PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study

PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab

A study of the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab showed “safety and efficacy” in mesothelioma patients who failed with other treatments.  Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy marketed under the brand name Opdivo. It is similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in that it blocks the tumor-promoting protein PD-L1. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.  A multicenter phase II Japanese study found the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab helped a group of pleural mesothelioma patients live longer. Just as importantly, the side effects of the drug were “manageable”.  Human Trial of PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin is the standard first-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma. But many patients either do not respond to chemotherapy or they stop … Continue reading PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study »

Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma

sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma

Japanese doctors are reporting a remarkable response from the immunotherapy drug nivolumab in a patient with sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma.  Sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma is a very rare form of a rare cancer. It accounts for about 10 percent of cases of malignant mesothelioma.  This subtype is typically less responsive to standard treatments than the more common epithelioid variety. But researches at Kyushu Hospital in Fukuoka, Japan say nivolumab turned things around for their patient when the case looked hopeless.  How is Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma DIfferent? Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the linings around organs. Pleural mesothelioma grows on the pleural membrane that surrounds the lungs.  There are three cell subtypes of mesothelioma. The three subtypes respond differently to mesothelioma treatments. … Continue reading Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma »

Herbal Medicine for Mesothelioma Treatment: A Case Report

herbal medicine for mesothelioma

A group of South Korean doctors have published an account of a patient who is keeping his cancer at bay with herbal medicine for mesothelioma.  The man elected not to undergo the radical surgery known as extrapleural pneumonectomy. He tried Korean herbal medicine for mesothelioma with the understanding that he would switch to chemotherapy if his condition got worse. After nearly two years on the herbal combination alone, doctors say his cancer has not progressed. The case is significant because mesothelioma often claims the lives of patients within a year of diagnosis.  What is Korean Herbal Medicine for Mesothelioma? Traditional Korean herbal medicine dates back more than 3000 years. This alternative health practice has a strong mind-body component. It also … Continue reading Herbal Medicine for Mesothelioma Treatment: A Case Report »

The Importance of Subtype in PET Scanning for Mesothelioma Prognosis

PET scanning for mesothelioma

A new study of PET scanning for mesothelioma prognosis shows how much radioactive tracer a tumor absorbs can predict survival. This is especially true in people with the epithelioid mesothelioma subtype.  The study comes from the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea. Researchers studied the medical records of dozens of mesothelioma patients diagnosed between 2009 and 2018. They found that SUVmax, a key factor in PET scanning for mesothelioma, is directly related to mesothelioma survival.  How PET Scanning Works Mesothelioma diagnosis is challenging. Pleural mesothelioma grows quickly on the membrane around the lungs. It is one of the rarest and deadliest cancers. Positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT) can help with diagnosis.  During a … Continue reading The Importance of Subtype in PET Scanning for Mesothelioma Prognosis »

Video-Assisted Pleural Biopsy for Mesothelioma is Not Always Accurate

video-assisted pleural biopsy

New research shows some patients are more likely to get an accurate mesothelioma diagnosis from video-assisted pleural biopsy than others.  Cancer doctors at Japan’s Hyogo College of Medicine conducted the new research. It included four hundred patients with suspected pleural mesothelioma.   The researchers found that certain conditions can affect the accuracy of video-assisted pleural biopsy. Patients with early stage mesothelioma, a lot of inflammation, or fibrous connective tissue around their tumors were more likely to be misdiagnosed. Biopsy for Mesothelioma Diagnosis VATS is the acronym for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. It is a minimally-invasive surgical technique to diagnose problems in the chest. Mesothelioma tumors grow on the membrane around the lungs (pleura). Doctors may use the video-assisted pleural biopsy technique … Continue reading Video-Assisted Pleural Biopsy for Mesothelioma is Not Always Accurate »

