. It offers hope that this … Continue reading Could Phlebotomy Delay Development of Mesothelioma? »

Asbestos Cement Roofing Poses an Ongoing Risk for Mesothelioma

asbestos cement roofing

Australian researchers have a warning for people in homes with asbestos cement roofing: Replace your roof or risk mesothelioma in the future.  Michael Kottek and Man Lee Yuen are with the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute in Sydney. They recently published a new report on the risk of mesothelioma from roof tiles made of asbestos.  Like all asbestos-containing products, asbestos cement roofing breaks down over time. Disintegrating or “friable” asbestos is the number one cause of deadly malignant mesothelioma worldwide.  Writing in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Kottek and Yuen say buildings with roofs made from asbestos pose an ongoing threat to occupants, even if the tiles are not disturbed.  Asbestos-Containing Products and Asbestos Cancer There was a time when … Continue reading Asbestos Cement Roofing Poses an Ongoing Risk for Mesothelioma »

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