Hope for Mesothelioma? Parasite Triggers Tumor Regression in the Lab

tumor regression

A parasite found in cat feces triggered tumor regression in recent animal studies in China. It is a hopeful sign that the same process might be adapted to help human mesothelioma patients, too.   The parasite is toxoplasma gondii. It is a single-celled parasite that can only replicate inside live host cells. It is typically found in the feces of cats or in soil or water contaminated by their feces.  It is capable of entering most cells in most warm-blooded animals.  The goal of the new Chinese study was to determine whether toxoplasma gondii could modulate immune response in tumors. If it can, it might help immunotherapy drugs cause tumor regression in people with mesothelioma and other hard-to-treat cancers.  How Mesothelioma … Continue reading Hope for Mesothelioma? Parasite Triggers Tumor Regression in the Lab »

Korean Cancer Doctors Embrace PIPAC for Mesothelioma

PIPAC for mesothelioma

Five out of ten Korean oncologists surveyed feel positive about using an aerosolized chemotherapy system called PIPAC for mesothelioma and other types of cancer. PIPAC stands for pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy. The system turns liquid chemotherapy drugs into a spray that can be applied with a nebulizer. It was developed to treat surface malignancies like peritoneal mesothelioma that can be hard to treat with standard methods.  PIPAC can be used in conjunction with mesothelioma surgery or by itself as either a palliative or curative treatment.  The technology is still very new. Many doctors have never used it. But research conducted by the Seoul National University College of Medicine shows Korean doctors are ready to embrace it. How Spray-on Chemotherapy Works … Continue reading Korean Cancer Doctors Embrace PIPAC for Mesothelioma »

Could Phlebotomy Delay Development of Mesothelioma?

development of mesothelioma

New research from Japan suggests that removing some blood from the body might offer a way to delay the development of mesothelioma in people exposed to asbestos.  Nearly all cases of malignant mesothelioma occur in people with a history of asbestos exposure. Scientists know that asbestos causes mesothelioma. But they still do not know exactly how.  What is clear is that both iron and byproducts of metabolism called reactive oxygen species (ROS) appear to play a role. Blood removal or phlebotomy can temporarily reduce iron and ROS levels.  The new report from Yasumasa Okazaki, a pathologist with Japan’s Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, details how phlebotomy in asbestos-exposed mice delayed the development of mesothelioma. It offers hope that this … Continue reading Could Phlebotomy Delay Development of Mesothelioma? »

Could Lipids Hold the Key to Improving the Mesothelioma Diagnostic Process?

mesothelioma diagnostic process

A new Chinese report suggests that molecules called lipids could hold the key to improving the mesothelioma diagnostic process. Mesothelioma is rare and hard to treat. It is critical to diagnose it accurately and as early as possible for the best outcomes. But the mesothelioma diagnostic process can be complex and difficult.  The Chinese researchers compared the amounts and types of lipids in the blood of mesothelioma patients to those in the blood of healthy people. They discovered five lipids that were higher in the mesothelioma patients and 29 that were lower.  The information could help doctors refine the mesothelioma diagnostic process. It could also help them determine how a patient is doing on a particular treatment.  Lipids and the … Continue reading Could Lipids Hold the Key to Improving the Mesothelioma Diagnostic Process? »

Drug Reation May Predict Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Results

mesothelioma immunotherapy results

Patients who have more serious reactions to the drug nivolumab tend to have better mesothelioma immunotherapy results than those who have little or no reaction.  That is the finding of a new study from Japan’s Tokushima University.  Researchers studied the cases of 11 patients treated with nivolumab between 2009 and 2021. They found that the patients who got the sickest from the drug had the best mesothelioma immunotherapy results.  The study’s authors say it’s even more reason to find ways to manage immunotherapy side effects. If patients can work through their worst reactions, more of them might survive mesothelioma.  Nivolumab in Mesothelioma Treatment Nivolumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor sold under the brand name Opdivo. It is a type of … Continue reading Drug Reation May Predict Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Results »

