Mesothelioma Pain Management with PCC

mesothelioma pain management

A study out of the UK says more doctors should consider using a minimally invasive surgical technique called PCC in mesothelioma pain management. They also say it should happen earlier. Percutaneous cervical cordotomy (PCC)  uses an electrode to destroy a small set of nerves in the spinal cord. These nerves send pain signals to the brain.  Although the evidence for PCC is limited, the researchers say their study shows it is safe and effective for mesothelioma pain management. Unfortunately, the patients who do have PCC tend to have it late in their illness.  Pleural Mesothelioma Discomfort Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin tissue that encases the lungs. There are no nerves in this tissue, so patients do … Continue reading Mesothelioma Pain Management with PCC »

Diagnostic CT Scan for Mesothelioma: More is Better

diagnostic ct scan

A new report out of the UK suggests that a thorough diagnostic CT scan for pleural mesothelioma should include images of the abdomen and pelvis, as well as the chest.  When a person goes to the doctor with early signs of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a CT scan of the chest is often the next step in making a diagnosis. CT scans create a 3-dimensional image of internal organs, making it easier to spot mesothelioma tumors.  But a research team led by the University of Bristol says a diagnostic CT scan that shows only the chest might miss mesothelioma tumors in other areas. How a Diagnostic CT Scan Works CT stands for computerized tomography. CT scanning is an advanced type of … Continue reading Diagnostic CT Scan for Mesothelioma: More is Better »

Genetics Affect Accuracy of SMRP Test for Mesothelioma

SMRP test for mesothelioma

The SMRP test for mesothelioma is a tool doctors use to help diagnose asbestos cancer and plan treatment. But new research suggests that the test is not as useful as it could be due to genetic variability.  Slovenian doctors say a person’s genetics influence how much SMRP they produce.  Based on their research, they recommend combining the SMRP test for mesothelioma with genetic testing. Their findings suggest the combination method produces a more accurate and useful mesothelioma biomarker. What is the SMRP Test for Mesothelioma? SMRP stands for soluble mesothelin-related peptides. They are produced when proteins found in the mesothelial membranes start to break down. Malignant mesothelioma is one condition that can trigger this breakdown.  As a mesothelioma tumor grows … Continue reading Genetics Affect Accuracy of SMRP Test for Mesothelioma »

Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed

immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma

A new report says biomarkers are urgently needed to determine which patients would benefit from immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  Researchers made the statement in a review of immunotherapy drugs in testing for malignant mesothelioma.  They say some of these drugs have proven to be more effective than others for asbestos cancer. But a set of biomarkers would go a long way to funneling patients into the right immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  The Status of Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is believed to be the most promising up-and-coming cancer treatment. Immunotherapy treatments harness the strength of the body’s own immune response to attack cancer or help other drugs do so.  Like other types of cancer, mesothelioma cells have ways of avoiding … Continue reading Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed »

Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study

second line mesothelioma treatment

Italian researchers say there is good news and bad news about a proposed second line mesothelioma treatment.  The good news is that the treatment did not cause major side effects in the patients who tried it. The bad news is that it also did not help them live any longer.  The treatment is a mixture of gemcitabine and imatinib. Animal studies suggested that the combination might improve mesothelioma survival.  The newly-published study shows the second line mesothelioma treatment did help control the disease in most patients. But the 23 patients who tried it only lived for a median of 5.7 months. That was not enough for doctors to recommend the combination. Mesothelioma Chemotherapy and Survival The most common first line … Continue reading Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study »

Amazing Keytruda Case Study Offers Hope for Advanced Mesothelioma

keytruda case study

Italian doctors are reporting an “impressive clinical response” in a recently published Keytruda case study. The case is encouraging news for people with advanced malignant mesothelioma.   The case involves a 45-year-old woman with metastatic pleural mesothelioma. Doctors found cancer in her chest, brain, and abdomen. Even after several kinds of chemotherapy, the patient continued to go down hill.  Finally, when it looked like the woman would not live much longer, doctors tried Keytruda (pembrolizumab). The Keytruda case study documents the patient’s amazing turnaround.  Case Looked Hopeless The 45-year old woman in the Keytruda case study first went to the doctor because of shortness of breath. Doctors found that she had pleural effusion. This is a build-up of lung fluid that … Continue reading Amazing Keytruda Case Study Offers Hope for Advanced Mesothelioma »

Familial and Environmental Asbestos Exposure Raise Mesothelioma Risk in Women

environmental asbestos exposure

Italian researchers say women who live around an asbestos plant or with one of its workers may be at special risk for mesothelioma from the combination of familial and environmental asbestos exposure.  The research appears in a new issue of the Annals of Work Exposures and Health.  Scientists have long known about the link between asbestos on worker’s clothes and mesothelioma among the women who wash those clothes.  But the new report shows that some of these women face an even greater cumulative risk because of environmental asbestos exposure. Bringing the Mesothelioma Risk Home Traditionally, most jobs with the potential for asbestos exposure have been in male-dominated industries. These include industries like construction, shipbuilding, plumbing, electrical work, and asbestos mining … Continue reading Familial and Environmental Asbestos Exposure Raise Mesothelioma Risk in Women »

Exhaled Breath Analysis: Is it the Future of Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

exhaled breath analysis

A new report says there is much for the mesothelioma community to be excited about in the technology known as exhaled breath analysis.  Several studies suggest the method is as accurate at identifying mesothelioma as some more invasive tests.  Researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium led the new study. They analyzed six other studies on exhaled breath analysis The goal was to see how accurate the method is for diagnosing mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. The researchers conclude that things look good for exhaled breath analysis, but there is more to learn.  Searching for Signs of Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive lung-related cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take decades to develop, but once it … Continue reading Exhaled Breath Analysis: Is it the Future of Mesothelioma Diagnosis? »

Immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 Shows Promise for Mesothelioma

immunotherapy with ONCOS-102

Early results are in on the latest trial of immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 and the news is good for pleural mesothelioma patients.  Norweigian drug maker Targovax released the news about ONCOS-102 earlier this week. The new drug is based on an oncolytic virus that targets mesothelioma cells. When the virus gets inside the cells, it triggers an immune response.  Early tests of immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 showed it helped mesothelioma chemotherapy work better. Now, a larger study appears to confirm the effect. The news could lead to new and better treatments for this intractable cancer.  What is an Oncolytic Virus? An oncolytic virus is a virus that targets cancer cells. ONCOS-102 was designed to seek out mesothelioma cells. It is made out … Continue reading Immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 Shows Promise for Mesothelioma »

PET/CT for Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Age and Stage May Impact Accuracy

PET/CT for mesothelioma diagnosis

A new study of PET/CT for mesothelioma diagnosis shows that certain conditions can impact its accuracy. Test results may be less reliable in older patients and in those with very early stage mesothelioma.  The study comes from cancer researchers in Italy. They compared the accuracy of PET/CT for mesothelioma diagnosis in 141 patients over a 9-year period.  A third of the oldest patients with Stage 1 pleural mesothelioma received false negative results. The figure jumped to 40 percent when age was not considered.  What is PET/CT for Mesothelioma Diagnosis? Positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) are non-invasive methods of looking at internal tissues.  A CT scan takes X-rays from different angles. A computer compiles the images into a … Continue reading PET/CT for Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Age and Stage May Impact Accuracy »

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