Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma

AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy drug tremelimumab may still have a chance as a novel mesothelioma treatment, even though an international clinical trial completed last year found that it did not extend mesothelioma survival. In a new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Italian researchers report that combining the monoclonal antibody with another drug called durvalumab “appeared active” as a second-line mesothelioma treatment with “a good safety profile”. Tremelimumab’s Rocky Start as a Mesothelioma Treatment Hopes were initially high for tremelimumab, a monoclonal antibody that works by binding to the protein CTLA-4 on the surface of white blood cells and preventing it from inhibiting the cells’ cancer-fighting power. The US even granted tremelimumab “orphan drug” status in 2015, a designation designed to … Continue reading Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma »

Tea Leaf Cancer Treatment May Have Implications for Mesothelioma Patients

A new type of nanoparticle derived from green tea leaves has been shown to kill lung cancer cells and may one day do the same for pleural mesothelioma. Scientists at Swansea University in Wales in collaboration with researchers at Bharathiar University in India discovered the power of the tea-based nanoparticles—called quantum dots—when attempting to create a less expensive tool for lung cancer imaging. “The main reason we started looking at tea leaves is that chemically synthesised quantum dots cost between £250 and £500 per microgram,” lead researcher Dr. Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu told the BBC. “Whereas organically-derived ones can be manufactured for £10 per microgram, and at the same time they don’t poison healthy cells surrounding the cancer.” Fluorescent Cancer Fighters Nanoparticles … Continue reading Tea Leaf Cancer Treatment May Have Implications for Mesothelioma Patients »

Study Highlights Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma From Naturally-Occurring Asbestos

A new study is shining a spotlight on the disturbing fact that you don’t have to have worked in an asbestos industry to be exposed to asbestos and develop malignant pleural mesothelioma, one of the world’s deadliest cancers. A new study conducted in the Mount Pollino area of Southern Italy, where asbestos is found in abundance in the soil, finds a “significant excess” of mesothelioma diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths from asbestos-related conditions. Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma Asbestos is the name for a set of six naturally-occurring silicate minerals that were once prized for their high tensile strength and resistance to heat and corrosion. Asbestos was used in a variety of building products and insulation materials from as early as the … Continue reading Study Highlights Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma From Naturally-Occurring Asbestos »

Experimental Mesothelioma Therapy Shrinks Mouse Tumors by 80 Percent

An innovative approach to mesothelioma treatment being developed in Italy has produced results researchers call “very promising”. The treatment reduced the size of mesothelioma tumors in  mice by 80 to 85 percent in just over a month. Noninvasive image-guided Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) utilizes the unique properties of boron to destroy mesothelioma cells from the inside out. It has been used as an alternative to conventional radiation therapy for the treatment of malignant brain tumors and recurrent head and neck cancers. The new Italian study is the latest to evaluate this approach for patients with malignant mesothelioma, a hard-to-treat membrane cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Boron Neutron Capture Therapy for Mesothelioma BNCT is a two-step cancer treatment approach. … Continue reading Experimental Mesothelioma Therapy Shrinks Mouse Tumors by 80 Percent »

New Immunotherapy Drug Stops Mesothelioma in Half of Patients Tested

The results are in on the Phase I/II trial of the mesothelioma drug ONCOS-102 and researchers say there is reason to be excited. As Surviving Mesothelioma first reported in the fall of 2016, ONCOS-102 and standard chemotherapy significantly slowed the growth of malignant mesothelioma tumors in preclinical studies of infected mice. Now, the first human trial suggests that it can do the same thing in some human mesothelioma patients, boosting the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy and improving mesothelioma survival. Mesothelioma Study Results According to news released by Norway-based drug maker Targovax this week, three out of six patients with unresectable mesothelioma responded to a combination of ONCOS-102 and standard chemotherapy. In two patients, their mesothelioma tumors stopped growing and in … Continue reading New Immunotherapy Drug Stops Mesothelioma in Half of Patients Tested »

