Staging of Mesothelioma Could Change with Discovery of New Lymph Nodes

Staging of mesothelioma in surgery

A recent discovery at the University of Maryland could dramatically change how doctors handle the staging of malignant pleural mesothelioma. More accurate staging could lead to better mesothelioma treatment outcomes and longer survival. More than three quarters of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have the pleural variety. Pleural mesothelioma is the deadliest form of asbestos cancer. Most patients do not live longer than 18 months, even with aggressive treatment. Cancer staging is the process doctors use to determine how advanced the cancer is. Staging of mesothelioma is important because it directly impacts treatment decisions. But staging of mesothelioma – just like diagnosis and treatment – can be difficult. Lymph Nodes May Help in Staging of Mesothelioma The discovery was made by … Continue reading Staging of Mesothelioma Could Change with Discovery of New Lymph Nodes »

Mini-Tumors May Help Doctors Develop Personalized Mesothelioma Treatments

Doctors at Wake Forest University are using miniature lab-grown three dimensional tumors to test personalized mesothelioma treatments. The mini-tumors are known as organoids and are grown from biopsy tissue taken from patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. Researchers say they can serve as models to try out new mesothelioma therapies before using them on patients. “There is a need for model systems to help predict personalized responses to chemotherapeutics,” writes lead investigator Andrea R. Massocchi with the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “We have microengineered 3D tumor organoids directly from fresh tumor biopsies to provide patient-specific models with which treatment optimization can be performed before initiation of therapy.” Personalized Medicine and Malignant Mesothelioma Precision medicine in an up-and-coming area of medicine … Continue reading Mini-Tumors May Help Doctors Develop Personalized Mesothelioma Treatments »

Thoracoscopy Deemed “Valuable and Safe” for Mesothelioma Patients

Pleural mesothelioma patients who are recommended for medical thoracoscopy can rest assured that the procedure is “a valuable and safe” diagnostic tool. That is the message from Chinese researchers after an analysis of nine years of medical thoracoscopies on more than 800 patients with malignant mesothelioma and other pleural cancers at a Beijing hospital. What is Medical Thoracoscopy? Medical thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can help doctors diagnose or treat the symptoms of lung diseases like pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an especially difficult cancer to diagnose since many of its symptoms mimic those of other diseases, including lung cancer. Patients with thickening of their pleural membrane (where mesothelioma tumors start) or with excess lung fluid called pleural effusion … Continue reading Thoracoscopy Deemed “Valuable and Safe” for Mesothelioma Patients »

New Mesothelioma Study: Asbestos Fiber Burden Does Not Decline With Time

Mesothelioma has one of the longest latency periods of any disease. It is not unusual for patients to develop the asbestos cancer many decades after their last exposure to asbestos. Now, a new German study offers a more detailed explanation of why that is. Although the body is adept at ridding itself of many kinds of toxins, when asbestos fibers are inhaled or swallowed, their shape and size allow them to stay in the tissue indefinitely, causing inflammation that can eventually trigger malignant mesothelioma. The new study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, is the first to study to level of asbestos fibers in the tissue of several individuals over time. It proves that, contrary to some theories, the fiber … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Study: Asbestos Fiber Burden Does Not Decline With Time »

Cellular Factors Predict Survival in Epithelioid Mesothelioma Patients

A team of French scientists believe they have found a way to predict survival and help plan a treatment course for people with the epithelioid form of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Until now, mesothelioma histological subtype has been the only way to reliably predict mesothelioma prognosis based on pathology (cellular characteristics that can be seen under a microscope). But mesothelioma researchers at the University Hospital of Saint Etienne have identified several  subtle differences between epithelioid mesothelioma cells from different patients that may have an impact on their treatment outcomes. Histopathology and Mesothelioma Prognosis Histopathology is the study of changes in tissue caused by disease. In the case of pleural mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos can cause the healthy cells in a person’s … Continue reading Cellular Factors Predict Survival in Epithelioid Mesothelioma Patients »

Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Fluid Cytology Versus Biopsy

A mesothelioma diagnosis using pleural fluid is just as reliable at predicting survival as a diagnosis based on a tissue sample. That conclusion, published in a recent issue of the British Journal of Cancer, is based on an analysis of more than 2,000 cases of malignant mesothelioma over 42 years. Researchers from the University of Western Australia and Curtin University in Perth compared the survival rates and diagnostic methods used on mesothelioma patients in an effort to determine whether pathologists had correctly identified their subtypes. Their results suggest that they had, which is good news for patients. Subtypes of Malignant Mesothelioma There are three primary subtypes of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer usually caused by asbestos exposure. Epithelioid mesothelioma is … Continue reading Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Fluid Cytology Versus Biopsy »

New Mesothelioma Grading System May Lead to More Accurate Prognosis

A new method for determining the prognosis of people with peritoneal mesothelioma suggests that patients whose mesothelioma cells have certain characteristics may live as long as 12 years. A research team including scientists from Wake Forest Baptist Health in North Carolina, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York has developed the first two-tier grading system for malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare form of a rare cancer. An estimated 10 to 30 percent of the approximately 3,000 people in the US diagnosed with mesothelioma each year have the peritoneal form of the disease. Like the pleural or lung-related form, peritoneal mesothelioma grows quickly, is resistant to treatment, and is associated with past exposure … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Grading System May Lead to More Accurate Prognosis »

Mesothelioma Subtype Unrelated to Source or Degree of Asbestos Exposure

The source or degree of a mesothelioma patient’s asbestos exposure does not appear to have a direct impact on what mesothelioma subtype they develop. That is according to the results of a newly-published study out of Australia, a country with one of the world’s highest rates of asbestos cancer. To make their determination, mesothelioma researchers reviewed malignant mesothelioma cases from the Western Australian Mesothelioma Registry between 1962 and 2012, comparing each patient’s subtype with their exposure history. Understanding Mesothelioma Subtypes Mesothelioma tumor subtypes are determined by subtle differences at the cellular level. Subtype is determined by examining mesothelioma cells under the microscope. Understanding mesothelioma subtypes is an important part of developing effective mesothelioma treatments since the different types respond differently to … Continue reading Mesothelioma Subtype Unrelated to Source or Degree of Asbestos Exposure »

Diagnosing Mesothelioma with Medical Thoracoscopy

Medical thoracoscopy, a procedure used to diagnose and treat pleural diseases such as malignant pleural mesothelioma, provides the information needed to make a diagnosis in about 80 percent of patients. That is up by more than 20 percent in the last three decades. In a newly published study, a team of Italian pulmonary medicine specialists say the procedure, which is also known as pleuroscopy, has steadily improved as doctors have gotten more adept at using it to diagnose mesothelioma and other thoracic malignancies. The Challenge of Mesothelioma Diagnosis Pleural mesothelioma, a virulent cancer that starts on the membrane surrounding the lungs, is notoriously difficult to diagnose. The symptoms of mesothelioma, which can include cough, chest pain, fatigue and shortness of … Continue reading Diagnosing Mesothelioma with Medical Thoracoscopy »

Most Mesothelioma Patients Don’t Need Preventive Radiotherapy after Pleural Intervention

Preventive radiotherapy may not be the best way to keep new tumors from growing at the site of pleural interventions in people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. That is the finding of a group of physician researchers in the UK, who tracked the outcomes of more than 200 mesothelioma patients from institutes across the country who had procedures that required the use of a large-bore pleural tube. Pleural Interventions in Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a virulent cancer that occurs on the membrane that encircles and encases the lungs. Any procedure or surgery that involves using medical equipment in this region constitutes a pleural intervention.  Mesothelioma patients may need all kinds of pleural interventions, from surgeries to remove the bulk of their … Continue reading Most Mesothelioma Patients Don’t Need Preventive Radiotherapy after Pleural Intervention »

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