Machine Learning Tool May Predict Mesothelioma Survival Better Than Pathologists

machine learning tool

The developers of a machine learning tool called MesoNet say the program can predict mesothelioma survival better than a pathologist. MesoNet is a deep convolutional neural network. It analyzes digitized images of mesothelioma cells to predict overall survival. In a new article in Nature Medicine, its creators compared the machine learning tool with pathologist-read slides. Then they validated MesoNet with two different sets of mesothelioma patients.  The result may offer a new, more accurate approach to mesothelioma treatment planning.  What is a Machine Learning Tool? A machine learning tool is a computer program that gets “smarter” the more it runs. A deep convolutional neural network is a type of machine learning tool that analyzes images. The more images it analyzes, … Continue reading Machine Learning Tool May Predict Mesothelioma Survival Better Than Pathologists »

The Pathological Diagnosis of Mesothelioma: New Recommendations

pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma

An international team of researchers says it is time to refine the pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma. They are recommending a list of changes they say could make the process more effective. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Under current pathology guidelines, it falls into just three categories. But the research team says those guidelines do not give doctors enough information. They recommend updates to make the pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma more specific.  Understanding Mesothelioma Pathology Pathologists study body tissue, fluids, and cells that are surgically removed. The pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma involves looking at cells under a microscope. Cells can then be put into a category.  About three quarters of mesothelioma cases are epithelioid. Epithelioid mesothelioma is … Continue reading The Pathological Diagnosis of Mesothelioma: New Recommendations »

Mesothelioma Among Construction Workers in Southern Italy

mesothelioma among construction workers

New research in Southern Italy highlights the global problem of mesothelioma among construction workers.  The research comes from occupational medicine experts at the University of Bari.  Scientists studied 178 cases of mesothelioma among construction workers in the Apulia region of Italy. The data shows that heavy asbestos exposure raised the odds of contracting mesothelioma by more than two-and-a-half times.  Asbestos and the Risk for Mesothelioma Asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, in Italy and around the world. But for decades, almost no one knew that.  Tens of thousands of people worked with asbestos before scientists recognized the risk for mesothelioma among construction workers.  Asbestos was in dozens of construction products including cement, wall board, insulation, floor and ceiling tiles … Continue reading Mesothelioma Among Construction Workers in Southern Italy »

Pembrolizumab for Mesothelioma Dealt Setback by New Trial Results

pembrolizumab for mesothelioma

There has been a setback for researchers focused on the promise of pembrolizumab for mesothelioma. New research suggests that pembrolizumab (Keytruda) may not be the miracle mesothelioma drug that some were hoping for.  The Phase III trial results were presented at a the European Society of Medical Oncology conference now underway in Spain. They suggest that pembrolizumab for mesothelioma may be no better than chemotherapy for improving survival. Pembrolizumab for Mesothelioma: How it Works Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare but lethal cancer. It is usually associated with on-the-job asbestos exposure. There is no cure. The only drug approved for mesothelioma treatment is Alimta (pemetrexed).   Cancer researchers around the world are working hard to find other mesothelioma treatments. Pembrolizumab for … Continue reading Pembrolizumab for Mesothelioma Dealt Setback by New Trial Results »

Talc Pleurodesis for Mesothelioma May Extend Survival

talc pleurodesis for mesothelioma

A UK study suggests that successful talc pleurodesis for mesothelioma improves survival better than other lung fluid treatments.  Researchers in Oxford’s Chest Diseases Department analyzed the outcomes of two groups of pleural mesothelioma patients. Both groups underwent talc pleurodesis for mesothelioma.  The patients whose lung fluid did not come back after treatment experienced longer survival. Mesothelioma patients who had to be retreated did not live as long.  Pleural Effusion in Mesothelioma The pleura is a membrane that surrounds and encases the lungs. It is supposed to be flexible and allow the lungs to move when a person breathes.  But patients with pleural mesothelioma often develop pleural effusion. Pleural effusion is a build-up of excess fluid in the space between the … Continue reading Talc Pleurodesis for Mesothelioma May Extend Survival »