Mesothelioma Recurrence After PD Surgery

mesothelioma recurrence after PD surgery

A new study finds that mesothelioma recurrence after PD surgery is common but most patients still live for more than a year afterwards. More than a third were still alive three years after recurrence. The study included 90 Japanese patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.  Those who lived for at least a year without mesothelioma recurrence after PD surgery had the best chance of longer term survival. A good performance status and undergoing additional treatment were also key to better outcomes.  Understanding Pleurectomy with Decortication (PD) Surgery Pleural mesothelioma is a virulent cancer that occurs on the membrane around the lungs. There is no cure for mesothelioma. Even with the best treatment, the cancer usually comes back. The goal of most … Continue reading Mesothelioma Recurrence After PD Surgery »

It May Be Possible to Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma with Help from AI

predict recurrence of mesothelioma

A newly-published report suggests that artificial intelligence (AI) might help pathologists predict recurrence of mesothelioma. The report focuses on technology developed by the RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP) in Japan. The Center claims the computer program taught itself to recognize key features in images of cancer.  Some of the features were ones that even pathologists did not know about. The findings suggest that AI and pathologists could predict recurrence of mesothelioma better than pathologists alone.  How AI Might Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma  A computer program usually has to be “taught” to perform a certain task. But this limits how far the learning can go. Instead of “teaching” it about cancer, researchers let the RIKEN technology learn on its … Continue reading It May Be Possible to Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma with Help from AI »

Protein Biomarker for Mesothelioma Linked to Shorter Survival

protein biomarker for mesothelioma

An international team of scientists has identified a protein biomarker for mesothelioma that appears to shorten survival. The biomarker is CD70. It belongs to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family of proteins. New research suggests that patients who express more of this protein biomarker for mesothelioma have faster-growing tumors that are less likely to respond to treatment. High CD70 levels have been linked with tumor aggression in some other types of cancer. This is the first time they have been linked to malignant pleural mesothelioma survival.  CD70 and Mesothelioma Prognosis Pleural mesothelioma is a highly aggressive type of tumor. It grows on the membranes around internal organs. Mesothelioma rarely responds to standard cancer treatments. People diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma are … Continue reading Protein Biomarker for Mesothelioma Linked to Shorter Survival »

Tracking Mesothelioma Recurrence: FDG-PET/CT Versus CT

mesothelioma recurrence

FDG-PET/CT may be a more effective way to track malignant pleural mesothelioma recurrence than contrast-enhanced CT scanning.  That is the conclusion of cancer researchers with Japan’s Hyogo College of Medicine. The researchers focused on fifty patients who underwent radical surgery for pleural mesothelioma. Afterwards, doctors used both FDG-PET/CT and contrast-enhanced CT scans to track mesothelioma progression. Two experienced examiners assessed the cases. They concluded that FDG-PET/CT was more accurate than CT for diagnosing mesothelioma recurrence. Mesothelioma Recurrence After Surgery Pleural mesothelioma is one of the most difficult cancers to treat. It arises in the layers of the pleural membrane that surrounds the lungs. Mesothelioma tumors tend to grow and spread quickly. Treatments like chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy can sometimes slow … Continue reading Tracking Mesothelioma Recurrence: FDG-PET/CT Versus CT »

Drinking and Mesothelioma Risk: How Much is Too Much?

drinking and mesothelioma risk

The findings of a major new study on cancer and alcohol suggest there may be an even stronger link between drinking and mesothelioma risk than previously thought. The Japanese study included more than 120,000 drinkers and non-drinkers. It tracked which participants got any type of cancer over a 15 year period. Cancer diagnoses were correlated with participants’ drinking habits.  The report found that even light drinkers faced a higher incidence of cancers like malignant mesothelioma. It is one of the largest studies to connect cancer incidence, drinking and mesothelioma risk.  Even Light to Moderate Drinkers Face Risk Scientists have known about the connection between drinking and mesothelioma risk for some time. But the problem of alcohol consumption and cancer had … Continue reading Drinking and Mesothelioma Risk: How Much is Too Much? »

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