Exercise Unlikely to Prevent Mesothelioma Development

prevent mesothelioma development

A new Australian study suggests that exercise is unlikely to prevent mesothelioma development in people who have been exposed to asbestos. The study focused on asbestos-exposed mice. Asbestos cancer can take decades to develop. Researchers thought the long latency period might offer an opportunity to prevent mesothelioma development with physical activity.   But even mice that had no mesothelioma symptoms were less likely than mice their same age to be physically active. How Mesothelioma Develops Over Time Malignant mesothelioma has one of the longest latency periods of any cancer. The latency period is the time between exposure to a carcinogen and development of the disease. Scientists know that asbestos can cause mesothelioma. But they have not found a way to prevent … Continue reading Exercise Unlikely to Prevent Mesothelioma Development »

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor May Change the Standard Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor

The immune checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab could become a standard part of first-line mesothelioma treatment if the results of a new study hold true in a Phase 3 trial.  Australian researchers have become the latest to show the benefit of adding durvalumab to first-line chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is usually the first thing doctors use to treat pleural mesothelioma. But as many as half of mesothelioma patients do not respond to it. Researchers around the world are hopeful that adding an immune checkpoint inhibitor like durvalumab will lead to better response rates. What is an Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor? Mesothelioma cells survive and thrive in part because they have ways of protecting themselves. Chemotherapy drugs are less likely to hurt them … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor May Change the Standard Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma »

Low Dose Aspirin Could Increase Mesothelioma Risk

Low Dose Aspirin

If you are at risk for malignant mesothelioma, you may want to think twice about taking low dose aspirin on a regular basis.  A new study suggests that low dose aspirin could speed up the growth and spread of cancer cells in older people.  The study appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It involved more than 19,000 people in Australia and the US.  Low Dose Aspirin and Mesothelioma Many older people take small daily doses of aspirin to reduce their risk for heart attack. Aspirin reduces inflammation and the blood’s ability to clot. This makes it less likely to form the blockages that cause heart attacks and strokes.  But mounting evidence suggests that taking low dose aspirin … Continue reading Low Dose Aspirin Could Increase Mesothelioma Risk »

Quality of Life with Mesothelioma: Too Many Symptoms, Not Enough Support

Quality of Life with Mesothelioma

A new study suggests that even the healthiest patients have a lower quality of life with mesothelioma than they should. That is because they tend to have many symptoms and needs that are not being met.  Researchers at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia ran the study. They used data from the RESPECT-Meso trial. RESPECT-Meso was a multicenter, randomized study to measure the impact of early palliative care on quality of life with mesothelioma. Australia has one of the highest per capita rates of malignant mesothelioma in the world.  Researchers found that the high symptom burden of this cancer is a big problem for patients. Many also said they were not getting the information they need from their doctors.  … Continue reading Quality of Life with Mesothelioma: Too Many Symptoms, Not Enough Support »

First-Line Immunotherapy May Be Better Than Chemo for This Mesothelioma Subtype

First-Line Immunotherapy

A new study suggests that people with sarcomatoid mesothelioma may fare better if they have first-line immunotherapy before considering chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for most people with mesothelioma. But a report in the journal Translational Lung Cancer questions the wisdom of that trend. The study focused on the outcomes of patients with the sarcomatoid mesothelioma subtype. These patients lived longer after immunotherapy than patients with other subtypes.  When first-line immunotherapy worked best, patients produced more white blood cells. Researchers say these patients might do well to avoid having chemotherapy first. Chemotherapy as Standard Mesothelioma Treatment First-line immunotherapy is not the typical mesothelioma treatment. Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) before other treatments.  Alimta is the … Continue reading First-Line Immunotherapy May Be Better Than Chemo for This Mesothelioma Subtype »

Rare But Dangerous Side Effects of Opdivo for Mesothelioma

side effects of Opdivo

Australian researchers are warning of some rare but deadly side effects of Opdivo (nivolumab) for pleural mesothelioma.  They have just published a case report of a mesothelioma patient on nivolumab, a drug often used to treat lung cancer. The patient developed swelling of the heart and other muscles. The swelling lasted for months, even after they stopped taking the drug.  The case report details the healthcare teams’ effort to manage these potentially lethal side effects of Opdivo. They caution that other immune checkpoint inhibitors might cause similar complications. How Opdivo Fights Mesothelioma The primary treatment for mesothelioma is chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta). Eventually, most patients stop responding to chemotherapy. At that point, doctors may turn to an immunotherapy drug like … Continue reading Rare But Dangerous Side Effects of Opdivo for Mesothelioma »

Odds of Surviving Mesothelioma Equal in Rural and Urban Australia

odds of surviving mesothelioma

Living in a city and having a better socioeconomic status does not necessarily increase the odds of surviving mesothelioma.  That is the message from a 15-year Australian study of more than 300,000 cancer patients.  Some studies suggest cancer survival rates are lower in rural areas. But that does not appear to be the case for mesothelioma in Australia.  Unfortunately, the odds of surviving mesothelioma remain low no matter where a person lives. The Legacy of Asbestos in Australia Australia used to mine and export more asbestos than any other country. The mineral has been banned there since 2003, but Australian mesothelioma rates are still among the highest in the world.  Asbestos fibers are biopersistent. Once they are embedded in the … Continue reading Odds of Surviving Mesothelioma Equal in Rural and Urban Australia »

Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Results May Be Skewed by Narrow Inclusion Criteria

mesothelioma clinical trial results

Australian researchers say too many mesothelioma clinical trial results are skewed because they do not include enough “real world” patients.   By “real world patients”, they mean those who fit the profile of the typical mesothelioma patient. The researchers say some of the most important trials limit enrollment to younger people or those with few other health problems.  They say that leaves out a lot of patients. It also makes mesothelioma clinical trial results less relevant in practice.  How Clinical Trials Work Scientists typically test proposed new mesothelioma treatments on isolated cells in a lab first. If the results look promising, they will then run tests in animals to make sure the treatment is safe.   Before a medicine receives approval for … Continue reading Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Results May Be Skewed by Narrow Inclusion Criteria »

Global Asbestos Ban Needed More Than Ever, Study Says

asbestos ban

The authors of a new report on the “silent epidemic” of mesothelioma say a worldwide asbestos ban is more urgent now than ever. The researchers are from universities in Australia, New Zealand and Pennsylvania. They are experts in medicine, public health, and pathology.  Their new report sums up the global problem of asbestos and its link to deadly illnesses like lung cancer, asbestosis, and malignant mesothelioma. Australia and New Zealand are among the countries that no longer allow any asbestos in or out but they still have many cases of mesothelioma.  The US has yet to institute an asbestos ban. Malignant mesothelioma affects about 2,500 Americans a year.  The Link Between Asbestos and Mesothelioma Asbestos is the primary cause of … Continue reading Global Asbestos Ban Needed More Than Ever, Study Says »

Can These Compounds Protect Against the Toxic Effects of Asbestos?

toxic effects of asbestos

A recent study out of Australia suggests that compounds called zeolites might offer protection against the toxic effects of asbestos. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer for which there is no cure. There is no way to remove asbestos from the body after a person has been exposed. But the new study suggests that zeolites might counteract some of the toxic effects of asbestos.  If the impact can be validated in humans, it could one day change the outcomes for thousands of people at risk for mesothelioma.  What Are the Toxic Effects of Asbestos? Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral made up of long microscopic fibers. The size and shape of these … Continue reading Can These Compounds Protect Against the Toxic Effects of Asbestos? »

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