If you experienced asbestos exposure more than 30 years ago and you have not developed mesothelioma, your risk for the disease may be starting to decline. A new Italian study is the latest to suggest that mesothelioma risk may taper off over time. A group of occupational health experts conducted the study. Their goal was to predict mesothelioma trends in Italy until 2040. The data shows that mesothelioma cases will probably peak this year. But they also show that most of those cases will happen in people with asbestos exposure in the last three decades. Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Incidence Asbestos is the main cause of malignant mesothelioma. A small number of mesothelioma cases happen without any known asbestos exposure. … Continue reading How Long Does Mesothelioma Risk Last After Asbestos Exposure?
New research conducted in Europe and at Harvard University may open the door to safer immunotherapy for mesothelioma patients. Immunotherapy is one of the most promising approaches to fight malignant mesothelioma. But the potential side effects can be devastating. Now, new data suggests there are ways to reduce the complications of immunotherapy for mesothelioma. The key is to target some of the white blood cells that trigger inflammation. Inflammation is the driver behind most of the serious side effects of immunotherapy. Why Harness the Immune System? No one ever expects to contract mesothelioma. It is an extremely rare cancer. Most people who get it have spent time living or working around asbestos. Even among asbestos-exposed people, mesothelioma is rare. Scientists … Continue reading Study May Lead to Safer Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma
A new study suggests that treatment with vinorelbine may boost progression free survival for people with relapsed malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a virulent cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Chemotherapy is the primary first-line treatment. But this cancer almost always comes back within a few months. Now, researchers at the UK’s University of Leicester say treatment with vinorelbine might keep mesothelioma at bay for several months longer. They presented their research at this months’ annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Second-Line Mesothelioma Treatments Needed Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma. Tumors grow on the membrane around the lungs. The symptoms often mimic lung cancer but can be even more deadly. Some of the healthiest … Continue reading Treatment with Vinorelbine for Relapsed Pleural Mesothelioma
A new Spanish report concludes that banning asbestos is the most effective way to prevent new cases of mesothelioma and asbestos-linked lung cancer. Experts in epidemiology and occupational health conducted the research. Their report appears in a recent issue of the Spanish medical journal, Gaceta Sanitaria. The research shows that all types of asbestos raise the risk for lung cancer and mesothelioma and that some are extra dangerous. The study found that people exposed to needle-shaped amphibole asbestos fibers had the highest rates of illness. They say the only way to fully protect people against both amphibole and serpentine asbestos (the other major category) is banning asbestos completely. Asbestos Restrictions in the US The US EPA, the Department of Health … Continue reading Banning Asbestos Still Best Way to Prevent Mesothelioma
A recent study found no link between mesothelioma survival and exposure to pleural fluid. But that does not necessarily mean the link doesn’t exist. Pleural fluid is also called pleural effusions or “water on the lungs”. It is extra fluid that builds up around the lungs. It is common in people with heart failure, kidney or liver disease, pleural mesothelioma and some other kinds of cancer. Pleural effusions are usually treated as an uncomfortable mesothelioma symptom. Draining the fluid can help patients breathe easier. But researchers at Oxford University wondered whether the pleural fluid itself could shorten mesothelioma survival. In this study, the answer appears to be no. But the researchers warn this may not be the final word on … Continue reading Does Pleural Fluid Exposure Affect Mesothelioma Survival?
The news just keeps getting better for the virus-based immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102. Norweigian drug maker Targovax recently released the final survival data from a two-year study of ONCOS-102 in people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Eighteen months into the study, it looked like some of the patients on the immunotherapy treatment would live longer than two years. Now that the ONCOS-102 study has passed the two year mark, researchers say median survival may be even longer. Average survival is a year or less on standard mesothelioma therapies. This makes the news about ONCOS-102 especially exciting. Standard of Care Versus Immunotherapy Treatment Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive malignancy with a poor prognosis. Even patients in overall good health face a grim outlook. … Continue reading Immunotherapy Treatment ONCOS-102: News Keeps Getting Better
A new Dutch study offers some clues that might help doctors predict the effectiveness of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in individual mesothelioma patients. Keytruda is the brand name for pembrolizumab. It is an immunotherapy drug called an immune checkpoint inhibitor. It helps unmask mesothelioma cells so that the immune system can find and fight them. But the effectiveness of Keytruda is not consistent. Some patients respond well while others do not respond at all. The new study looked at how different people metabolize the drug. Understanding this could help doctors determine the best dose for each mesothelioma patient. Pembrolizumab and its Link to Mesothelioma Survival Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a deadly form of lung cancer. Asbestos exposure is the main cause of … Continue reading Effectiveness of Keytruda: Dutch Study Offers Clues for Prediction
Three small studies suggest that dendritic cells may offer a new, more promising way to fight malignant pleural mesothelioma. Dendritic cells are immune system cells that function as messengers. They are supposed to signal T-cells to attack cancers like malignant mesothelioma. But mesothelioma cells can keep dendritic cells from doing their job. The result is that the number of activated T-cells around mesothelioma tumors stays low and the tumors keep growing. Now, Dutch researchers studying the problem say a vaccine made from dendritic cells may hold the answer. They analyzed the results of three small dendritic cell studies. These studies included a total of 29 mesothelioma patients. Some of the patients in these studies lived much longer than mesothelioma patients normally … Continue reading Treatment with Dendritic Cells Leads to Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival in Small Studies
An international team of occupational health experts says science has done a “profound disservice” by underestimating the risk of mesothelioma in women. Scientists from Germany, Canada, Italy, and the US compiled the report for the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. They say the risk of mesothelioma in women has long been misunderstood. Asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma in men. But the new report says studies often fail to link female mesothelioma cases to asbestos exposure. That omission made some believe that the risk of mesothelioma in women is different than it is in men. But the new report says that is not true. It urges scientists to be more thorough in their mesothelioma studies of women. Asbestos and … Continue reading Risk of Mesothelioma in Women May be Underestimated
Mesothelioma patients with higher levels of the PD-L1 protein in their tumor cells have worse overall survival compared to those with lower levels. But that may not be true for patients who have immunotherapy. That news comes from a new European study of more than 200 patients. PD-L1 and its partner protein PD-1 (found in immune system cells) are popular targets for new immunotherapy drugs. But the new study aimed to find out if they impact mesothelioma survival independently of immunotherapy. The team concluded the PD-L1 protein may shorten lifespan. PD-1 does not seem to have the same effect. Pleural Mesothelioma and the PD-L1 Protein Pleural mesothelioma is an intractable cancer of the lung lining. It often leads to poor … Continue reading Higher PD-L1 Protein May Predict Shorter Mesothelioma Survival