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
Cancer researchers at Baylor College of Medicine say diagnostic laparoscopy (DL) improves the accuracy of pleural mesothelioma staging prior to surgery. It is especially valuable for patients with cancer in both the chest and abdomen. Staging is a way for doctors to determine how widespread cancer is. Accurate staging is critical for the best surgical outcomes. For the right patients, mesothelioma surgery can be a life saver. Many mesothelioma patients undergo PET/CT as part of the staging process. But the Baylor study suggests that adding a tool called a laparoscope to the process may find tumors that PET-CT misses. What is Mesothelioma Staging? Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that grows on internal membranes. It usually occurs on the … Continue reading Mesothelioma Staging: Laparoscopy May Find Tumors PET-CT Misses
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?
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
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
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
A new report says there is much for the mesothelioma community to be excited about in the technology known as exhaled breath analysis. Several studies suggest the method is as accurate at identifying mesothelioma as some more invasive tests. Researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium led the new study. They analyzed six other studies on exhaled breath analysis The goal was to see how accurate the method is for diagnosing mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. The researchers conclude that things look good for exhaled breath analysis, but there is more to learn. Searching for Signs of Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive lung-related cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take decades to develop, but once it … Continue reading Exhaled Breath Analysis: Is it the Future of Mesothelioma Diagnosis?
A new report on asbestos and lung cancer says asbestos could be to blame for the cancer, even if the patient is a heavy smoker. In smokers, lung cancer is usually attributed to tobacco use. But cancer researchers in Australia and Finland say that is not always right, especially if the patient has been exposed to asbestos. They propose new criteria for establishing the cause of lung cancer in asbestos-exposed people. The criteria would apply to both smokers and non-smokers. Mesothelioma is Not the Only Cancer Linked to Exposure Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most often associated with asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a rare but fast-growing and treatment-resistant cancer. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Smoking increases … Continue reading Asbestos and Lung Cancer: Study Highlights the Link
A newly-published report suggests that artificial intelligence (AI) might help pathologists predict recurrence of mesothelioma. The report focuses on technology developed by the RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP) in Japan. The Center claims the computer program taught itself to recognize key features in images of cancer. Some of the features were ones that even pathologists did not know about. The findings suggest that AI and pathologists could predict recurrence of mesothelioma better than pathologists alone. How AI Might Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma A computer program usually has to be “taught” to perform a certain task. But this limits how far the learning can go. Instead of “teaching” it about cancer, researchers let the RIKEN technology learn on its … Continue reading It May Be Possible to Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma with Help from AI
Doctors in Michigan have launched a study to determine if volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath can detect early mesothelioma. They are also looking for a correlation between participants’ VOCs and biomarkers in the blood. VOCs can give doctors vital information about cellular metabolism. Previous studies of VOCs show that they can sometimes indicate the presence of mesothelioma. But no one knows yet if VOCs can really detect early mesothelioma. None of the previous studies have been big enough for the technique to be universally recommended. How VOCs Can Detect Early Mesothelioma Cancer causes biochemical changes in the body. These biochemical changes produce VOCs that a person exhales. Different types of cancer produce different combinations of VOCs. Breath testing … Continue reading Study Evaluates Breath Test to Detect Early Mesothelioma