Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments

different mesothelioma subtypes

A group of European pathologists say the different mesothelioma subtypes have significant differences in their pattern of gene expression. Exploiting these differences could help scientists craft more effective mesothelioma treatments.  Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. But doctors know that genetics play a role, too. Newly-approved immunotherapy drugs target proteins expressed by specific genes. But these drugs work much better in some mesothelioma patients than they do in others.  The new study suggests that differences in the genetic profiles of different mesothelioma subtypes could help explain why.  Immunotherapy Drugs for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is an up-and-coming treatment approach for mesothelioma and other cancers. It harnesses the power of the person’s immune system to fight cancer.  In people with mesothelioma, … Continue reading Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments »

Treatment Advances Fail to Improve Mesothelioma Survival Trends

mesothelioma survival trends

A new report shows mesothelioma survival trends have remained steady for decades, despite new drugs, new surgery techniques, and the introduction of pleural catheters.  The report comes from cancer researchers at Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre in Canada. Canada has one of the world’s highest rates of malignant pleural mesothelioma. This is likely related to the country’s long history of asbestos production. To compile the new report, researchers compared mesothelioma outcomes in three different decades between 1991 and 2019. There were surprisingly few differences in mesothelioma survival trends in the three decades.  Mesothelioma’s Destructive History Pleural mesothelioma is a virulent cancer of the pleural membrane. This is the tissue or mesothelium that surrounds the lungs. It is thin but flexible and … Continue reading Treatment Advances Fail to Improve Mesothelioma Survival Trends »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination

immunotherapy combination

An immunotherapy combination of tremelimumab and durvalumab has resulted in long-term survival for some mesothelioma patients in a new follow-up Italian study.  Tremelimumab and durvalumab (Imfinzi) received orphan drug designation from the FDA last year for liver cancer. Now, it looks like this immunotherapy combination could help some people with the rare asbestos cancer, too.  Mesothelioma patients who had the best results in the new study were those with a high number of mutated genes. Mesothelioma is often fatal within a year. But the longest-living patient in the study survived for more than 41 months.  Immunotherapy Combination Blocks Key Proteins White blood cells have the power to help combat mesothelioma. But a protein called CTLA-4 can block that ability. Tremelimumab … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination »

CRS/HIPEC Procedure Has Improved Over Time, Study Finds

CRS/HIPEC Procedure

A new French study contains some good news for people considering the CRS/HIPEC procedure for peritoneal mesothelioma.  The CRS/HIPEC procedure combines surgical resection with localized chemotherapy. Its aim is to remove or destroy as many mesothelioma cells as possible in the abdomen.  French researchers studied the evolution of the procedure over time. They discovered that it has improved. As a result, people with peritoneal cancers like malignant mesothelioma are living longer.  Cytoreductive Surgery for Mesothelioma Peritoneal mesothelioma causes tumors on the peritoneal membrane that lines the abdomen. Like other forms of mesothelioma, the cause is usually asbestos exposure.  Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) is an operation to remove tumors from the abdomen. Mesothelioma tumors may be confined to the peritoneal membrane, or … Continue reading CRS/HIPEC Procedure Has Improved Over Time, Study Finds »

Prognostic Value of PET/CT in Pleural Mesothelioma Patients

prognostic value of PET/CT

New data highlights the prognostic value of PET/CT scans for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare malignancy with a poor prognosis. But some patients tend to do better than others. Scientists are always looking for better ways to predict which patients will respond best to which treatment. A new Turkish study focused on the prognostic value of scans that measure tumor volume and metabolic activity. They conclude that PET/CT is a valuable way to predict mesothelioma outcomes. Doctors can use the information to help plan for chemotherapy or surgical treatment.  How PET/CT Scans Work Doctors have been aware of malignant mesothelioma since the 1930s. That is when it first started appearing among asbestos workers. But there … Continue reading Prognostic Value of PET/CT in Pleural Mesothelioma Patients »

Mesothelioma Subtypes Often Misclassified by Biopsy

mesothelioma subtypes

Pleural biopsy is not perfect when it comes to telling the difference between the three mesothelioma subtypes. But misclassification could lead to shorter survival.  That is the conclusion reached by top mesothelioma researchers in Brescia, Italy.  They compared autopsy records from 134 Italian mesothelioma patients. The patients were either shipyard workers or their spouses. The researchers found that the mesothelioma subtypes identified from biopsy tissue were incorrect a large percent of the time. Misclassification matters because it impacts which mesothelioma treatments doctors choose.  The Three Mesothelioma Subtypes Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive malignancy on the lung lining. It is caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma cells fall into three mesothelioma subtypes based on certain cellular characteristics. Pleural mesothelioma is notoriously … Continue reading Mesothelioma Subtypes Often Misclassified by Biopsy »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102

long-term mesothelioma survival

The makers of the immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102 have released promising new data on its ability to promote long-term mesothelioma survival. The report came less than two weeks after ONCOS-102 got FDA approval to fast-track its development.  ONCOS-102 is an investigational treatment made from a modified virus. The virus helps the treatment target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone.  The new long-term mesothelioma survival data shows half of people on ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy have lived for 21 months. And the study is not over yet. Typical survival with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy is about a year.  Targovax says the data shows how valuable ONCOS-102 could be for patients with this rare but aggressive malignancy. Standard of Care for Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102 »

Some Mesothelioma Patients Have Unrealistic View of Palliative Chemotherapy

palliative chemotherapy

A new Danish study suggests that, when it comes to palliative chemotherapy for mesothelioma, patients, families, and doctors may have very different expectations.  Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. It is not curable but chemotherapy can sometimes slow it down. Palliative chemotherapy is chemotherapy aimed at relieving mesothelioma symptoms.  But researchers at Odense University and University of Southern Denmark say nearly a third of families expect palliative chemotherapy to cure their cancer. This was especially true of patients younger than 70.  Palliative Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma Chemotherapy has been the main treatment for mesothelioma since the early 2000s. Pemetrexed (Alimta) and a platinum drug like cisplatin is the standard drug combination. But this treatment is rarely a cure. … Continue reading Some Mesothelioma Patients Have Unrealistic View of Palliative Chemotherapy »

The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos

dangers of asbestos

A pair of occupational medicine experts say the dangers of asbestos – particularly its ability to cause cancers like malignant mesothelioma – are still being downplayed by those who mine and sell it.  The report appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. The authors are experts in the field from Hamburg University in Germany and Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. Scientists around the world have warned about the dangers of asbestos for decades. Asbestos is responsible for tens of thousands of mesothelioma deaths every year. In the US, about 2,500 people die of mesothelioma annually because of asbestos exposure. Early Recognition of the Dangers of Asbestos Asbestos is a fibrous mineral … Continue reading The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos »

Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis

medical thoracoscopy

UK researchers say a minimally invasive procedure called medical thoracoscopy is safe and effective for diagnosing mesothelioma and treating its symptoms.  The word comes from a large medical center in Northumberland. The UK has one of the highest rates of pleural mesothelioma in the world. Rates of pleural mesothelioma in Northumberland are especially high.  Mesothelioma diagnosis usually requires a biopsy. The new study finds that medical thoracoscopy enabled “high diagnostic sensitivity” with few serious complications.   Understanding Medical Thoracoscopy Medical thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the pleura. The pleura is a membrane that surrounds the lung. People with mesothelioma and some other diseases can develop fluid between the pleura and the lungs. The fluid is … Continue reading Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

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