Recurrent Pleural Effusion Could Signal High Mesothelioma Risk

recurrent pleural effusion

The case of a Japanese woman with recurrent pleural effusion suggests the problem could be a precursor of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural effusion is a build-up of fluid on the space between the layers of the membrane that surrounds the lungs. It is common with mesothelioma and some other cancers.  In the new case study, the patient had recurrent pleural effusion for 15 years before she developed mesothelioma in situ. This is the earliest stage of asbestos cancer, before it becomes invasive. Her doctors say patients with similar problems should be tested for BAP1 loss and other signs of mesothelioma in situ.  Understanding Recurrent Pleural Effusion Pleural effusion is a side effect of several conditions including heart disease and cancer. … Continue reading Recurrent Pleural Effusion Could Signal High Mesothelioma Risk »

Gene Targeting Slows Aggressive Form of Pleural Mesothelioma

Aggressive Form of Pleural Mesothelioma

Scientists in Vienna are developing a new treatment for a particularly aggressive form of pleural mesothelioma.  This form of mesothelioma occurs in people with a genetic mutation. The mutation produces signals that fuel tumor growth. These patients typically have an even worse prognosis than other mesothelioma patients.  But the Austrian team came up with a way to block activation of the mutated gene. If the gene does not send its signal, this aggressive form of pleural mesothelioma may grow more slowly.  Aggression Fueled by Telomerase Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most aggressive kinds of cancer. It starts on the membranes around organs and can quickly spread to other parts of the body. By the time most people notice symptoms, … Continue reading Gene Targeting Slows Aggressive Form of Pleural Mesothelioma »

Breath Test for Mesothelioma Might Identify Subtypes

Breath Test for Mesothelioma

Researchers in the UK say a breath test for mesothelioma might be able to distinguish between mesothelioma subtypes. There are three major subtypes of mesothelioma. It is important to know which kind of person has. A patient’s subtype can impact their prognosis and even their mesothelioma treatment choice.  Right now, the only way to tell the mesothelioma subtypes apart is to look at the cells under the microscope. But scientists at Sheffield Hallam University have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the rarest and the most common mesothelioma subtypes.  These VOCs could be used to develop a mesothelioma breath test that could tell the subtypes apart.  The Advantages of Breath Testing Breath testing is a way of measuring VOCs in … Continue reading Breath Test for Mesothelioma Might Identify Subtypes »

The Best Biomarkers for Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, & Monitoring

Best Biomarkers for Mesothelioma

What are the best biomarkers for mesothelioma? The answer is still Soluble Mesothelin-Related Proteins (SMRPs). That is the conclusion of a major review of medical literature by some of the world’s top mesothelioma experts. Dr. Harvey Pass of New York University’s Langone Medical Center and Dr. Michele Carbone of the University of Hawaii are among the authors on the new report.  They analyzed 20 years of research on the best biomarkers for mesothelioma. Several were valuable for mesothelioma prognosis. But SMRPs once again came out the winner for mesothelioma prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring.  How Do Biomarkers Work? A biomarker is any substance produced by the body that can act as a biological signpost. Proteins usually make the best biomarkers … Continue reading The Best Biomarkers for Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, & Monitoring »

Managing Mesothelioma During the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Guidelines

Mesothelioma During the COVID-19 Pandemic

New guidance suggests that patients should continue to receive treatment for malignant mesothelioma during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two new reports include recommendations for hospitals to keep vulnerable patients safe. COVID-19 is especially dangerous for people with lung-related cancers like pleural mesothelioma. Their immune systems are not as strong as healthy people and their lungs are already damaged.  But two new reports suggests that it may be even riskier to put off treatment for lung cancers like mesothelioma during the COVID-19 pandemic.  How the Virus Could Impact Lung Cancer Patients Both of the new reports come from researchers in Pennsylvania. They focus on people with lung cancer rather than mesothelioma. But pleural mesothelioma is also a lung-related cancer. It carries many … Continue reading Managing Mesothelioma During the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Guidelines »

