Age and Smoking Less Important Than Other Factors for Mesothelioma Outcomes

age and smoking

A newly published study suggests that a mesothelioma patient’s age and smoking history is less important to prognosis than certain biomarkers or what treatment they choose. The study comes from scientists at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases in Mexico City.  They performed a retrospective analysis of 136 patients with pleural mesothelioma. The goal was to see which factors played the biggest role in outcomes. Age and smoking were among seven factors evaluated. It turns out they were not the most important ones.  Who Gets Pleural Mesothelioma? Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most closely associated with asbestos exposure. Most people who get it have lived or worked around asbestos. Mesothelioma can take decades to develop. Most patients are over 65.  … Continue reading Age and Smoking Less Important Than Other Factors for Mesothelioma Outcomes »

Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy

Biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma

Two of the most important biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma are not much help when it comes to tracking response to immunotherapy. Top mesothelioma researchers at the University of Pennsylvania drew that conclusion based on data from a cohort of 58 patients.  They focused on two primary biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma: SMRP and fibulin-3. Doctors use both of these markers to diagnose and plan treatment for mesothelioma.  The study confirms the correlation between these markers and mesothelioma tumor volume. But the Penn Medicine researchers say these biomarkers of pleural mesothelioma were “not useful” for measuring immunotherapy response. Understanding Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma A biomarker is a substance produced by the body that indicates a biological process or condition. Most mesothelioma biomarkers … Continue reading Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy »

Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020

breakthroughs in mesothelioma

In spite of a global pandemic, there were some major breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020 that made the year a hopeful one for people fighting asbestos cancer. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious illness caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.  Mesothelioma is still not curable. But researchers have made major breakthroughs in mesothelioma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment this year.  Mesothelioma Treatment Advances Mesothelioma treatment saw the biggest breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020. The FDA approved the first systemic treatment for mesothelioma since 2004. That was the year that Alimta (pemetrexed) received approval.  They approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy. Yervoy helps activate and proliferate T-cells. Opdivo helps existing T-cells discover the mesothelioma  tumor. The patients who … Continue reading Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020 »

New Cancer Blood Test: Could it Find Early Mesothelioma?

new cancer blood test

Researchers in England are testing a new cancer blood test that promises to reveal the presence of hard-to-find cancers like mesothelioma earlier. The country’s National Health Service will offer the test to 165,000 UK residents next year as part of a clinical trial.  “Early detection, particularly for hard to treat conditions like ovarian and pancreatic cancer, has the potential to save many lives,” NHS England’s’ chief executive Simon Stevens told The Guardian newspaper. “This promising blood test could therefore be a gamechanger in cancer care, helping thousands more people to get successful treatment.” If the trial of the new cancer blood test is successful, it could be available to help detect mesothelioma within a few years.  The Challenge of Identifying … Continue reading New Cancer Blood Test: Could it Find Early Mesothelioma? »

P16 Test May Improve Diagnostic Accuracy for Mesothelioma

diagnostic accuracy for mesothelioma

Scientists in the UK say testing for a tumor suppressor protein called p16 can improve diagnostic accuracy for mesothelioma. It may also help predict which patients are likely to have the best treatment response. The p16 protein is encoded by the CDKN2A gene. Many people with mesothelioma are missing this gene.  Previous studies show a lack of p16 may be linked to lower cancer survival. Now, researchers in Manchester say it should be added to routine tests to improve prognostic and diagnostic accuracy for mesothelioma. The Challenge of Diagnostic Accuracy for Mesothelioma It is not easy to diagnose mesothelioma. There is no single test that can show if a person has this cancer. Diagnosis usually involves blood tests, imaging studies, … Continue reading P16 Test May Improve Diagnostic Accuracy for Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma and Metastatic Cancer: New Test Can Reliably Tell the Difference

mesothelioma and metastatic cancer

Italian scientists have come up with what they believe is a nearly foolproof way to tell the difference between mesothelioma and metastatic cancer.  Malignant mesothelioma is a membrane cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Metastatic cancer can start anywhere in the body. It can cause tumors on the pleural membrane that may be mistaken for mesothelioma.  It is important for doctors to distinguish between these two types of malignancies. Mesothelioma and metastatic cancer are often treated differently. The Italian researchers say two biomarkers may make it easier to know which is which.  The Difference Between Mesothelioma and Metastatic Cancer Metastatic cancer or metastatic carcinoma is cancer that has spread to another part of the body from where it started. This usually … Continue reading Mesothelioma and Metastatic Cancer: New Test Can Reliably Tell the Difference »

Liquid Biopsy for Early Stage Mesothelioma Diagnosis

liquid biopsy

Canadian researchers are exploring a liquid biopsy test that could lead to early diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. The test is based on mesothelial precursor cells (MPC). The researchers say these cells – in combination with mesothelin and some kinds of stem cells – “could be implicated” in the development of mesothelioma.  A liquid biopsy detects cells in blood instead of tissue. The University of Toronto scientists think MPC in blood may be a new mesothelioma biomarker. If it proves to be true, this kind of biopsy might be able to identify mesothelioma patients even before they have symptoms. How Liquid Biopsy Works Patients with suspected mesothelioma may have many tests. Imaging scans and blood tests can help tell if a … Continue reading Liquid Biopsy for Early Stage Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds

asbestos causes mesothelioma

Some of the world’s top mesothelioma experts believe they now have a better understanding of how asbestos causes mesothelioma. The finding could help lead to more effective ways of treating it.  Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure. Once symptoms develop, many patients do not live beyond a year.  Scientists have known since the early 1900s that asbestos causes mesothelioma. But they are still trying to figure out exactly how. A new international study led by the University of Hawaii may help answer the question. Membrane Cells Under Attack Mesothelioma is a cancer of a mesothelial membrane. The most common mesothelial membrane where mesothelioma occurs is the pleura. The pleura is a … Continue reading Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds »

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 »

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