COPD Drug Might Help with Drooling in Pleural Mesothelioma Patients

A UK doctor says a drug used to treat COPD can help with drooling in pleural mesothelioma patients on palliative care.  Dr. Claire Plunkett recently published the case report of a mesothelioma patient receiving palliative care. The patient developed a problem with drooling and swallowing. The medical term for drooling is sialorrhoea. It can happen in people with certain conditions or on certain drugs. Doctors at Farleigh Hospice in Chelmsford, UK treated the man with a glycopyrronium bromide inhaler. Glycopyrronium is normally used for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).  The treatment cured the problem in just a few days. Plunkett says this is evidence that glycopyrronium is a good option to treat drooling in pleural mesothelioma patients. What … Continue reading COPD Drug Might Help with Drooling in Pleural Mesothelioma Patients »

Non-Epithelioid Mesothelioma: Immunotherapy Combo Could be the New Standard of Care

Two immunotherapy drugs could become the new standard of care for people with non-epithelioid mesothelioma.  All forms of malignant mesothelioma are deadly. But people with a non-epithelioid mesothelioma subtype are less likely to respond to standard treatments. Their variety of mesothelioma is especially resistant to chemotherapy with cisplatin and Alimta. This has been the mainstay of pleural mesothelioma treatment since 2004. But a new trial shows two immunotherapy drugs extended mesothelioma survival better than chemotherapy. This could be especially good news for patients with non-epithelioid mesothelioma.  Checkpoint Inhibitors for Mesothelioma Most people with pleural mesothelioma start with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can often extend life by a few months. It is most beneficial for patients with epithelioid mesothelioma. But this approach does … Continue reading Non-Epithelioid Mesothelioma: Immunotherapy Combo Could be the New Standard of Care »

Decisions About Pleural Effusion in Mesothelioma: New Tool May Help

Decisions about pleural effusion

Researchers in the UK have developed a new tool that may help patients with mesothelioma and other pleural cancers make decisions about pleural effusion.  Pleural effusion is the buildup of excess fluid in the space around the lungs. It is a common side effect in people with advanced lung or breast cancer or pleural mesothelioma.  It can be complicated and time-consuming to make decisions about pleural effusion treatment. There are many different ways to handle the problem.  The UK research team developed a web-based decision support tool with input from patients, clinicians, and caregivers. The tool uses videos and questions to help patients decide on the best course of treatment for their unique situation. Pleural Effusion and Treatment Options The pleura … Continue reading Decisions About Pleural Effusion in Mesothelioma: New Tool May Help »

Electrochemotherapy for Mesothelioma May Relieve Pain, Shrink Tumors

Electrochemotherapy for Mesothelioma

There’s new evidence that a technique called electrochemotherapy (ECT) may relieve mesothelioma pain and even shrink tumors. It may be an option for patients who have not had success with other treatments.  Cancer researchers with the Italian Ministry of Health recently conducted the first test of electrochemotherapy on pleural mesothelioma and several other rare cancers.  They found that zapping tumors with electricity helped the medicine go through the cell membranes. The treatment reduced pain for every patient tested. In most cases, it also slowed down or even temporarily stopped their tumor growth.   How Electrochemotherapy Works Malignant mesothelioma is a rare membrane cancer. Chemotherapy is the main treatment for mesothelioma. But more than half of mesothelioma tumors do not respond to … Continue reading Electrochemotherapy for Mesothelioma May Relieve Pain, Shrink Tumors »

Triple Therapy May Become New First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma

First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma

A combination of three powerful mesothelioma therapies could become a new first-line treatment for mesothelioma if an upcoming clinical trial is successful. The makers of the experimental immunotherapy drug ONCOS-102 announced the new clinical trial. It will enroll up to 100 mesothelioma patients from around the world.  The trial will test ONCOS-102 along with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and standard chemotherapy. Keytruda is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Both ONCOS-102 and Keytruda have shown some promise when combined with mesothelioma chemotherapy. Targovax hopes that the triple therapy approach will produce an even more powerful first-line treatment for mesothelioma. Clinic Trial of ONCOS-102 A first-line treatment is a treatment for mesothelioma patients who have not yet had any other therapies. Most patients start with … Continue reading Triple Therapy May Become New First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma »

