Study Confirms Feasibility and Safety of Minimally Invasive Mesothelioma Surgery

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 »

Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Lung Fluid Testing Has its Limits

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Lung fluid tests for malignant mesothelioma are accurate less than half the time according to cancer researchers at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Hospital. The production of excess lung fluid (pleural effusions) is a common side effect of mesothelioma, as well as a number of other malignant and non-malignant conditions. In mesothelioma patients, this buildup of fluid often leads to breathlessness and chest pain. Because this fluid can contain cells from a growing tumor, doctors have used lung fluid testing, also known as cytologic analysis, to identify certain types of cancer, including pleural mesothelioma. But a new study published in the Internal Medicine Journal suggests that, especially with mesothelioma, lung fluid testing is only moderately effective and must be combined with other … Continue reading Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Lung Fluid Testing Has its Limits »

Mesothelioma Outcomes Better at High Volume Facilities

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A new study provides more evidence that malignant pleural mesothelioma patients considering surgery would do well to seek out a facility that does a lot of them. Researchers found that mesothelioma patients tend to have fewer complications and shorter hospital stays when they are treated at high volume facilities. The new study is based on data from the National Cancer Database and is published in the latest issue of the journal Lung Cancer. It defines a “high volume facility” as a medical facility that falls into the 90th percentile in terms of the number of pleural mesothelioma surgeries done there. All other facilities were classified as lower volume facilities (LVFs). HVFs vs LVFs for Mesothelioma Treatment Of the 1307 mesothelioma … Continue reading Mesothelioma Outcomes Better at High Volume Facilities »

Mesothelioma Patients May Benefit From Kindness, Study Reveals

A study of more than 400 patients and their families shows that people coping with cancers such as malignant mesothelioma do better when their medical caregivers show them kindness. The study was originally published in the Journal of Oncology Practice and identifies six specific types of kindness that can help to ease the pain and challenges of mesothelioma treatment. High Tech Must Be Balanced by “High Touch” In the introduction to the report, Dr. Leonard Berry, a University Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Texas A&M University, says high tech therapies for mesothelioma and other cancers  should be balanced by “high touch” from caregivers. “Simple kindness can help to diffuse negative emotions that are associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment—and may … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patients May Benefit From Kindness, Study Reveals »

What Type of Mesothelioma Do I Have? CT May Be Able to Tell

Researchers from one of the country’s top cancer centers say it may be possible to tell what subtype of pleural mesothelioma a person has by using computed tomography (CT). Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive lung-related cancer for which patients and their doctors must develop a treatment plan quickly to get ahead of the disease. The challenge is that, not only is mesothelioma highly resistant to standard cancer treatment, but different subtypes of mesothelioma are often managed with different drugs and therapies. The new study from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York suggests that CT may offer an accurate and non-invasive way to classify mesothelioma patients which could speed the treatment planning process and lead to longer mesothelioma survival. … Continue reading What Type of Mesothelioma Do I Have? CT May Be Able to Tell »

New Technology Could Change How Mesothelioma Treatment is Monitored

New technology could eventually make it easier, less painful, and less expensive to track the progress of patients undergoing treatment for malignant mesothelioma and other cancers. A research team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison pharmacy professor Seungpyo Hong has developed what they say is a more efficient method for capturing free-floating cancer cells in the blood. The developers say the system is far more effective than existing systems at capturing these hard-to-find circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and could be used to supplement other technologies for tracking cancer treatment. Mesothelioma Biopsy vs CTC Tracking Although mesothelioma therapies have advanced in recent years, there is still no cure for the asbestos-linked cancer. As scientists work to develop new kinds of treatments like … Continue reading New Technology Could Change How Mesothelioma Treatment is Monitored »

Blood Test May Not Predict Mesothelioma Survival as Well as Hoped

A new Japanese study is calling into question the value of a common prognostic test for people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The test is called the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio or NLR and it is used in many types of diseases, including mesothelioma, as a marker for inflammation. But in a new report published in the journal In Vivo, researchers with the Hyogo Prefectural Amagasaki General Medical Center say they found no relationship between NLR and overall survival in 143 mesothelioma patients. Instead, the scientists found that a different inflammation marker called C-reactive protein-to-albumin ratio (CAR) was a much better predictor of overall mesothelioma survival. How Does NLR Relate to Mesothelioma? Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cells in … Continue reading Blood Test May Not Predict Mesothelioma Survival as Well as Hoped »

Simple Blood Test Detects Mesothelioma Progression

Malignant mesothelioma patients may not need multiple CT scans to tell whether their cancer has progressed in the months after  chemotherapy treatment. UK researchers say a simple blood test to check their levels of the protein mesothelin costs less, requires fewer hospital visits, and is 96 percent accurate in most mesothelioma patients.   Measuring Mesothelioma Progression The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Bristol who recruited 41 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma to participate for at least a year after the end of their treatment. The mesothelioma patients included in the study had received either chemotherapy or best supportive care. At the end of chemotherapy (or from baseline in the patients receiving best supportive care), patients had … Continue reading Simple Blood Test Detects Mesothelioma Progression »

Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Disparities Seen in Lung Cancer Patients, Too

A new study on treatment disparities among lung cancer patients reflects a trend that has been documented among mesothelioma patients, as well; patients who are black or economically disadvantaged are less likely to get potentially life-saving treatments. Like non-small cell lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma affects the lungs. The standard of care is for patients to have a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For malignant mesothelioma patients as well as those with lung cancer, surgery may also be recommended. But a study conducted by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia finds that the standard treatments are often not offered to elderly patients, especially if they are black and live in a poor area. Elderly Lung Cancer Patients May Miss Out … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Disparities Seen in Lung Cancer Patients, Too »

Mesothelioma Survival After Talc Pleurodesis

Pleural mesothelioma patients considering pleurodesis for excess lung fluid should know that there is very little data on how this procedure may affect survival or even quality of life. That is the conclusion of researchers at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. Scientists with the Institute for Translational Epidemiology combed the medical literature for studies demonstrating mesothelioma survival after talc pleurodesis for lung fluid buildup. They did not find much useful information. Given how often the procedure is used to treat lung fluid accumulation in mesothelioma patients, they say more study is needed to help patients and doctors to make more informed decisions. Talc Pleurodesis in Pleural Mesothelioma Talc pleurodesis is one of the methods used to alleviate pleural … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival After Talc Pleurodesis »

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