Blood Test Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes

The medical community remains deeply divided over the risks and benefits of surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma, making the decision even more difficult for mesothelioma patients and their families. But researchers in Canada and Japan believe they have come up with a better way to make the decision process easier. The team has devised a scoring system based on a blood test to predict which mesothelioma patients are most likely to do well with radical surgery. The test measures the ratio between blood platelets and lymphocytes. Platelet-to-Lymphocyte Ratio The platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) is a way of measuring how effectively a patient’s immune system is responding to a threat like malignant mesothelioma. When the immune system perceives an “attack”, the body … Continue reading Blood Test Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes »

Mesothelioma Community Hopeful About Newly Approved Immunotherapy Drug

Mesothelioma experts around the world are expressing excitement about the potential of the recently FDA-approved cancer drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab). The latest doctors to join the discussion on this possible mesothelioma treatment are medical oncologists from Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto. Dr. Safiya Karim and Dr. Natasha Leighl examine the “current landscape and future directions” for Keytruda as a treatment for mesothelioma in an article in the British medical journal Future Oncology. Unprecedented Results in Mesothelioma Trial Keytruda began to get national attention as a potential mesothelioma treatment after the results of a mesothelioma clinical trial were released earlier this year. In that trial, 76 percent of mesothelioma patients responded to treatment with Keytruda – a figure that the researchers called … Continue reading Mesothelioma Community Hopeful About Newly Approved Immunotherapy Drug »

New Mesothelioma Treatment Approach Improving Survival


A new treatment protocol for malignant pleural mesothelioma has yielded what Canadian doctors are calling “encouraging” survival results. The approach combines two already accepted mesothelioma treatments in a new way for better outcomes in people with the deadly asbestos cancer. Mesothelioma Treatment Combines Radiation & Surgery According to the new report published by doctors in Toronto, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) followed by lung-removing mesothelioma surgery extended survival for patients with the most common subtype of pleural mesothelioma. “The median overall survival and disease-free survival was 51 and 47 months, respectively, in epithelial subtypes, compared with 10 and 8 months in biphasic subtypes,” reports study author and thoracic surgeon Marc de Perrot, MD, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. How … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Treatment Approach Improving Survival »

Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Genome Sequencing Paves the Way for Personalized Treatments

Genomic medicine experts in the U.S. and Canada have completed a key step in improving the understanding and treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare and often lethal malignancy that grows on the peritoneal membrane that surrounds the abdominal organs. Although its cause (exposure to asbestos) is well documented, treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma remains a challenge, in part because so much about the molecular biology of the disease is still a mystery. But now, thanks to the efforts of scientists at the University of British Columbia, the British Columbia Cancer Agency, and PhenoPath Lab in Seattle, Washington, understanding of peritoneal mesothelioma is taking a dramatic leap forward. Using cells from two patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, these researchers mapped … Continue reading Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Genome Sequencing Paves the Way for Personalized Treatments »

Refining CRS-HIPEC for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  Three new international studies are helping to refine a treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma that involves rinsing the body cavity with heated chemotherapy drugs. The treatment, called heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy or HIPEC, begins with surgery to remove as much of the mesothelioma tumor as possible from the surface of the peritoneal membrane. Chemotherapy drugs are then heated and rinsed through the area while the patient is still in surgery. The goal is to destroy any residual cancer cells and keep mesothelioma from growing back. Although the treatment is still relatively new, it is quickly becoming the standard of care for peritoneal mesothelioma. Now, researchers around the world are working on ways to make HIPEC even more effective. In one new … Continue reading Refining CRS-HIPEC for Peritoneal Mesothelioma »

Using Cancer Statistics to Prioritize Mesothelioma Research

New cancer statistics from Quebec, Canada suggest that mesothelioma should be a research priority for scientists looking into work-related illnesses. Quebec was once Canada’s heaviest producer and exporter of asbestos, the number one worldwide cause of deadly malignant pleural mesothelioma. In recent years, the number of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and pleural plaques have been steadily rising and some Canadian health experts warn that the country is poised for a health crisis because of its close ties with the asbestos industry. But exact numbers of work-related cancer cases are not easy to find. Researchers from the Canada School of Public Health at the University of Montreal attempted to estimate the number of work-related cancer cases and … Continue reading Using Cancer Statistics to Prioritize Mesothelioma Research »

Most Canadian Mesothelioma Cases Go Unreported

Less than half of asbestos workers diagnosed with mesothelioma file claims for workers’ compensation, even though most of those who do file receive compensation, according to a Canadian study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that has been linked to asbestos exposure. Most of that exposure has occurred in jobs where people work with the fibrous mineral. Up to 40 years can elapse between the time when a worker is exposed to asbestos and when he or she is diagnosed with mesothelioma. Similar to the United States, workers’ compensation in Canada covers medical costs for workers who are injured on the job. This coverage can be an invaluable help to both … Continue reading Most Canadian Mesothelioma Cases Go Unreported »

Fighting Mesothelioma: Canada Lose a Battle, U.S. Gears for Another

Canadian mesothelioma advocates have lost a major battle in their fight against asbestos, while their American counterparts gear up for another battle of their own in Washington. Despite months of protests by health organizations, mesothelioma activists, including the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Medical Association, the Quebec government has agreed to extend a loan that will reopen Canada’s largest asbestos mine. The $58 million dollar loan has been on the table since the Jeffrey Mine in the town of Asbestos closed last year due to financial problems, laying off some 500 workers. The loan had been contingent on raising seed money from investors. The mine’s president estimates that the loan will keep the mine open for at least another 20 years. While … Continue reading Fighting Mesothelioma: Canada Lose a Battle, U.S. Gears for Another »

Canada Halts Mining of Mesothelioma-Causing Asbestos

A country that was once the world’s top producer of mesothelioma-causing asbestos has stopped production for the first time in 130 years. Mining of the controversial mineral has come to a halt at Canada’s two remaining asbestos mines because of money and logistical problems. Health officials around the world have been highly critical of Canada’s asbestos industry and its exportation policies because of the clear link between asbestos and deadly mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the tissue encasing the lungs and lining of the abdomen, is on the rise worldwide, especially in third-world countries where asbestos is still used as a cheap additive to building materials.  Many of these countries are top importers of Canadian asbestos. Canada once dominated … Continue reading Canada Halts Mining of Mesothelioma-Causing Asbestos »

Mesothelioma Causing Mine May Reopen in Canada

Mine that causes mesothelioma will probably stay open. A spokesman for the Canadian Cancer Society says his organization is “deeply disappointed” that the government of Quebec has decided in favor of helping the Jeffrey asbestos mine stay in operation. According to Canadian media reports, the government has agreed to the $58 million dollar loan guarantee that was needed to help secure international funding and keep the chrysotile asbestos mine open. But the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Medical Association, and other health organizations had argued vehemently against the move, citing evidence that asbestos causes deadly malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Not only are Canadians who work or live around the Jeffrey mine in Quebec at risk for … Continue reading Mesothelioma Causing Mine May Reopen in Canada »

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