Lung Fluid Analysis Could Enhance Mesothelioma Survival, Report Finds

Lung Fluid Analysis

Swedish researchers say more people might survive mesothelioma if doctors paid more attention to lung fluid analysis in making their diagnosis. The only way to definitely diagnose mesothelioma is to examine cells under a microscope. But pathologists at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm say tissue biopsy happens too late.  Lung fluid starts to collect much earlier in the disease process. The Swedish team says lung fluid analysis (cytology) could give doctors an earlier indication of mesothelioma. That could lead to earlier diagnosis and better survival. Diagnosing Malignant Mesothelioma There are many signs of malignant mesothelioma. Coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath are some of the most common. When these symptoms occur in someone who has worked around asbestos, that … Continue reading Lung Fluid Analysis Could Enhance Mesothelioma Survival, Report Finds »

Predicting Mesothelioma Outcomes with FDG-PET: A New Model

Predicting Mesothelioma Outcomes with FDG-PET

Swiss doctors have created a new tool for predicting mesothelioma outcomes with FDG-PET scans.  FDG-PET scanning is a nuclear imaging technique. It gives doctors a non-invasive way to track the growth of pleural mesothelioma tumors.  The Swiss team analyzed multiple PET scans and CT scans from mesothelioma patients. They used a computer to look for commonalities in the scans. Then they used the information to create a computer model for predicting mesothelioma outcomes with FDG-PET. The model may help doctors and patients make better decisions about mesothelioma treatment in the future.  Imaging Studies for Mesothelioma Prognosis Pleural mesothelioma tumors occur on the pleural lining around the lungs. In the early stages, mesothelioma causes few symptoms. As mesothelioma tumors grow, they … Continue reading Predicting Mesothelioma Outcomes with FDG-PET: A New Model »

Some Long-Term Mesothelioma Survivors May Have Few Symptoms

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survivors

New research shows that some long-term mesothelioma survivors may have few or no symptoms of the disease for years.  The research appears in a recent issue of the journal Clinical Lung Cancer. A team of Finnish doctors wanted to identify the unique characteristics of long-term mesothelioma survivors. They discovered that some of these survivors seem to have an indolent form of asbestos cancer. This suggests that it is possible for a person to live for many years with pleural  mesothelioma and not even know they have it. Typical Mesothelioma Symptoms It is not unusual for mesothelioma patients to have no symptoms in the early stages, but long-term mesothelioma survivors are rare. Once the cancer takes hold, it usually grows quickly.  … Continue reading Some Long-Term Mesothelioma Survivors May Have Few Symptoms »

Study Highlights Treatment Disparities in Female Mesothelioma Patients

Female Mesothelioma Patients

Female mesothelioma patients are less likely to have surgery and other aggressive treatments than male patients are, but they still tend to live longer. That’s according to a nine-year study of nearly 19,000 pleural mesothelioma patients.  Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine led the study. The team used the National Cancer Database to identify pleural mesothelioma cases diagnosed between 2004 and 2013. The study included more than four thousand female mesothelioma patients.  The conclusion is that there are serious disparities in the way doctors treat men and women with malignant mesothelioma. Gender Differences in Mesothelioma Incidence Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma. Although it can affect either gender, most mesothelioma patients are … Continue reading Study Highlights Treatment Disparities in Female Mesothelioma Patients »

Artificial Intelligence in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment Planning

Artificial Intelligence

Two newly-published studies highlight some of the ways that artificial intelligence may help with the diagnosis and treatment of malignant mesothelioma.  The first study focuses on machine learning algorithms for mesothelioma diagnosis. Researchers used data from Turkey, which has a high rate of mesothelioma among families.  A separate study from New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center demonstrates the role that artificial intelligence can play in planning mesothelioma radiotherapy. Both studies suggest that machine learning may be a valuable tool to help doctors tackle asbestos cancer.  How Does Machine Learning Work? Artificial intelligence refers to intelligence generated by a computer. Like people, computers have to “learn” before they can provide intelligent answers to medical questions.  In both of the new studies, … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment Planning »

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