Genetics Affect Accuracy of SMRP Test for Mesothelioma

SMRP test for mesothelioma

The SMRP test for mesothelioma is a tool doctors use to help diagnose asbestos cancer and plan treatment. But new research suggests that the test is not as useful as it could be due to genetic variability.  Slovenian doctors say a person’s genetics influence how much SMRP they produce.  Based on their research, they recommend combining the SMRP test for mesothelioma with genetic testing. Their findings suggest the combination method produces a more accurate and useful mesothelioma biomarker. What is the SMRP Test for Mesothelioma? SMRP stands for soluble mesothelin-related peptides. They are produced when proteins found in the mesothelial membranes start to break down. Malignant mesothelioma is one condition that can trigger this breakdown.  As a mesothelioma tumor grows … Continue reading Genetics Affect Accuracy of SMRP Test for Mesothelioma »

The Importance of Subtype in PET Scanning for Mesothelioma Prognosis

PET scanning for mesothelioma

A new study of PET scanning for mesothelioma prognosis shows how much radioactive tracer a tumor absorbs can predict survival. This is especially true in people with the epithelioid mesothelioma subtype.  The study comes from the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea. Researchers studied the medical records of dozens of mesothelioma patients diagnosed between 2009 and 2018. They found that SUVmax, a key factor in PET scanning for mesothelioma, is directly related to mesothelioma survival.  How PET Scanning Works Mesothelioma diagnosis is challenging. Pleural mesothelioma grows quickly on the membrane around the lungs. It is one of the rarest and deadliest cancers. Positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT) can help with diagnosis.  During a … Continue reading The Importance of Subtype in PET Scanning for Mesothelioma Prognosis »

Invasiveness of Peritoneal Mesothelioma: MRI Beats CT for Assessment

invasvieness of peritoneal mesothelioma

New research shows MRI beats CT when it comes to measuring the invasiveness of peritoneal mesothelioma. Scientists from several of the top US cancer centers ran the study. It included nearly 500 mesothelioma patients and appears in the journal Clinical Colorectal Cancer.  The study shows that the invasiveness of peritoneal mesothelioma is more visible on MRI than it is on CT. The news could make a difference in how doctors plan peritoneal mesothelioma treatment.  Peritoneal Cancer Index and Mesothelioma Peritoneal mesothelioma cancer grows on the peritoneal membrane lining the abdomen. Like all forms of mesothelioma, it usually comes from exposure to asbestos. Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for about a fifth of all mesothelioma cases.  Doctors assess the invasiveness of peritoneal mesothelioma … Continue reading Invasiveness of Peritoneal Mesothelioma: MRI Beats CT for Assessment »

Mesothelioma Recurrence After PD Surgery

mesothelioma recurrence after PD surgery

A new study finds that mesothelioma recurrence after PD surgery is common but most patients still live for more than a year afterwards. More than a third were still alive three years after recurrence. The study included 90 Japanese patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.  Those who lived for at least a year without mesothelioma recurrence after PD surgery had the best chance of longer term survival. A good performance status and undergoing additional treatment were also key to better outcomes.  Understanding Pleurectomy with Decortication (PD) Surgery Pleural mesothelioma is a virulent cancer that occurs on the membrane around the lungs. There is no cure for mesothelioma. Even with the best treatment, the cancer usually comes back. The goal of most … Continue reading Mesothelioma Recurrence After PD Surgery »

It May Be Possible to Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma with Help from AI

predict recurrence of mesothelioma

A newly-published report suggests that artificial intelligence (AI) might help pathologists predict recurrence of mesothelioma. The report focuses on technology developed by the RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP) in Japan. The Center claims the computer program taught itself to recognize key features in images of cancer.  Some of the features were ones that even pathologists did not know about. The findings suggest that AI and pathologists could predict recurrence of mesothelioma better than pathologists alone.  How AI Might Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma  A computer program usually has to be “taught” to perform a certain task. But this limits how far the learning can go. Instead of “teaching” it about cancer, researchers let the RIKEN technology learn on its … Continue reading It May Be Possible to Predict Recurrence of Mesothelioma with Help from AI »