Sensitizer Could Improve Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma

radiotherapy for pleural mesothelioma

A chemical compound that sensitizes cancer cells to radiation could help improve radiotherapy for pleural mesothelioma. Radiotherapy uses ionizing radiation to scramble the DNA of cancer cells. This makes it harder for cells to replicate and form new tumors.  But mesothelioma cells and other hard-to-treat cancers have ways of protecting themselves against radiation-induced DNA damage. The possibility of damaging healthy cells is another limiting factor in radiotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  Now, a Japanese study of mice shows a new compound called SQAP can enhance the damage to cancer cells from radiation. The researchers are hopeful it could help keep mesothelioma tumors in check. The Challenge of Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Malignant pleural mesothelioma is difficult to treat. This aggressive membrane … Continue reading Sensitizer Could Improve Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma »

Misdiagnosis of Mesothelioma More Common with Cytology Alone

Mesothelioma, A Most Difficult Diagnosis

A new set of case reports illustrates how easily misdiagnosis of mesothelioma can happen when the diagnosis is based on cytology alone.  Cytology tests look at the cells in body fluids. For peritoneal mesothelioma patients, this is often the fluid that collects in their abdomen called ascites.  But doctors from India’s Dayanand Medical College and Hospital say using ascites samples alone to diagnose mesothelioma is a risky practice. Misdiagnosis of mesothelioma may delay proper treatment and negatively impact survival. The Difficulty of Diagnosing Peritoneal Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma only impacts about 2,500 people in the US every year. It is most common among people who have lived or worked around asbestos. Peritoneal mesothelioma is even rarer. About a fifth of patients … Continue reading Misdiagnosis of Mesothelioma More Common with Cytology Alone »

Statin Drugs Support Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma, New Study Finds

statin drug

There’s more evidence that statin drugs may improve the effectiveness of mesothelioma immunotherapy.  The new study, led by Korean biochemists, is not the first to show that these anti-cholesterol medications may help mesothelioma patients. But this one goes a step further to explain why they help.  Researchers focused on the impact of statin drugs on PD-1 expression. PD-1 is a protein that protects mesothelioma cells against immune system attack.  The findings suggest that, by lowering PD-1 levels, anti-cholesterol drugs may play a greater role in the future of mesothelioma treatment.  PD-1 and Mesothelioma Immunotherapy PD-1 is an immune checkpoint protein that occurs on the surface of cells. Normally, it helps keep the immune system from attacking healthy tissues. But mesothelioma … Continue reading Statin Drugs Support Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma, New Study Finds »

Pleural Mesothelioma Patients are Stronger a Year After Surgery

pleural mesothelioma patients

Pleural mesothelioma patients can be stronger and have better lung function a year after surgery than in the days and weeks immediately following their operation. That’s the finding of Japanese researchers who just published a new study in Integrative Cancer Therapies.  They tested 24 male pleural mesothelioma patients in their 60s and 70s. They measured things like the mens’ grip strength, knee extension strength, and how far they could walk in six minutes. They also ran several tests on their lung function. They compared these test results with the patients’ own assessment of their outcomes.  The study suggests that patients who undergo P/D surgery can continue to improve beyond the postoperative phase. It is a hopeful message for patients and … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Patients are Stronger a Year After Surgery »

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study

neoadjuvant chemotherapy

A new prospective Japanese mesothelioma study shows the potentially life-saving benefits of undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery. This has been the preferred way to treat pleural mesothelioma for many years. But most of the studies on it are retrospective. This means that researchers analyze data on mesothelioma patients who already had treatment. In many cases, they are patients who have died.  The new study is one of the few prospective studies on neoadjuvant chemotherapy and mesothelioma surgery.  In a prospective study, researchers enroll patients and follow their progress through treatment.  Pleural mesothelioma is often fatal within a few months. But ninety-five percent of the study subjects who had presurgical chemotherapy followed by an operation were still alive a year … Continue reading Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study »

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