Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they have come up with better way to measure the effects of surgery-related inflammation on subsequent mesothelioma therapies. Their results could help other scientists predict the effectiveness of new and existing adjuvant mesothelioma treatments. Combination Therapy for Mesothelioma Because malignant mesothelioma is so difficult to treat, most patients are treated with a combination of different therapies.   While not all patients are candidates for surgery, a number of studies have suggested that mesothelioma patients who do have surgery as one of their treatments tend to live longer than those who only have other types of treatments. The challenge is that surgery itself can be so disruptive to the body that … Continue reading Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes »

CT Discovery May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Detecting Mesothelioma with New CT Algorithm

Researchers in Western Australia believe they may have found a way to overcome one of the biggest challenges in the management of malignant pleural mesothelioma—making the diagnosis earlier. Malignant mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer that starts on the membrane, or pleura, that surrounds the lungs. Because the seeds for this disease can exist for decades before symptoms develop, and because the early symptoms of mesothelioma tend to be vague and similar to those of other conditions, the so-called “asbestos cancer” often goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage. As a result, the survivability of this disease is typically very low. But scientists at the University of Western Australia in Perth say there may be a simple way to … Continue reading CT Discovery May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

New Pill Could Make Mesothelioma Diagnosis Easier, More Accurate

A pill that makes cancer cells glow under infrared light may have the capacity to improve the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. So far, the pill, being developed by researchers at the University of MIchigan with funding from the NIH, has only been tested on breast cancer tumors in mice. But it was so effective at exposing hidden clusters of cancer cells, that the research team expects it to be useful in the diagnosis of other cancers, too. That could eventually include mesothelioma. The Urgent Need for Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis Mesothelioma, a fast-growing cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is diagnosed in about 2,500 new patients in the US each year. About 2,000 of them have pleural mesothelioma, the most common type. … Continue reading New Pill Could Make Mesothelioma Diagnosis Easier, More Accurate »

New Mesothelioma Study Compares Different Types of Asbestos Exposure

A new Turkish study is shining a spotlight on the role of environmental asbestos exposure in the development of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive malignancy with no known cure. Malignant mesothelioma, which occurs on the membranes around the lungs, the abdominal organs or, more rarely, the heart, is most often associated with occupational asbestos exposure. But a new study in the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health cautions that “Environmental asbestos exposure is as important as occupational exposure to develop malignant mesothelioma.” In addition, after studying 21 groups of Turkish mesothelioma patients with either environmental or occupational exposure, the researchers concluded that environmental exposure is different from occupational exposure in some notable ways. Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Diagnosis Doctors have known … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Study Compares Different Types of Asbestos Exposure »

What Type of Mesothelioma Do I Have? CT May Be Able to Tell

Researchers from one of the country’s top cancer centers say it may be possible to tell what subtype of pleural mesothelioma a person has by using computed tomography (CT). Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive lung-related cancer for which patients and their doctors must develop a treatment plan quickly to get ahead of the disease. The challenge is that, not only is mesothelioma highly resistant to standard cancer treatment, but different subtypes of mesothelioma are often managed with different drugs and therapies. The new study from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York suggests that CT may offer an accurate and non-invasive way to classify mesothelioma patients which could speed the treatment planning process and lead to longer mesothelioma survival. … Continue reading What Type of Mesothelioma Do I Have? CT May Be Able to Tell »

How Asbestos Turns Healthy Cells into Mesothelioma Tumors

Scientists are a step closer to understanding how malignant mesothelioma may take hold in the body thanks to new research from the University of Vermont. A team of pathologists, biologists, and geneticists have released a report suggesting that exosomes, tiny vesicles secreted by cells, undergo dangerous changes when the cells encounter asbestos fibers. According to the researchers, exosomes from asbestos-exposed cells can carry gene-altering cargo that may then go on to “infect” cells on the mesothelial membranes where mesothelioma tumors start. Exosomes and Mesothelioma Risk To test the theory that these exosomes may prompt changes that results in pleural mesothelioma, researchers focused on lung epithelial cells and macrophages (white blood cells). These are typically the first cells to come in … Continue reading How Asbestos Turns Healthy Cells into Mesothelioma Tumors »

New Technology Could Change How Mesothelioma Treatment is Monitored

New technology could eventually make it easier, less painful, and less expensive to track the progress of patients undergoing treatment for malignant mesothelioma and other cancers. A research team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison pharmacy professor Seungpyo Hong has developed what they say is a more efficient method for capturing free-floating cancer cells in the blood. The developers say the system is far more effective than existing systems at capturing these hard-to-find circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and could be used to supplement other technologies for tracking cancer treatment. Mesothelioma Biopsy vs CTC Tracking Although mesothelioma therapies have advanced in recent years, there is still no cure for the asbestos-linked cancer. As scientists work to develop new kinds of treatments like … Continue reading New Technology Could Change How Mesothelioma Treatment is Monitored »

Measuring the Emotional Toll of Mesothelioma

federal support for mesothelioma victims

A new report suggests that too many mesothelioma patients and their families may not be coping as well as they could be with the implications of their diagnosis. Italian researchers in environmental health, occupational disease, and psychology conducted extensive interviews with 10 mesothelioma patients and 9 of their caregivers. In a report in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the team concluded that families with malignant mesothelioma are often more focused on their symptoms than on how their illness will impact their lives and that of their loved ones. The Subjective Experience of Mesothelioma Although several national and international reports have emphasized the importance of managing the psychological and social implications of a mesothelioma diagnosis, the Italian researchers say not enough … Continue reading Measuring the Emotional Toll of Mesothelioma »

PET Beats CT in Study of Mesothelioma Staging Tools

PET Scan

When it comes to accurately assessing the extent of an individual case of malignant pleural mesothelioma, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) may be more effective than Computed Tomography (CT). A combination of the two is even better. That conclusion comes from researchers at the University of Toronto who analyzed the cases of more than 100 mesothelioma patients being considered for multimodality therapy at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. Researchers compared the accuracy of PET and CT separately and together to determine how effective each was at identifying 1) the extent to which mesothelioma had spread to the lymph nodes (N stage) and 2) the number and location of metastatic mesothelioma tumors (M stage). Both N and M staging are used … Continue reading PET Beats CT in Study of Mesothelioma Staging Tools »

Simple Blood Test Detects Mesothelioma Progression

Malignant mesothelioma patients may not need multiple CT scans to tell whether their cancer has progressed in the months after  chemotherapy treatment. UK researchers say a simple blood test to check their levels of the protein mesothelin costs less, requires fewer hospital visits, and is 96 percent accurate in most mesothelioma patients.   Measuring Mesothelioma Progression The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Bristol who recruited 41 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma to participate for at least a year after the end of their treatment. The mesothelioma patients included in the study had received either chemotherapy or best supportive care. At the end of chemotherapy (or from baseline in the patients receiving best supportive care), patients had … Continue reading Simple Blood Test Detects Mesothelioma Progression »

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