Antibiotic May Boost Response to Radiation Therapy for Mesothelioma

response to radiation therapy

A common antibiotic may improve mesothelioma patients’ response to radiation therapy.  The concept is based on new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Doctors there gave the antibiotic vancomycin to genetically modified mice. The mice had been modified to develop cancer. Mice that got the antibiotic had a better response to radiation therapy than untreated mice.  The effect applied not only to the treated tumor but also to tumors outside the treatment area. A heightened response to radiation therapy could be good news for patients with metastatic mesothelioma.  Understanding Cancer Response to Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy combats malignant mesothelioma by disrupting the DNA inside cancer cells. Mesothelioma tumors are irregularly-shaped which can make them … Continue reading Antibiotic May Boost Response to Radiation Therapy for Mesothelioma »

Is There a Risk for Depression Among Pleural Mesothelioma Patients?

risk for depression

Newly diagnosed pleural mesothelioma patients may be at higher risk for depression and that could be impacting their outcomes.   A new report finds that people diagnosed with advanced lung cancers are more likely to suffer from depression. Pleural mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer.  This risk for depression appears to have an impact on patients’ quality of life, their pain, and even the number of complications they experience.  Assessing the Risk for Depression in Cancer Patients Researchers at Ohio State University directed the study. It included 186 patients with Stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer. The patients had not yet started their cancer treatment.  Although pleural mesothelioma is not the same as non-small cell lung cancer, the two diseases share … Continue reading Is There a Risk for Depression Among Pleural Mesothelioma Patients? »

Mesothelioma Registry Could Improve Outcomes, Prevent Future Cases

mesothelioma registry

A distinguished team of scientists are calling for a national mesothelioma registry they say could improve outcomes. If the registry collects and provides the right information, they say it could even help prevent future mesothelioma cases. Experts from the CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and several top US cancer centers participated in a workshop on the topic. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation convened the workshop. The group says existing tumor registries at some cancer centers are not as useful as a national mesothelioma registry. But coordinating a national registry will require government support. What is a Mesothelioma Registry? Malignant mesothelioma is a rare cancer which makes it hard to study. A national mesothelioma registry is … Continue reading Mesothelioma Registry Could Improve Outcomes, Prevent Future Cases »

Pleural Mesothelioma Staging: These Overlooked Lymph Nodes Might Help

pleural mesothelioma staging

An often-ignored set of lymph nodes behind the ribs could help make pleural mesothelioma staging more accurate and valuable.  Staging is the process of determining how advanced a patient’s cancer is. It involves looking at various different factors and assigning a rating between 0 and 4. A higher stage indicates more extensive cancer. A new report suggests that the posterior intercostal lymph nodes behind the ribs play a more important role in pleural mesothelioma staging than previously thought. Mesothelioma patients with cancer in these nodes lived half as long as other mesothelioma patients.  Researchers in Maryland and Pennsylvania say removing and examining these nodes may lead to more accurate staging, more informed treatment decisions, and better outcomes.   How Lymph Nodes … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Staging: These Overlooked Lymph Nodes Might Help »

The Pathological Diagnosis of Mesothelioma: New Recommendations

pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma

An international team of researchers says it is time to refine the pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma. They are recommending a list of changes they say could make the process more effective. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Under current pathology guidelines, it falls into just three categories. But the research team says those guidelines do not give doctors enough information. They recommend updates to make the pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma more specific.  Understanding Mesothelioma Pathology Pathologists study body tissue, fluids, and cells that are surgically removed. The pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma involves looking at cells under a microscope. Cells can then be put into a category.  About three quarters of mesothelioma cases are epithelioid. Epithelioid mesothelioma is … Continue reading The Pathological Diagnosis of Mesothelioma: New Recommendations »

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