Lung Fluid Analysis Could Enhance Mesothelioma Survival, Report Finds

Lung Fluid Analysis

Swedish researchers say more people might survive mesothelioma if doctors paid more attention to lung fluid analysis in making their diagnosis. The only way to definitely diagnose mesothelioma is to examine cells under a microscope. But pathologists at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm say tissue biopsy happens too late.  Lung fluid starts to collect much earlier in the disease process. The Swedish team says lung fluid analysis (cytology) could give doctors an earlier indication of mesothelioma. That could lead to earlier diagnosis and better survival. Diagnosing Malignant Mesothelioma There are many signs of malignant mesothelioma. Coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath are some of the most common. When these symptoms occur in someone who has worked around asbestos, that … Continue reading Lung Fluid Analysis Could Enhance Mesothelioma Survival, Report Finds »

Predicting Mesothelioma Outcomes with FDG-PET: A New Model

Predicting Mesothelioma Outcomes with FDG-PET

Swiss doctors have created a new tool for predicting mesothelioma outcomes with FDG-PET scans.  FDG-PET scanning is a nuclear imaging technique. It gives doctors a non-invasive way to track the growth of pleural mesothelioma tumors.  The Swiss team analyzed multiple PET scans and CT scans from mesothelioma patients. They used a computer to look for commonalities in the scans. Then they used the information to create a computer model for predicting mesothelioma outcomes with FDG-PET. The model may help doctors and patients make better decisions about mesothelioma treatment in the future.  Imaging Studies for Mesothelioma Prognosis Pleural mesothelioma tumors occur on the pleural lining around the lungs. In the early stages, mesothelioma causes few symptoms. As mesothelioma tumors grow, they … Continue reading Predicting Mesothelioma Outcomes with FDG-PET: A New Model »

BAP1 Expression Not an Independent Factor in Mesothelioma Prognosis

BAP1 Expression and Mesothelioma Prognosis

A new report says the prognostic role of BAP1 expression in mesothelioma is not as cut-and-dried as some studies suggest. Italian researchers analyzed the cases of 698 patients with pleural mesothelioma. The group included 60 of their own patients and another 638 from other studies. Their analysis suggests that mesothelioma prognosis has more to do with subtype than with genetic BAP1 expression. They caution doctors not to put too much stock in a patient’s BAP1 status without also considering other factors. Genetic Alterations and Mesothelioma Survival Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. But not everyone who is exposed to asbestos gets cancer. This may have to do with their genetic makeup. Certain genetic alterations may make a person … Continue reading BAP1 Expression Not an Independent Factor in Mesothelioma Prognosis »

Understanding the Psychological Effects of Mesothelioma

Psychological Effects of Mesothelioma

A new study is shedding light on the psychological effects of mesothelioma on patients and their caregivers.  Researchers at the University of Sheffield in the UK reviewed more than 35 years worth of medical literature to find relevant studies. They say the psychological effects of mesothelioma revolve around timelines, emotions, and communication. They also suggest that more should be done to understand the unique burdens of mesothelioma caregivers.  Rarity of Mesothelioma May Impact the Psychological Effects  Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of internal membranes. It can be a lonely disease for caregivers and patients. Only about 2,500 Americans receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year making it one of the rarest types of cancer. In many cases, a family may … Continue reading Understanding the Psychological Effects of Mesothelioma »

Second-Line Mesothelioma Treatment with Ramucirumab

second-line mesothelioma treatment

A combination of ramucirumab (CYRAMZA) and gemcitabine creates a promising second-line mesothelioma treatment. New research shows the combination nearly doubled survival in a group of patients whose tumors kept growing with standard therapy.  Italian researchers shared their findings at the virtual annual meeting of ASCO. ASCO is one of the largest gatherings of cancer doctors in the US. First-Line Mesothelioma Treatment Failure For most mesothelioma patients, chemotherapy with Alimta is the first-line treatment. This does keep the cancer in check for some patients. But after a while, mesothelioma tumors almost always come back. Chemotherapy only extends survival by about four months.  Doctors have tested many different approaches to second-line mesothelioma treatment.  Some of the therapies tested are: Additional rounds of … Continue reading Second-Line Mesothelioma Treatment with Ramucirumab »

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