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 »

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy with Avastin Helps Pain, Neuropathy

mesothelioma chemotherapy with Avastin

New evidence suggests that supplementing standard mesothelioma chemotherapy with Avastin (bevacizumab) may lead to less pain. It may also reduce the risk of another mesothelioma complication called peripheral neuropathy. That word comes from a newly-published study involving several French hospitals. The study is a follow-up to the French-led MAPS study from 2016. The MAPS study showed that performing mesothelioma chemotherapy with Avastin – in addition to the standard chemotherapy drugs – improved mesothelioma survival by 23 percent. Now it looks like the three-drug combination can also help mesothelioma patients live longer with fewer side effects. Mesothelioma Complications and Side Effects Avastin is a VEGF inhibitor. It works by preventing the formation of blood vessels that feed a growing tumor. The … Continue reading Mesothelioma Chemotherapy with Avastin Helps Pain, Neuropathy »

Minimally Invasive Mesothelioma Diagnosis from Lung Fluid

minimally invasive mesothelioma diagnosis

Minimally invasive mesothelioma diagnosis with lung fluid may be just as effective as a tissue biopsy. That’s according to Australian mesothelioma researchers. Australia was once one of the biggest producers of asbestos and now has some of the highest mesothelioma rates in the world. It is also home to high-level mesothelioma research. In the latest study, scientists ran a meta-analysis comparing surgical biopsy with a minimally invasive mesothelioma diagnosis tool called cytology. Their conclusion is that surgery may not always be necessary to diagnose malignant mesothelioma. Tissue Versus Lung Fluid Malignant mesothelioma is a fatal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It is challenging to diagnose because the symptoms are often vague and similar to other less serious conditions. Doctors … Continue reading Minimally Invasive Mesothelioma Diagnosis from Lung Fluid »

Case Shows Swallowing Difficulty May Be Among Early Signs of Mesothelioma

early signs of mesothelioma

The case of a Spanish mesothelioma patient suggests that difficulty swallowing can be one of the rarest early signs of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer that starts on the membrane lining the chest or abdomen. A swallowing problem – also called dysphagia – is not typically associated with mesothelioma. But a recent article in a Spanish medical journal signals that it might be time to consider this symptom as one of the early signs of mesothelioma.   Knowing the Symptoms of Mesothelioma The two major types of malignant mesothelioma are pleural and peritoneal. Pleural mesothelioma grows on the lining around the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma grows on the lining around the abdomen. In people with pleural mesothelioma, chest pain and breathing … Continue reading Case Shows Swallowing Difficulty May Be Among Early Signs of Mesothelioma »

Gel-Based Mesothelioma Treatment: A Novel Approach to Pleural Mesothelioma

gel-based mesothelioma treatment

Swiss scientists are developing a novel gel-based mesothelioma treatment for people with pleural disease. Early studies suggest it may be a safer way to deliver cancer-fighting drugs with fewer side effects. The gel-based mesothelioma treatment combines the chemotherapy drug cisplatin with a natural “glue” called fibrin. When the gel is applied during surgery, it can keep fighting tumors for months. Why Develop a Gel-Based Treatment? Cisplatin is a platinum-based drug. Together with pemetrexed (Alimta), it is one of the most common chemotherapy drugs for mesothelioma. In the past decade, doctors came up with a way to increase the effectiveness of cisplatin in people with peritoneal mesothelioma. These patients get chemotherapy the usual way. But they also get a rinse of … Continue reading Gel-Based Mesothelioma Treatment: A Novel Approach to Pleural Mesothelioma »

Systemic Inflammation Linked to Shorter Mesothelioma Survival

systemic inflammation

Mesothelioma patients whose bodies respond to the illness with systemic inflammation are less likely to survive. Chinese researchers have linked a measure of systemic inflammation called SII to shorter survival in people with pleural mesothelioma. The new study involved 97 people with confirmed malignant mesothelioma. It suggests that SII could be a simple, non-invasive way to determine mesothelioma prognosis. What is SII? SII stands for “systemic immune-inflammation index”. When a body is under stress, such as when it is fighting mesothelioma, the innate immune system kicks into action. Certain kinds of white blood cells and proteins are released. The result is systemic inflammation. SII can be determined with a blood test. The test measures the levels of white blood cells … Continue reading Systemic Inflammation Linked to Shorter Mesothelioma Survival »

Ofev Shelved as a Treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma

Treatment for pleural mesothelioma

It is official – the VEGF inhibitor Ofev is out of the running as a treatment for pleural mesothelioma. Hopes had been high for this drug after initial results showed a survival advantage. For the last two years, Ofev (nintedanib) was the subject of a large, international clinical trial. But now the leaders of that trial have published their Phase III trial results in The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine. They show that Ofev did not extend survival and is not an effective treatment for pleural mesothelioma. Why Hopes Were High for Ofev Ofev is an oral medication that stops cancer cells from producing a protein called VEGF. VEGF promotes the growth of blood vessels that help mesothelioma tumors grow. VEGF may … Continue reading Ofev Shelved as a Treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma »

Chemoimmunotherapy Called “Next Frontier” for Mesothelioma Cancer

mesothelioma cancer treatment

Mesothelioma researchers in Australia are calling the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy the “next frontier” in the treatment of mesothelioma cancer. In a study published in the journal Expert Opinions in Biological Therapy, the researchers reviewed past clinical trials on mesothelioma immunotherapy. They focused on studies published between 2016 and 2018. Their goal was to get a clearer picture of just how effective these drugs are and how they might be used in combination with other treatments. Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma Cancer Currently, immunotherapy is not the primary treatment for mesothelioma cancer. Instead, most patients have chemotherapy, which is considered the gold standard treatment. For the past 15 years, Alimta has been the main chemotherapy drug for people with malignant mesothelioma. … Continue reading Chemoimmunotherapy Called “Next Frontier” for Mesothelioma Cancer »

Mesothelioma Doctors Urged to Sharpen Their Communication Skills

mesothelioma doctors need better communication

A Japanese study suggests that some mesothelioma doctors are falling short when it comes to communicating with their patients. The study was based on quality-of-life surveys of seventy-three pleural mesothelioma patients. Patients answered two open-ended questions about their care experience. The researchers say most concerns had to do with communication. Many patients said they wanted clearer explanations and more empathy from their mesothelioma doctors. Unique Challenges of Malignant Mesothelioma Coping with any type of cancer can be stressful and confusing. But mesothelioma presents some special challenges to both patients and mesothelioma doctors.   Pleural mesothelioma is a rare and complex malignancy with a poor prognosis. No single treatment is likely to help. On top of this, mesothelioma symptoms such as … Continue reading Mesothelioma Doctors Urged to Sharpen Their Communication Skills »

Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Doubles Survival in New Study

Radiotherapy for mesothelioma

Italian researchers presenting at an international conference this week say the right kind of radiotherapy for mesothelioma can dramatically boost survival. Radiation oncologist Marco Trovo and his colleagues at the University Hospital of Udine conducted the new mesothelioma research. They studied 108 pleural mesothelioma patients whose tumors could not be completely removed with surgery. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane around the lungs and is usually fatal within a year. But in the new study, more than half of the patients who had high doses of targeted radiotherapy in just the right area were still alive two years later. In contrast, just over a quarter of the patients who had palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma lived to two years. Curative Versus Palliative … Continue reading Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Doubles Survival in New Study »

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