“Remodeling” Mesothelioma Cells May Improve Responsiveness to Immunotherapy

Responsiveness to immunotherapy

Italian researchers are experimenting with the idea of remodeling mesothelioma cells from the inside out to improve their responsiveness to immunotherapy. Malignant mesothelioma is highly resistant to standard cancer treatments. Immunotherapy is widely considered to be one of the most hopeful new approaches to this cancer. But this approach works better for some people than it does for others.  The difference may lie in the genes. Scientists at University Hospital of Siena believe that manipulating the gene expression of mesothelioma cells could be the key to bolstering responsiveness to immunotherapy.  Mesothelioma, Genetics, and Responsiveness to Immunotherapy Immunotherapy is a method of treating disease by using the body’s natural immune response. This can mean trying to attract more immune cells to … Continue reading “Remodeling” Mesothelioma Cells May Improve Responsiveness to Immunotherapy »

Cancer Biomarker Test Could Detect Mesothelioma Earlier

cancer biomarker test

A new cancer biomarker test that promises to identify cancer in patients with “non-specific symptoms” could be the key to detecting mesothelioma earlier.  Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by asbestos. The early symptoms of mesothelioma are usually vague and similar to other conditions. As a result, mesothelioma is frequently diagnosed in a late stage. But a cancer biomarker test developed in the UK could change that. The test looks for small molecules called metabolites in the blood. Its developers say it has the potential to find cancer earlier than other blood-based cancer tests.  Non-Specific Symptoms Make Mesothelioma a Diagnostic Challenge Mesothelioma is a rare cancer. It is most common in people who worked or lived around asbestos in … Continue reading Cancer Biomarker Test Could Detect Mesothelioma Earlier »

Improve Mesothelioma Outcomes with a Fast-Mimicking Diet: Is it Possible?

Improve mesothelioma outcomes

New science from Italy suggests that it might eventually be possible to improve mesothelioma outcomes by severely restricting calories during cancer treatment.  The study appears in a recent version of the journal Cancer Discovery. Researchers with Italy’s FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) in Milan tested a fast-mimicking diet in 101 cancer patients.  They concluded that restricting calories is a safe and feasible method for “reshaping metabolism” to impact tumor growth. If further studies confirm their findings, it could improve mesothelioma outcomes for thousands of patients. The Need for Better Mesothelioma Treatments Mesothelioma is a fast-growing and deadly type of cancer. Most people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis do not live out the year. Malignant mesothelioma grows on the membranes … Continue reading Improve Mesothelioma Outcomes with a Fast-Mimicking Diet: Is it Possible? »

Glucose Solution May Prevent Complication After Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery

pleural mesothelioma surgery

There is new evidence that a solution of hypertonic glucose can help correct persistent air leak –  a complication that sometimes occurs after major pleural mesothelioma surgery. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Efforts to surgically separate a mesothelioma tumor from the surface of the lungs can damage the lungs.  When this damage causes air to seep out of the lungs into the chest cavity, it is an air leak. Some air leaks fix themselves within a few days. But when an air leak persists for more than 5 days, it can cause further complications and slow recovery after pleural mesothelioma surgery.  A team of thoracic oncologists in Milan, Italy say hypertonic glucose can help clear up … Continue reading Glucose Solution May Prevent Complication After Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery »

Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma

unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma

A top mesothelioma expert says chemotherapy may still be the best first-line treatment for unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma, even though immunotherapy is an increasingly popular option. Chemotherapy has been the primary way to treat mesothelioma since 2004. This is when the FDA approved the drug Alimta (pemetrexed). Alimta remained the only systemic treatment for asbestos cancer until 2020. In 2020, the FDA approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo). But Dean Fennell, PhD, of the UK’s University of Leicester says chemotherapy is still a good choice for many unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma cases. A Better Version of Chemotherapy? Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common subtype. It is also the most responsive to treatment. For the healthiest patients, … Continue reading Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma »

