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
Doctors in Cameroon and Turkey say two types of African plants deserve more study as potential treatments for malignant mesothelioma and other intractable cancers. The plants, including Elephantopus mollis,, Kalanchoe crenata, and four other medicinal plants, contain compounds that triggered cell death when tested on mesothelioma cells in the laboratory. At present, there is no cure for mesothelioma and no drugs that consistently slow its progression. Even the most powerful anti-cancer drugs in use today typically have only a modest effect on this aggressive asbestos-linked malignancy. Testing Plant Extracts on Mesothelioma Tumor Cells For their new study, scientists at two Cameroonian universities and Anadolu University in Turkey utilized the methanol extracts from the whole Elephantopus mollis plant (EMW), the bark … Continue reading Searching for New Mesothelioma Drugs Among African Plants
Could compounds found in African plants hold the key to fighting intractable malignant mesothelioma? That is the suggestion of a new study conducted by an international team of researchers including scientists in Cameroon and Kenya. The study published in a recent issue of BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology, focused on naturally occurring quinones, organic compounds found in bacteria, certain fungi, and in various plants, including some found in Kenya. Quinones as Cancer Fighters The new study focused on 14 different naturally occurring quinones including three in the group anthraquinones, one naphthoquinone and ten benzoquinones. The substances were tested on six types of cancer cells, including malignant mesothelioma, as well as on normal connective tissue cells called fibroblasts. Specifically, the researchers were … Continue reading African Plants May Offer New Ways to Treat Mesothelioma
If you have malignant mesothelioma, evidence suggests that you have a higher-than-normal risk of also developing another type of cancer, either before or after your mesothelioma diagnosis. The research was carried out by a team of international scientists who examined the cases of more than 5,000 mesothelioma patients around the world. Second Primary Cancers After Mesothelioma In the first study of both secondary cancers after mesothelioma, and vice versa, the team first looked at cancer that developed after mesothelioma in 3,672 survivors of pleural mesothelioma and 895 peritoneal mesothelioma survivors. Among these patients, they found a higher incidence of kidney cancer within a year after a mesothelioma diagnosis. For all other cancers, although the incidence was still higher than normal, … Continue reading The Link Between Malignant Mesothelioma and Other Cancers