Signs of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Radiotherapy

signs of peritoneal mesothelioma after radiotherapy

Japanese researchers are reminding doctors to watch for signs of peritoneal mesothelioma in people who have undergone past radiotherapy.  Many cancer patients undergo radiotherapy. Radiation disrupts the DNA inside cancer cells. This can help keep these malignant cells from replicating and spreading.  But radiation treatment also has a downside. It can cause cellular changes in healthy cells, too. This can cause side effects right away, or decades later.  As more people have radiation and survive, scientists at the Shinshu University School of Medicine say more of them could develop radiation-related mesothelioma later in life. But the signs of peritoneal mesothelioma years after radiation are easy to miss. Peritoneal Mesothelioma Case Study The new report is based on the case of … Continue reading Signs of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Radiotherapy »

First-Line Keytruda Treatment May Support Longer Mesothelioma Survival

first-line Keytruda treatment

New data suggests first-line Keytruda treatment helps lung cancer patients more than chemotherapy – even if chemotherapy patients add Keytruda later. The news is likely to have implications for people with pleural mesothelioma, too. German researchers presented the data earlier this week at the World Lung Cancer Conference in Barcelona.  The presentation was based on three years of the KEYNOTE-024 trial. The trial focused on lung cancer. But Keytruda is also an up-and-coming drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related cancer similar to non-small cell lung cancer.  Blocking PD-L1 with First-Line Keytruda Treatment Keytruda is the brand name for pembrolizumab. It is an immune checkpoint inhibitor that blocks a protein called PD-L1. To be eligible for first-line … Continue reading First-Line Keytruda Treatment May Support Longer Mesothelioma Survival »

Lung Cancer Blood Test: Can it Find Early Mesothelioma?

lung cancer blood test for mesothelioma

Mesothelioma patients and their doctors may have reason to be optimistic about a new lung cancer blood test. A random trial of more than 12,000 high-risk people in Scotland shows the EarlyCDT test combined with CT imaging can detect cancer early. Earlier diagnosis is likely to lead to longer survival of lung cancers like pleural mesothelioma. Researchers presented their findings on the new lung cancer blood test at a global conference this week in Spain. Largest Lung Cancer Trial As in the US, lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in Scotland. Pleural mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer. Although it is rare, mesothelioma is more common in the UK than in other parts of the world. This is … Continue reading Lung Cancer Blood Test: Can it Find Early Mesothelioma? »

Mesothelioma Tumor Response to Nivolumab Detailed in New Case Study

mesothelioma tumor response to nivolumab

An Indian woman in still alive two years after a mesothelioma diagnosis thanks to a remarkable mesothelioma tumor response to nivolumab. Nivolumab is sold under the brand name Opdivo. It is a type of immunotherapy. Nivolumab is sometimes used for lung cancer that progresses after chemotherapy. A hospital in Mumbai tried nivolumab on a pleural mesothelioma patient after several types of chemotherapy did not work. Doctors say the mesothelioma tumor response to nivolumab was so great that the patient no longer needed supplemental oxygen.  Opdivo in Mesothelioma Treatment Opdivo is not FDA-approved for mesothelioma treatment. Only Alimta (pemetrexed) holds that designation. But pleural mesothelioma grows quickly and is hard to treat. Even the gold standard therapies often do not work … Continue reading Mesothelioma Tumor Response to Nivolumab Detailed in New Case Study »

MicroRNA Signature for Mesothelioma Could Lead to Earlier Diagnosis

microRNA signature for mesothelioma

Australian researchers believe they have identified what amounts to a microRNA signature for mesothelioma in pleural effusion.  Pleural effusion is the name for excess lung fluid. Up to 90 percent of pleural mesothelioma patients develop a pleural effusion. Researchers at the University of Western Australia say this fluid contains a wealth of information that could improve mesothelioma diagnosis. They have recently identified a trio of RNA molecules in fluid samples that could serve as a microRNA signature for mesothelioma. This “signature” could help doctors distinguish mesothelioma from other types of cancer. The Challenge of Mesothelioma Diagnosis Pleural mesothelioma is notoriously hard to diagnose. The early symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to the symptoms of many other lung conditions. They are … Continue reading MicroRNA Signature for Mesothelioma Could Lead to Earlier Diagnosis »

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