Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment?

There may be a new treatment option on the horizon for mesothelioma patients whose cancer has come back again after treatment. Researchers in the UK are even predicting that this drug could become the new standard of care for relapsed malignant mesothelioma. The drug is nivolumab, a PD-1 inhibitor sold under the brand name Opdivo. Already approved for the treatment of recurrent non-small cell lung cancer, nivolumab has been shown in recent clinical trials to reduce the size of mesothelioma tumors and may even extend mesothelioma survival. Opdivo in the News If you think you have been hearing more about nivolumab in the news lately, you are right. Laboratory results have suggested that this immunotherapy drug could be one of … Continue reading Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment? »

CT Discovery May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Detecting Mesothelioma with New CT Algorithm

Researchers in Western Australia believe they may have found a way to overcome one of the biggest challenges in the management of malignant pleural mesothelioma—making the diagnosis earlier. Malignant mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer that starts on the membrane, or pleura, that surrounds the lungs. Because the seeds for this disease can exist for decades before symptoms develop, and because the early symptoms of mesothelioma tend to be vague and similar to those of other conditions, the so-called “asbestos cancer” often goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage. As a result, the survivability of this disease is typically very low. But scientists at the University of Western Australia in Perth say there may be a simple way to … Continue reading CT Discovery May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

There is some good news and some bad news this week for patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that occurs on the lining of the abdomen. Both come from a new article on peritoneal cancer published in the International Journal of Clinical Oncology. The good news is that most patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and other forms of cancer on the peritoneal membrane respond well to the multi-modal treatment regimen that has become the standard-of-care for this form of the asbestos cancer. A combination of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) allows most peritoneal cancer patients to “achieve long-term disease-free survival”, according to the study from the National Cancer Centre Singapore. But the more disturbing … Continue reading New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery »

Updated Guidelines Aim to Advance Mesothelioma Research

The criteria for measuring treatment response in malignant pleural mesothelioma is being revised—again. Researchers are hopeful that the new criteria will improve the quality and value of mesothelioma clinical trials and move researchers closer to a cure. Researchers at the University of Chicago and the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases in Australia are proposing new modifications to the “modified RECIST” criteria by which researchers currently assess the response of mesothelioma tumors. In order for mesothelioma clinical trials to be truly valuable—and have any chance of leading to a cure—researchers must be “on the same page” in how they assess the size of mesothelioma tumors and their response to treatment. Because malignant mesothelioma is so rare, there are fewer studies … Continue reading Updated Guidelines Aim to Advance Mesothelioma Research »

Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma

AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy drug tremelimumab may still have a chance as a novel mesothelioma treatment, even though an international clinical trial completed last year found that it did not extend mesothelioma survival. In a new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Italian researchers report that combining the monoclonal antibody with another drug called durvalumab “appeared active” as a second-line mesothelioma treatment with “a good safety profile”. Tremelimumab’s Rocky Start as a Mesothelioma Treatment Hopes were initially high for tremelimumab, a monoclonal antibody that works by binding to the protein CTLA-4 on the surface of white blood cells and preventing it from inhibiting the cells’ cancer-fighting power. The US even granted tremelimumab “orphan drug” status in 2015, a designation designed to … Continue reading Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma »

Tea Leaf Cancer Treatment May Have Implications for Mesothelioma Patients

A new type of nanoparticle derived from green tea leaves has been shown to kill lung cancer cells and may one day do the same for pleural mesothelioma. Scientists at Swansea University in Wales in collaboration with researchers at Bharathiar University in India discovered the power of the tea-based nanoparticles—called quantum dots—when attempting to create a less expensive tool for lung cancer imaging. “The main reason we started looking at tea leaves is that chemically synthesised quantum dots cost between £250 and £500 per microgram,” lead researcher Dr. Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu told the BBC. “Whereas organically-derived ones can be manufactured for £10 per microgram, and at the same time they don’t poison healthy cells surrounding the cancer.” Fluorescent Cancer Fighters Nanoparticles … Continue reading Tea Leaf Cancer Treatment May Have Implications for Mesothelioma Patients »

Study Highlights Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma From Naturally-Occurring Asbestos

A new study is shining a spotlight on the disturbing fact that you don’t have to have worked in an asbestos industry to be exposed to asbestos and develop malignant pleural mesothelioma, one of the world’s deadliest cancers. A new study conducted in the Mount Pollino area of Southern Italy, where asbestos is found in abundance in the soil, finds a “significant excess” of mesothelioma diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths from asbestos-related conditions. Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma Asbestos is the name for a set of six naturally-occurring silicate minerals that were once prized for their high tensile strength and resistance to heat and corrosion. Asbestos was used in a variety of building products and insulation materials from as early as the … Continue reading Study Highlights Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma From Naturally-Occurring Asbestos »

Experimental Mesothelioma Therapy Shrinks Mouse Tumors by 80 Percent

An innovative approach to mesothelioma treatment being developed in Italy has produced results researchers call “very promising”. The treatment reduced the size of mesothelioma tumors in  mice by 80 to 85 percent in just over a month. Noninvasive image-guided Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) utilizes the unique properties of boron to destroy mesothelioma cells from the inside out. It has been used as an alternative to conventional radiation therapy for the treatment of malignant brain tumors and recurrent head and neck cancers. The new Italian study is the latest to evaluate this approach for patients with malignant mesothelioma, a hard-to-treat membrane cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Boron Neutron Capture Therapy for Mesothelioma BNCT is a two-step cancer treatment approach. … Continue reading Experimental Mesothelioma Therapy Shrinks Mouse Tumors by 80 Percent »

New Immunotherapy Drug Stops Mesothelioma in Half of Patients Tested

The results are in on the Phase I/II trial of the mesothelioma drug ONCOS-102 and researchers say there is reason to be excited. As Surviving Mesothelioma first reported in the fall of 2016, ONCOS-102 and standard chemotherapy significantly slowed the growth of malignant mesothelioma tumors in preclinical studies of infected mice. Now, the first human trial suggests that it can do the same thing in some human mesothelioma patients, boosting the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy and improving mesothelioma survival. Mesothelioma Study Results According to news released by Norway-based drug maker Targovax this week, three out of six patients with unresectable mesothelioma responded to a combination of ONCOS-102 and standard chemotherapy. In two patients, their mesothelioma tumors stopped growing and in … Continue reading New Immunotherapy Drug Stops Mesothelioma in Half of Patients Tested »

Prospects Good for New Electrical Field-based Mesothelioma Treatment

Prospects are looking good for a company that has developed a new kind of mesothelioma treatment based on electrical fields, and for the patients who stand to benefit from it. Headquartered on the island of Jersey in the UK, the company is called Novocure. Their new technology, called Tumor Treating Fields, uses alternating electrical fields to destabilize critical proteins and disrupt mesothelioma cell division. Now, Novocure’s stock prices are rising and financial advisers are giving it a “buy” rating in the wake of the latest mesothelioma trial results showing longer survival for patients who received the treatment. Tumor Treating Fields and Mesothelioma Treatment Novocure launched the STELLAR study, a phase 2 pilot trial in people with pleural mesothelioma, after achieving positive … Continue reading Prospects Good for New Electrical Field-based Mesothelioma Treatment »

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