Mesothelioma Pain Management with PCC

mesothelioma pain management

A study out of the UK says more doctors should consider using a minimally invasive surgical technique called PCC in mesothelioma pain management. They also say it should happen earlier. Percutaneous cervical cordotomy (PCC)  uses an electrode to destroy a small set of nerves in the spinal cord. These nerves send pain signals to the brain.  Although the evidence for PCC is limited, the researchers say their study shows it is safe and effective for mesothelioma pain management. Unfortunately, the patients who do have PCC tend to have it late in their illness.  Pleural Mesothelioma Discomfort Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin tissue that encases the lungs. There are no nerves in this tissue, so patients do … Continue reading Mesothelioma Pain Management with PCC »

Diagnostic CT Scan for Mesothelioma: More is Better

diagnostic ct scan

A new report out of the UK suggests that a thorough diagnostic CT scan for pleural mesothelioma should include images of the abdomen and pelvis, as well as the chest.  When a person goes to the doctor with early signs of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a CT scan of the chest is often the next step in making a diagnosis. CT scans create a 3-dimensional image of internal organs, making it easier to spot mesothelioma tumors.  But a research team led by the University of Bristol says a diagnostic CT scan that shows only the chest might miss mesothelioma tumors in other areas. How a Diagnostic CT Scan Works CT stands for computerized tomography. CT scanning is an advanced type of … Continue reading Diagnostic CT Scan for Mesothelioma: More is Better »

Genetics Affect Accuracy of SMRP Test for Mesothelioma

SMRP test for mesothelioma

The SMRP test for mesothelioma is a tool doctors use to help diagnose asbestos cancer and plan treatment. But new research suggests that the test is not as useful as it could be due to genetic variability.  Slovenian doctors say a person’s genetics influence how much SMRP they produce.  Based on their research, they recommend combining the SMRP test for mesothelioma with genetic testing. Their findings suggest the combination method produces a more accurate and useful mesothelioma biomarker. What is the SMRP Test for Mesothelioma? SMRP stands for soluble mesothelin-related peptides. They are produced when proteins found in the mesothelial membranes start to break down. Malignant mesothelioma is one condition that can trigger this breakdown.  As a mesothelioma tumor grows … Continue reading Genetics Affect Accuracy of SMRP Test for Mesothelioma »

PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study

PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab

A study of the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab showed “safety and efficacy” in mesothelioma patients who failed with other treatments.  Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy marketed under the brand name Opdivo. It is similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in that it blocks the tumor-promoting protein PD-L1. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.  A multicenter phase II Japanese study found the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab helped a group of pleural mesothelioma patients live longer. Just as importantly, the side effects of the drug were “manageable”.  Human Trial of PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin is the standard first-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma. But many patients either do not respond to chemotherapy or they stop … Continue reading PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study »

Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed

immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma

A new report says biomarkers are urgently needed to determine which patients would benefit from immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  Researchers made the statement in a review of immunotherapy drugs in testing for malignant mesothelioma.  They say some of these drugs have proven to be more effective than others for asbestos cancer. But a set of biomarkers would go a long way to funneling patients into the right immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  The Status of Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is believed to be the most promising up-and-coming cancer treatment. Immunotherapy treatments harness the strength of the body’s own immune response to attack cancer or help other drugs do so.  Like other types of cancer, mesothelioma cells have ways of avoiding … Continue reading Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed »

Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma

sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma

Japanese doctors are reporting a remarkable response from the immunotherapy drug nivolumab in a patient with sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma.  Sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma is a very rare form of a rare cancer. It accounts for about 10 percent of cases of malignant mesothelioma.  This subtype is typically less responsive to standard treatments than the more common epithelioid variety. But researches at Kyushu Hospital in Fukuoka, Japan say nivolumab turned things around for their patient when the case looked hopeless.  How is Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma DIfferent? Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the linings around organs. Pleural mesothelioma grows on the pleural membrane that surrounds the lungs.  There are three cell subtypes of mesothelioma. The three subtypes respond differently to mesothelioma treatments. … Continue reading Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma »

Surgery Extends Survival for Patients with Pleural Mesothelioma

patients with pleural mesothelioma

Patients with pleural mesothelioma who choose to have surgery live longer than those who do not. This applies no matter which kind of surgery they have.  That is the conclusion of a Mexican study published in the Annals of Oncology. Doctors with the country’s National Institute for Respiratory Diseases conducted the study. It included 122 pleural mesothelioma patients.  The researchers analyzed a wide range of variables like age, sex, asbestos exposure, and overall health. They discovered that the decision to have surgery was one of the most important survival factors in patients with pleural mesothelioma. Treatment Options for Patients with Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer with no known cure. It usually occurs in people who have been … Continue reading Surgery Extends Survival for Patients with Pleural Mesothelioma »

Can These Compounds Protect Against the Toxic Effects of Asbestos?

toxic effects of asbestos

A recent study out of Australia suggests that compounds called zeolites might offer protection against the toxic effects of asbestos. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer for which there is no cure. There is no way to remove asbestos from the body after a person has been exposed. But the new study suggests that zeolites might counteract some of the toxic effects of asbestos.  If the impact can be validated in humans, it could one day change the outcomes for thousands of people at risk for mesothelioma.  What Are the Toxic Effects of Asbestos? Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral made up of long microscopic fibers. The size and shape of these … Continue reading Can These Compounds Protect Against the Toxic Effects of Asbestos? »

Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study

second line mesothelioma treatment

Italian researchers say there is good news and bad news about a proposed second line mesothelioma treatment.  The good news is that the treatment did not cause major side effects in the patients who tried it. The bad news is that it also did not help them live any longer.  The treatment is a mixture of gemcitabine and imatinib. Animal studies suggested that the combination might improve mesothelioma survival.  The newly-published study shows the second line mesothelioma treatment did help control the disease in most patients. But the 23 patients who tried it only lived for a median of 5.7 months. That was not enough for doctors to recommend the combination. Mesothelioma Chemotherapy and Survival The most common first line … Continue reading Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study »

Herbal Medicine for Mesothelioma Treatment: A Case Report

herbal medicine for mesothelioma

A group of South Korean doctors have published an account of a patient who is keeping his cancer at bay with herbal medicine for mesothelioma.  The man elected not to undergo the radical surgery known as extrapleural pneumonectomy. He tried Korean herbal medicine for mesothelioma with the understanding that he would switch to chemotherapy if his condition got worse. After nearly two years on the herbal combination alone, doctors say his cancer has not progressed. The case is significant because mesothelioma often claims the lives of patients within a year of diagnosis.  What is Korean Herbal Medicine for Mesothelioma? Traditional Korean herbal medicine dates back more than 3000 years. This alternative health practice has a strong mind-body component. It also … Continue reading Herbal Medicine for Mesothelioma Treatment: A Case Report »

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