Epithelioid Subtype Leads to Longer Survival Regardless of Treatment

epithelioid subtype

Danish researchers say people with the epithelioid subtype of pleural mesothelioma tend to live longer than those with other subtypes, even if they don’t receive treatment.  The study is the latest to confirm what prior research suggests: that epithelial mesothelioma is more survivable than other subtypes.  In the newest report, mesothelioma patients with the epithelioid subtype lived longer, even when they were not good candidates for curative treatment. Mesothelioma Subtypes and Symptoms Pleural mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer on the membrane around the lungs. Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma.  There are three main mesothelioma subtypes. They are the epithelioid subtype, the sarcomatoid subtype, and the biphasic subtype. Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common subtype. Sarcomatoid is … Continue reading Epithelioid Subtype Leads to Longer Survival Regardless of Treatment »

WHO to Recognize Fourth Mesothelioma Subtype

mesothelioma subtype

The World Health Organization will soon recognize mesothelioma in situ as a fourth mesothelioma subtype.  The 2015 WHO classification of pleural mesothelioma includes three histological subtypes. Pathologists can tell the difference between the subtypes by looking at the cells under a microscope. Each subtype has a slightly different cell shape, growth pattern, and nuclear characteristics.  The proposed fourth mesothelioma subtype is a very early form of mesothelioma. Previous studies suggest that it may be a precursor to invasive mesothelioma. If patients know they have it, they may have years to try to keep mesothelioma from developing. Differences Between the Subtypes Pleural mesothelioma is a very rare type of cancer. Only about 2,500 people in the US receive a mesothelioma diagnosis … Continue reading WHO to Recognize Fourth Mesothelioma Subtype »

Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Have Similar Psychological Challenges

mesothelioma and COVID-19

Researchers in Italy say malignant mesothelioma and COVID-19 present patients with similar psychological challenges. In both cases, group therapy may help. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the lung lining. COVID-19 is the respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus. The two illnesses may not seem to have much in common.  But psychology researchers at the University of Turin say there are similarities between mesothelioma and COVID-19. They say understanding how mesothelioma affects patients psychologically could help providers support people with COVID-19.  Coping with Pleural Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Pleural mesothelioma is usually the result of asbestos exposure. Most people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis either worked with asbestos or lived near it. Many of them had no idea … Continue reading Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Have Similar Psychological Challenges »

Mesothelioma Biopsies: Ultrasound Guidance Beats CT

mesothelioma biopsies

A new study concludes that ultrasound guided mesothelioma biopsies are safer and just as effective as CT guided biopsies.  Italian researchers analyzed both types of guidance systems for collecting tissue samples from mesothelioma patients. They compared the diagnostic yield and safety of each method.  It turns out that ionizing radiation is not necessary for successful mesothelioma biopsies. As long as the technician is experienced, ultrasound guidance may be the better choice.  The Importance of Mesothelioma Biopsies Pleural mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive kind of cancer. It grows on the membrane that surrounds the lungs. By the time patients experience symptoms of mesothelioma, the disease is often very advanced.  Malignant mesothelioma can be tricky to diagnose. Mesothelioma biopsies are … Continue reading Mesothelioma Biopsies: Ultrasound Guidance Beats CT »

CT Scans Fail To Identify Metastatic Mesothelioma Prior to Surgery

CT scans

CT scans are not a reliable way to detect the spread of mesothelioma into certain lymph nodes between the ribs. This is important because people with mesothelioma cells in their posterior intercostal lymph nodes (PILN) do not tend to get good results from P/D surgery. Surgeons need a good way to find mesothelioma cells in these lymph nodes before they decide to perform this risky operation. But University of Pennsylvania researchers say CT scans are not the best method.  CT Scans in Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Prognosis CT stands for computerized tomography. A CT machine uses a series of X-ray images from different angles to create a 3D picture of a mesothelioma tumor. Most hospitals have a CT scanner. They are … Continue reading CT Scans Fail To Identify Metastatic Mesothelioma Prior to Surgery »

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 »

Mesothelioma Staging: Laparoscopy May Find Tumors PET-CT Misses

mesothelioma staging

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 »

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 »

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