Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Lung Fluid Testing Has its Limits

mesothelioma diagnosis

Lung fluid tests for malignant mesothelioma are accurate less than half the time according to cancer researchers at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Hospital. The production of excess lung fluid (pleural effusions) is a common side effect of mesothelioma, as well as a number of other malignant and non-malignant conditions. In mesothelioma patients, this buildup of fluid often leads to breathlessness and chest pain. Because this fluid can contain cells from a growing tumor, doctors have used lung fluid testing, also known as cytologic analysis, to identify certain types of cancer, including pleural mesothelioma. But a new study published in the Internal Medicine Journal suggests that, especially with mesothelioma, lung fluid testing is only moderately effective and must be combined with other … Continue reading Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Lung Fluid Testing Has its Limits »

Exercise Can Help Patients Manage Mesothelioma Symptoms

Fatigue, poor sleep, and reduced appetite are common complaints among people undergoing treatment for malignant mesothelioma. But new guidelines from Australia suggest that there is a powerful, natural way to address many of these problems: exercise. In an official position statement published in the Medical Journal of Australia, the country’s Clinical Oncology Society encourages cancer patients and their doctors to see physical  exercise as a vital part of staying healthy and managing symptoms during treatment. In the COSA statement, the authors point to the significant amount of clinical research showing that exercise is “a safe and effective intervention to counteract the adverse physical and psychological effects of cancer and its treatment.” The authors say the intention of the statement is … Continue reading Exercise Can Help Patients Manage Mesothelioma Symptoms »

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 »

Mesothelioma Persists in Australia Despite Asbestos Ban

Mesothelioma Doctors & Specialists

Australia’s legacy of asbestos mining and use continues to haunt it almost fifteen years after the country banned all forms of asbestos almost fifteen years ago. A new report published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggests that, although asbestos consumption peaked in Australia in the 1970s, malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases continue to be a significant public health issue. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that was prized as a building product additive because of its high tensile strength and resistance to heat and corrosion. Australia is rich in the mineral and once operated several of the world’s largest mines. In the 1960s and 1970s, the country also had the highest per capita use of … Continue reading Mesothelioma Persists in Australia Despite Asbestos Ban »

Asbestos-Contaminated Insulation May Raise Mesothelioma Risk for Homeowners

People who live in houses with loose-fill asbestos insulation may be up to five times more likely to eventually develop deadly malignant mesothelioma. That is the finding of a 30-year Australian study of more than a million people in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), where asbestos-containing insulation had been used in some houses. The study found that, not only do residents of asbestos-insulated homes have a higher mesothelioma risk, but their chances of getting several others types of cancer were also elevated. Mesothelioma Risk Among People Who Live with Asbestos Insulation Researchers with the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at the University of Canberra used the … Continue reading Asbestos-Contaminated Insulation May Raise Mesothelioma Risk for Homeowners »

Pleural Catheters May Shorten Hospital Time for Mesothelioma Patients

Mesothelioma patients with a buildup of lung fluid may spend less time in the hospital if they are treated with an indwelling pleural catheter than if they undergo talc pleurodesis. An international team of researchers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong have just published the results of a two-year clinical trial of 146 pleural mesothelioma patients who were suffering from the symptoms of malignant pleural effusion. Patients were randomly selected to receive either an indwelling pleural catheter to continually drain off the pleural fluid or talc pleurodesis, a procedure designed to close up the pleural space and prevent fluid from collecting there. Their findings suggest that indwelling pleural catheters may have advantages over talc pleurodesis in the treatment … Continue reading Pleural Catheters May Shorten Hospital Time for Mesothelioma Patients »

The World’s Workers Still Dying From Malignant Mesothelioma

An international study of malignant mesothelioma suggests that deaths from the asbestos cancer have increased in recent years, in spite of advances in diagnostic and treatment tools. The study included data and estimates on deaths from malignant mesothelioma in 230 countries between 1994 and 2014. Based on information obtained from the World Health Organization, a team of scientists in Japan, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, the US, and the UK grouped the countries into three categories – those with reliable numbers on malignant mesothelioma deaths, those with less reliable mesothelioma data, and those that do not track mesothelioma deaths. Mesothelioma Deaths Are Up The researchers found that, in the 59 countries that keep good data on mesothelioma deaths (including the US), more … Continue reading The World’s Workers Still Dying From Malignant Mesothelioma »

High Dose Radiotherapy Not Recommended for Managing Mesothelioma Symptoms

High dose radiotherapy may work wonders for some kinds of cancer but it is not recommended as a way to manage the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. That word comes from a group of mesothelioma experts in one of the world’s mesothelioma hot spots – Melbourne, Australia. Australia has the dubious distinction of having one of the highest rates of malignant mesothelioma in the world due to its long history of asbestos mining and exportation. Although the country banned all uses of asbestos in 2003, many people are still suffering the effects of exposure that happened decades ago, which now makes Australia one of the top places in the world for mesothelioma research. Radiotherapy for Palliation of Mesothelioma Symptoms Mesothelioma grows on … Continue reading High Dose Radiotherapy Not Recommended for Managing Mesothelioma Symptoms »

MicroRNAs May Be Key to Better Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

Australian scientists say it may be possible to artificially reduce the levels of a protein that helps mesothelioma tumors hide from the immune system. The new research published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology could open the door to more effective immunotherapy treatments for pleural mesothelioma. The Importance of PD-L1 Expression A cell surface protein called PD-L1 is key to the effectiveness of several new immunotherapy drugs including Keytruda (pembrolizumab), Opdivo (nivolumab), and avelumab. An estimated 40 percent of mesothelioma tumors overexpress this protein, which is part of the process that allows several different kinds of cancers to escape detection and attack by the immune system. Now, a new study conducted at the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute at the University of … Continue reading MicroRNAs May Be Key to Better Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma »

New Blood Test Could Mean Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis

A calcium-binding protein called calretinin may provide the basis for a new kind of blood test for the asbestos-linked cancer, malignant mesothelioma. Right now, there is no reliable way to detect the presence of a mesothelioma tumor before symptoms develop. The Search for a Mesothelioma Blood Test But scientists around the world are searching for ways to use certain compounds produced by tumors to diagnose mesothelioma earlier, allowing for earlier treatment and potentially better outcomes. Calretinin is one such compound. It is a protein involved in calcium signaling, a process that governs a number of critical cellular processes. A team of scientists from Germany and Australia recently pitted calretinin against the more established mesothelioma biomarker, mesothelin, in a test to see which protein … Continue reading New Blood Test Could Mean Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

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