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 »

New Tool Could Replace TNM for Predicting Pleural Mesothelioma Survival

pleural mesothelioma survival

A new visual tool could offer a better way to predict pleural mesothelioma survival after surgery than the current TNM staging system. That is the message from cancer researchers at China’s Peking University. The group conducted a study using a large US government database of information on pleural mesothelioma survival and treatment. They used the data to create a visual representation of pleural mesothelioma survival called a nomogram. Testing of the nomogram showed it was more accurate at predicting survival in patients who have mesothelioma surgery than the tool doctors normally use. Pleural Mesothelioma Survival and TNM The most popular method for “staging” cancer is called the TNM staging system. TNM stands for tumor node metastasis. With TNM, the further … Continue reading New Tool Could Replace TNM for Predicting Pleural Mesothelioma Survival »

SMRP Still Among Best Diagnostic Biomarkers for Mesothelioma

biomarkers for mesothelioma

Chinese researchers say soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRP) in lung fluid is still one of the best biomarkers for mesothelioma, even if it sometimes produces false positives.. SMRP has been studied extensively as a way to help diagnose mesothelioma. The most popular test to check levels of SMRPs in the body is a blood test called MESOMARK. In recent years, other biomarkers for mesothelioma have also emerged. But SMRPs are not just in the blood. A new meta-analysis of SMRPs from pleural effusions finds that they have a valuable place among top biomarkers for mesothelioma. Biomarkers for Mesothelioma: SMRPs and Others Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that starts on the membranes around the lungs, heart or abdomen. SMRPs are … Continue reading SMRP Still Among Best Diagnostic Biomarkers for Mesothelioma »

Chemotherapy During Mesothelioma Surgery: Is it Dangerous?

chemotherapy during mesothelioma surgery

A new study finds that chemotherapy during mesothelioma surgery does not raise the risk for complications. That could be good news for pleural mesothelioma patients who want to keep cancer at bay as long as possible. A group of Indian doctors compared the cases of thoracic cancer patients who had surgery with or without intraoperative chemotherapy. Only one of the “surgery + chemotherapy” patients developed a serious complication. Patients in this group also lived longer than those who did not receive intraoperative chemotherapy. When Do Doctors Use Chemotherapy During Mesothelioma Surgery? The two primary types of mesothelioma surgery are extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). Patients often have chemotherapy prior to surgery to shrink their mesothelioma tumor. Many have … Continue reading Chemotherapy During Mesothelioma Surgery: Is it Dangerous? »

Conservative Surgery Leads to Better Mesothelioma Survival After Recurrence

mesothelioma survival

Mesothelioma survival after recurrence may be better with lung-preserving P/D surgery than with more radical EPP. Japanese researchers recently analyzed the cases of 44 mesothelioma patients who underwent either EPP or P/D. It took about the same amount of time for mesothelioma tumors to start growing again, no matter what type of surgery the patient had. The difference was in survival. Both overall survival and mesothelioma survival after recurrence were longer in the P/D patients. EPP vs. P/D: The Ongoing Debate Mesothelioma surgeons around the world are still divided about which type of mesothelioma surgery is best. On one hand, extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) removes more diseased tissue, including a lung. Some say this improves the odds of long term mesothelioma … Continue reading Conservative Surgery Leads to Better Mesothelioma Survival After Recurrence »

New Research Reveals Gene Signature for Mesothelioma

gene signature for mesothelioma

Researchers in China say they have come up with a three-gene signature for mesothelioma. The gene signature may help doctors determine mesothelioma prognosis and plan treatment. Pleural mesothelioma is challenging to diagnose and even harder to treat. Many patients do not receive a diagnosis until the disease is in an advanced stage. The new study finds that the gene signature for mesothelioma is “significantly associated”  with overall survival in people with the pleural variety. Testing a Gene Signature for Mesothelioma Genes play an important role in the development and progression of cancers like mesothelioma. The Chinese researchers started by searching for other studies on  mesothelioma prognosis and genes. “The lack of relevant search results indicated that no gene prognostic signatures … Continue reading New Research Reveals Gene Signature for Mesothelioma »

New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Reduces Tregs with Immunotoxin

mesothelioma immunotherapy response

There is a new mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment in the works. This one is based on reducing the number of Tregs or regulatory T-cells around a mesothelioma tumor. Tregs are an important part of maintaining balance in the immune system. They help protect people against autoimmune diseases like MS and lupus. But in people with malignant mesothelioma and other types of cancer, too many Tregs can be a problem. Tregs respond to distress signals sent out by a tumor. They surround the tumor and protect it against attack from the immune system. The goal of mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment is to reactivate the immune system to fight the cancer. Developing a Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Molecular biologists at the National Cancer Institute and … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Reduces Tregs with Immunotoxin »

Talc Pleurodesis Patients Need Alternate PET/CT Scan for Mesothelioma

PET/CT scan for mesothelioma

Certain patients may get more benefit out of an alternate type of PET/CT scan for mesothelioma. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a common tool for diagnosing mesothelioma. It is also used to monitor the effectiveness of mesothelioma treatments. Doctors often combine PET with computed tomography (CT) for an even clearer picture of mesothelioma progression. Typically, a PET/CT scan for mesothelioma involves injection of a tracer called FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose). But it turns out that PET/CT scans with this tracer do not work well for all mesothelioma patients. A new Japanese study suggests that mesothelioma patients who have had a procedure called talc pleurodesis should consider a different kind of PET/CT scan instead. How Does Talc Pleurodesis Impact PET/CT Scan for Mesothelioma? … Continue reading Talc Pleurodesis Patients Need Alternate PET/CT Scan for Mesothelioma »

Nutritional Status of Mesothelioma Patients and Prognosis

nutritional status of mesothelioma patients

The nutritional status of mesothelioma patients could impact their treatment outcomes. That is the conclusion of a new Chinese study. The study focused on patients with peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that grows on the abdominal lining. About a fifth of mesothelioma patients have this type. Researchers at Cangzhou Central Hospital measured the nutritional status of mesothelioma patients with a tool called the Controlling Nutritional Status (CONUT) score. When they compared the scores with patients’ survival rates, they found that those with worse scores did not live as long. Measuring Nutritional Status of Mesothelioma Patients with CONUT CONUT is a computer-based tool. It calculates the nutritional status of mesothelioma patients based on laboratory information. Lab values considered by … Continue reading Nutritional Status of Mesothelioma Patients and Prognosis »

Mesothelioma Staging May be Easier with New Approach

mesothelioma staging

Japanese researchers have introduced a new approach to mesothelioma staging. The new system may make it easier to plan treatment and predict mesothelioma prognosis. Tumor staging is a system for measuring how far cancer has spread in the body. It is based on what doctors know about how cancer develops and grows. The more places mesothelioma cells are, the more difficult the case is to treat. The TNM Staging System is the most widely used system for mesothelioma staging. The American Joint Committee on Cancer established the system. In the TNM system, T stands for the size of the primary mesothelioma tumor. N stands for the spread of cancer to the lymph nodes. M is about cancer spread to other … Continue reading Mesothelioma Staging May be Easier with New Approach »

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