Exposed to Asbestos? Lung Fluid Test May Waste Valuable Time

exposed to asbestos worker

If you have been exposed to asbestos and your doctor sees a mesothelioma tumor on your CT scan, it may be a waste of time to do a lung fluid test, too. Many different types of cancer cause excess lung fluid or pleural effusions. Looking for cancer cells in pleural effusions is one of the ways doctors test for cancers like pleural mesothelioma. This is called effusion cytology. But a new study says this test may not be very reliable for people with malignant mesothelioma. If other factors point to mesothelioma, they say it makes more sense to skip effusion cytology and go straight to a biopsy. Mesothelioma Develops in People Exposed to Asbestos Pleural mesothelioma is a type of … Continue reading Exposed to Asbestos? Lung Fluid Test May Waste Valuable Time »

Metastatic Mesothelioma: Does Chemotherapy Work?

metastatic mesothelioma

New research out of Pennsylvania suggested that not all people with metastatic mesothelioma will live longer with chemotherapy. Although chemotherapy is the primary treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, some types of metastatic mesothelioma appear to be less responsive than others. In some cases, the researchers say best supportive care may be a better option for preserving a patient’s quality of life. Three Mesothelioma Subtypes There are three histological subtypes of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The categories are based on how the cells look under a microscope. Cell type appears to influence how aggressive they are as metastatic mesothelioma. Cell type also factors into mesothelioma prognosis. Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common cell type. Epithelioid cells tend to lack uniformity and may … Continue reading Metastatic Mesothelioma: Does Chemotherapy Work? »

Needle Procedure Could Prevent Unneeded Surgery for Malignant Mesothelioma

surgery for malignant mesothelioma

A minimally invasive method for cancer staging could prevent unnecessary surgery for malignant mesothelioma. The method involves putting a needle into the chest behind the breast bone. This area is called the mediastinum. The mediastinum contains critical lymph nodes. The presence or absence of cancer cells in these nodes can help determine whether a patient needs surgery for malignant mesothelioma. Now, a group of Canadian doctors say an ultrasound-guided needle biopsy procedure can provide as much information as more invasive options with less risk and pain. Staging Helps Direct Surgery for Malignant Mesothelioma Most mesothelioma patients receive chemotherapy. If the patient is healthy enough and the cancer has not spread, the patient may also have surgery for malignant mesothelioma. Some … Continue reading Needle Procedure Could Prevent Unneeded Surgery for Malignant Mesothelioma »

Prophylactic Radiation Will Not Prevent Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis

mesothelioma metastasis prevention

A UK study says prophylactic radiation of the chest wall is unlikely to prevent pleural mesothelioma metastasis.   Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. Tumors start on the lining around the lungs and can spread to the lungs and other organs. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of asbestos cancer. Doctors sometimes use procedures that pierce the chest wall to help diagnose mesothelioma or to deal with mesothelioma side effects. Sometimes, new mesothelioma tumors can form along the instrument tracts or in the spot where the chest wall was pierced. When tumors spread it is known as mesothelioma metastasis. Some evidence suggests that radiating the chest wall after a procedure might prevent mesothelioma metastasis in that … Continue reading Prophylactic Radiation Will Not Prevent Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis »

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 »

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