Banning Asbestos Still Best Way to Prevent Mesothelioma

Banning Asbestos

A new Spanish report concludes that banning asbestos is the most effective way to prevent new cases of mesothelioma and asbestos-linked lung cancer.  Experts in epidemiology and occupational health conducted the research. Their report appears in a recent issue of the Spanish medical journal, Gaceta Sanitaria. The research shows that all types of asbestos raise the risk for lung cancer and mesothelioma and that some are extra dangerous. The study found that people exposed to needle-shaped amphibole asbestos fibers had the highest rates of illness.  They say the only way to fully protect people against both amphibole and serpentine asbestos (the other major category) is banning asbestos completely. Asbestos Restrictions in the US The US EPA, the Department of Health … Continue reading Banning Asbestos Still Best Way to Prevent Mesothelioma »

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 »

Non-Incisional Pleurectomy/Decortication for Mesothelioma

non-incisional pleurectomy/decortication

Non-incisional pleurectomy/decortication could be the wave of the future for malignant mesothelioma treatment.  Environmental health experts in Japan say it is possible to remove the diseased pleural lining in a person with mesothelioma without making incisions that could spread their cancer.  The procedure is called non-incisional pleurectomy/decortication. It is a new way to perform mesothelioma surgery that may be safer, faster, and more effective.  Japanese researchers recently published a report on their experience with the technique. The report appears in the newest issue of General Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Surgical Treatment of Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of asbestos cancer. It occurs on the pleura, a thin membrane surrounding the lungs. From there, pleural mesothelioma can … Continue reading Non-Incisional Pleurectomy/Decortication for Mesothelioma »

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 »

P/D Surgery for Mesothelioma Improves Quality of Life Regardless of Lung Function

P/D Surgery for Mesothelioma

Japanese researchers say P/D surgery for mesothelioma improves quality of life for most patients, even if their lung function gets worse.  Doctors at the Hyogo College of Medicine tracked the cases of forty-five patients who had P/D surgery for mesothelioma between 2014 and 2018.  Lung function tests showed most pleural mesothelioma patients could not breathe as well after surgery as they did before. Their energy, vitality, and social functioning also decreased. But patients reported better mental health after surgery and significantly less pain.  The researchers conclude that quality of life after P/D surgery for mesothelioma may have less to do with breathing than previously thought.  What is P/D Surgery for Mesothelioma? Pleural mesothelioma tumors grow on the pleura, a thin … Continue reading P/D Surgery for Mesothelioma Improves Quality of Life Regardless of Lung Function »

Mesothelioma Surgeries Carry Similar Mortality Risk, Study Finds

mesothelioma surgeries

The two major types of mesothelioma surgeries carry similar risk of death, according to a new study from cancer researchers in Japan.  One surgery involves removing the diseased pleural lining and one of the lungs. The other surgery removes many of the same tissues but leaves the lungs intact.  Surgeons around the world are divided as to which of these mesothelioma surgeries is best. Mesothelioma patients have more complications with lung-removing surgery. But some studies suggest it could lead to longer survival.  The 4-year Japanese study included more than 600 patients. It suggests that the likelihood of dying is similar with either of these mesothelioma surgeries.  Surgical Treatment of Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of asbestos … Continue reading Mesothelioma Surgeries Carry Similar Mortality Risk, Study Finds »

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