Prospects Good for New Electrical Field-based Mesothelioma Treatment

Prospects are looking good for a company that has developed a new kind of mesothelioma treatment based on electrical fields, and for the patients who stand to benefit from it. Headquartered on the island of Jersey in the UK, the company is called Novocure. Their new technology, called Tumor Treating Fields, uses alternating electrical fields to destabilize critical proteins and disrupt mesothelioma cell division. Now, Novocure’s stock prices are rising and financial advisers are giving it a “buy” rating in the wake of the latest mesothelioma trial results showing longer survival for patients who received the treatment. Tumor Treating Fields and Mesothelioma Treatment Novocure launched the STELLAR study, a phase 2 pilot trial in people with pleural mesothelioma, after achieving positive … Continue reading Prospects Good for New Electrical Field-based Mesothelioma Treatment »

Minimally-Invasive CRS/HIPEC: Could it Revolutionize Mesothelioma Surgery?

A new study out of Spain suggests that it might be possible to perform the surgery that has become the standard of care for peritoneal mesothelioma in a much less invasive way. Cytoreductive surgery with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (CRS/HIPEC) has dramatically changed the survival odds for people with the abdominal form of malignant mesothelioma, also known as asbestos cancer. Now, researchers at the University Hospital Reina Sofia in Cordoba, Spain say they have successfully performed this extensive multi-part procedure through tiny incisions using an internal camera for guidance. After treating eight abdominal cancer patients this way—including two with a benign form of peritoneal mesothelioma—the research team concludes that this minimally invasive mesothelioma surgery approach is “feasible and safe” in the … Continue reading Minimally-Invasive CRS/HIPEC: Could it Revolutionize Mesothelioma Surgery? »

Plasma-Based Surgery May Be Safer Alternative for Some Mesothelioma Patients

A minimally-invasive surgical technique that uses plasma energy to destroy diseased pleural tissue may be a safer alternative for mesothelioma patients who would not otherwise be candidates for surgery. Doctors at Harefield Hospital in the UK are reporting good results and no serious side effects from using the PlasmaJet Surgical System to operate on a patient with malignant pleural mesothelioma. PlasmaJet uses the energy of ionized gas, called plasma, to dissect, vaporize, and seal fragile tissues through small incisions with no cutting. The UK team believes it may be a viable option for patients with advanced mesothelioma or those with other health problems that would make conventional surgery too risky. Mesothelioma Surgery Not for Every Patient Pleural mesothelioma grows on … Continue reading Plasma-Based Surgery May Be Safer Alternative for Some Mesothelioma Patients »

“Spray On” Drugs May Be New Option for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patients

Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

A new, minimally-invasive way of delivering drugs right to the site of a tumor is being called “safe and feasible” for people with recurrent malignant mesothelioma. Right now, mesothelioma patients whose cancer comes back after surgery and systemic chemotherapy have few viable treatment options. The new procedure, called Pressurized Inraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC), may change that. During PIPAC, chemotherapy drugs are essentially “sprayed” as gas directly onto the site of the cancer. PIPAC is performed through a small incision using a laparoscope for guidance. Testing PIPAC in Mesothelioma Treatment Right now, PIPAC is still in clinical trials, but it has already been used on thousands of patients in Germany and several other European locations. In a new malignant mesothelioma study, … Continue reading “Spray On” Drugs May Be New Option for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patients »

New Mesothelioma Study Compares Different Types of Asbestos Exposure

A new Turkish study is shining a spotlight on the role of environmental asbestos exposure in the development of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive malignancy with no known cure. Malignant mesothelioma, which occurs on the membranes around the lungs, the abdominal organs or, more rarely, the heart, is most often associated with occupational asbestos exposure. But a new study in the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health cautions that “Environmental asbestos exposure is as important as occupational exposure to develop malignant mesothelioma.” In addition, after studying 21 groups of Turkish mesothelioma patients with either environmental or occupational exposure, the researchers concluded that environmental exposure is different from occupational exposure in some notable ways. Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Diagnosis Doctors have known … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Study Compares Different Types of Asbestos Exposure »

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