Does Pleural Fluid Exposure Affect Mesothelioma Survival?

pleural fluid

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? »

Immunotherapy Treatment ONCOS-102: News Keeps Getting Better

immunotherapy treatment

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 »

Effectiveness of Keytruda: Dutch Study Offers Clues for Prediction

effectiveness of Keytruda

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 »

Treatment with Dendritic Cells Leads to Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival in Small Studies

dendritic cells

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 »

Risk of Mesothelioma in Women May be Underestimated

risk of mesothelioma in women

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 »

Higher PD-L1 Protein May Predict Shorter Mesothelioma Survival

PD-L1 protein

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 »

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 »

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