It is official – the VEGF inhibitor Ofev is out of the running as a treatment for pleural mesothelioma. Hopes had been high for this drug after initial results showed a survival advantage. For the last two years, Ofev (nintedanib) was the subject of a large, international clinical trial. But now the leaders of that trial have published their Phase III trial results in The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine. They show that Ofev did not extend survival and is not an effective treatment for pleural mesothelioma. Why Hopes Were High for Ofev Ofev is an oral medication that stops cancer cells from producing a protein called VEGF. VEGF promotes the growth of blood vessels that help mesothelioma tumors grow. VEGF may … Continue reading Ofev Shelved as a Treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma
A group of mesothelioma experts from around the world has identified a set of criteria linked with longer mesothelioma survival. They are hopeful that their research will help doctors identify mesothelioma patients who fall into this longer-living group and direct them to the special care they may need to stay healthier, longer. In a new article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, some of the world’s leading mesothelioma researchers, including scientists from Stanford University, New York University Langone Medical Center, The University of Hawaii, the Hyogo College of Medicine in Japan, and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, say mesothelioma patients who meet these criteria should consider genetic counseling and cancer screening. Criteria for Improved Mesothelioma Outcomes The report was based … Continue reading This Subset of Mesothelioma Patients May Live Longer
In the quest to develop new, more effective first-line treatments for malignant pleural mesothelioma, it now looks like Ofev (nintedanib) is out of the running. Phase III results of the LUME-Meso mesothelioma trial are in and they contain some disappointing news for mesothelioma patients and for the drug’s developer, Boehringer Ingelheim. The news is especially disappointing since the results of the Phase II portion of the trial, released last year, looked promising. At that time, researchers reported a survival gain of more than 5 months among the Ofev-treated mesothelioma patients and progression-free survival of four months. But further research did not support those results, as investigators announced to the world’s lung cancer experts at the IASLC 19th World Lung Cancer … Continue reading Ofev Fails to Boost Mesothelioma Survival in New Study
Calling it an “extremely promising therapeutic option” that demonstrates “an impressive extension of median overall survival”, researchers testing a new type of pleural mesothelioma treatment announced the final results of their phase II clinical trial this week. Tumor Treating Fields, a creation of Jersey-based Novocare, are alternating electric fields that destabilize critical proteins, disrupting mesothelioma tumor cell division and killing them. As Surviving Mesothelioma first reported in April, early tests of the technology looked promising. But the final results of the STELLAR phase 2 mesothelioma clinical trial, released this week, are even better than expected. Researchers say Tumor Treating Fields may even become part of the new standard of care for pleural mesothelioma. Tumor Treating Fields Gain Momentum in … Continue reading Electricity-based Mesothelioma Treatment Moves a Step Closer to FDA Approval
New research suggests that the future of surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma could be much less invasive than it is now—at least for select patients. The study focused on patients with tumors that had spread to the peritoneal membrane that lines the abdomen. This is the place where malignant mesothelioma starts. In a report published in the journal Surgical Endoscopy, an international team of experts concludes that minimally invasive surgery for peritoneal cancers like malignant mesothelioma is both feasible and safe and should be considered for certain patients. CRS/HIPEC Standard of Care for Malignant Mesothelioma Currently, the standard of care for peritoneal mesothelioma is cytoreductive surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible followed by a rinse of heated … Continue reading Study Confirms Feasibility and Safety of Minimally Invasive Mesothelioma Surgery
There may be a new treatment option on the horizon for mesothelioma patients whose cancer has come back again after treatment. Researchers in the UK are even predicting that this drug could become the new standard of care for relapsed malignant mesothelioma. The drug is nivolumab, a PD-1 inhibitor sold under the brand name Opdivo. Already approved for the treatment of recurrent non-small cell lung cancer, nivolumab has been shown in recent clinical trials to reduce the size of mesothelioma tumors and may even extend mesothelioma survival. Opdivo in the News If you think you have been hearing more about nivolumab in the news lately, you are right. Laboratory results have suggested that this immunotherapy drug could be one of … Continue reading Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment?
New evidence shows there is wide disparity in global rates of malignant mesothelioma, the aggressive disease also known as “asbestos cancer”. The study compared cross sectional mortality rates over a four-year period, as well as trends over almost 20 years (1994 – 2013). The data was compiled by Egyptian oncologist Omar Abdel-Rahman of Ain Shams University in Cairo and reveals almost a 10-fold variation in mortality rates between the highest and lowest of the 30 countries studied. Highest and Lowest Mesothelioma Death Rates Among the 30 countries, the UK had the highest number of per capita mesothelioma deaths—6.25 per 100,000 people. The UK’s high mesothelioma rates have been blamed on the widespread use of asbestos-containing products in the rebuilding of … Continue reading Study Finds Wide Disparity in Global Mesothelioma Rates
The news this week that a compound found in asparagus and other foods may contribute to the spread of breast cancer has some wondering if patients with other types of cancer – such as malignant pleural mesothelioma – should stop eating asparagus. The study appears in the journal Nature and suggests that asparagine may fuel the mechanism that helps certain kinds of breast cancer cells metastasize to other parts of the body. But what does the news mean for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma? What Did the Study Show? In the new study conducted by an international team of scientists, researchers found that mice with higher levels of asparagine had faster-growing triple-negative breast cancer tumors. The good news is that researchers … Continue reading Should Mesothelioma Patients Give Up Asparagus to Boost Survival?
There has been an exciting new development in the treatment of one of the most aggressive forms of peritoneal mesothelioma. Biphasic mesothelioma is a variant of malignant mesothelioma that is even less responsive to standard cancer treatments than the more common epithelioid subtype. Many studies of peritoneal mesothelioma treatment have focused on people with the epithelioid form of the asbestos cancer, but much less is known about the most effective ways to treat people with biphasic mesothelioma. Now, a multicenter, international research study suggests that a treatment protocol that has extended survival in epithelioid peritoneal mesothelioma patients may do the same for biphasic patients. CRS/HIPEC Treatment for Peritoneal Mesothelioma The treatment, known as cytoreductive surgery (CRS) with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy … Continue reading CRS/HIPEC May Extend Survival in Rare Form of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
A new study of former South African mine workers suggests that too many asbestos-related diseases may be going undiagnosed. The study conducted by researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand and the National Institute for Occupational Health in Johannesburg found that, in a cohort of 149 workers, more than half of the cases of malignant mesothelioma were missed until after the patient had died. With cases of asbestos-related lung cancer, the difference between the number of cases identified by an autopsy and the number of cases actually diagnosed in the patient’s lifetime was even more dramatic – 22 identifications on autopsy versus just 3 lung cancer diagnoses. Doctors diagnosed 52 cases of the lung-scarring disease asbestosis among the studied workers, … Continue reading Miner Study Finds Mesothelioma Often Undiagnosed