Blood Test May Reveal History of Exposure to Asbestos

exposure to asbestos

Small, non-coding bits of RNA in blood serum may offer a way to measure a person’s exposure to asbestos and predict their risk for mesothelioma.  Malignant mesothelioma is just one of several types of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos. But, unless a person knows they have been exposed, doctors might not even think to look for it, even when a patient develops early symptoms.  Researchers at Italy’s University of Ferrara have identified a microRNA in blood serum that can act as a biomarker for asbestos in the body. The discovery could lead to a blood test to identify high-risk people.  Exposure to Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma Before asbestos, mesothelioma was virtually unheard of. In fact, when the first asbestos-exposed … Continue reading Blood Test May Reveal History of Exposure to Asbestos »

New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression

CAR-T Cell Therapy

A new cancer treatment based on CAR-T cell therapy may have found a way to undermine a key protective mechanism in mesothelioma tumors. The treatment is called UCARTMESO. It is being developed by a French biopharmaceutical company called Cellectis. UCARTMESO targets cells that overexpress the protein mesothelin. It undermines some key genes in these cells preventing them from sending immune suppressive signals.  Immune suppressive elements in the area surrounding mesothelioma tumors have historically kept CAR-T cell therapy from working as well as it does for some other types of cancer.  But the developers of UCARTMESO say their approach may finally make CAR-T cell therapy a viable option for patients fighting asbestos cancer.  They presented their findings at the Society for … Continue reading New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression »

Surgery-Based Multimodal Treatment Improves Survival for Italian Mesothelioma Patients

surgery-based multimodal treatment

A new Italian report suggests that a surgery-based multimodal treatment approach to mesothelioma can help patients live longer with few serious side effects.  The new study comes from Careggi University Hospital in Florence. Thoracic oncologists tracked the outcomes of 12 of their mesothelioma patients since 2017. All of the patients had early-stage pleural mesothelioma of the epithelioid subtype. Results showed that none of them died within the first year after surgery-based multimodal treatment. More than half lived for at least three years.  These are considered very positive results for a cancer that often claims lives within months of diagnosis.  Understanding Surgery-Based Multimodal Treatment Some types of cancer can be successfully treated with just one type of therapy. Pleural mesothelioma is … Continue reading Surgery-Based Multimodal Treatment Improves Survival for Italian Mesothelioma Patients »

Mesothelioma Blood Test Could Help Delay Time Between CT Scans

mesothelioma blood test

A mesothelioma blood test could make it possible to stretch the time between CT scans to monitor treatment progress. That is the conclusion from a team of cancer experts in Italy. The researchers compared the results of the SMRP mesothelioma blood test to CT scans and other prognostic indicators in pleural mesothelioma patients.  Doctors typically use a set of criteria called mRECIST to assess how well a particular therapy is working. mRECIST includes measurements from CT scans. But CT scans are expensive, time-consuming, and expose patients to ionizing radiation.  The goal of the new study was to see how closely SMRP levels correlated with mRECIST results. The team says the blood test appears to be accurate enough that it could … Continue reading Mesothelioma Blood Test Could Help Delay Time Between CT Scans »

Mesothelioma Surgical Decisions: New Method May Make Them Easier

mesothelioma surgical decisions

Cancer researchers in India and the UK have come up with a method for making better mesothelioma surgical decisions. The group focused on peritoneal mesothelioma, the second most common form of asbestos cancer. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the membrane around the abdominal organs. It can spread throughout the abdomen.  Some peritoneal mesothelioma patients get good results with cytoreductive surgery. But success depends on a number of factors such as how far cancer has spread and where mesothelioma tumors are located. The new decision-making tool reminds doctors of five important factors to consider when making mesothelioma surgical decisions for the best outcomes. It is based on the acronym PAUSE. Peritoneal Mesothelioma and the Promise of CRS/HIPEC Malignant mesothelioma is an especially aggressive … Continue reading Mesothelioma Surgical Decisions: New Method May Make Them Easier »

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