PET/CT Scans May Be Less Accurate in Elderly Mesothelioma Patients

pet/ct scans

Researchers at Case Western Reserve are warning cancer doctors not to rely too heavily on PET/CT scans when diagnosing malignant mesothelioma – especially in older patients. PET/CT is an important tool for staging mesothelioma and can help with diagnosis. But a new case report highlights the problem of false-negative PET/CT scans.  In this case involving a 77-year-old man, PET/CT showed no mesothelioma. Even the man’s lung fluid tests were negative for mesothelioma. The case is a potent reminder that biopsy is still the gold standard for diagnosing asbestos cancer.  PET/CT Scans and Other Tools for Diagnosing Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a tricky cancer to diagnose. Most patients do not even have symptoms until the disease is in a later stage. … Continue reading PET/CT Scans May Be Less Accurate in Elderly Mesothelioma Patients »

Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes

physical function

A patient’s level of physical function prior to mesothelioma surgery is a strong predictor of how well they will do after surgery. That is the conclusion of a new University of Maryland study. Researchers analyzed the cases of 54 pleural mesothelioma patients before and after lung-sparing P/D surgery.  The goal was to see what factors had the biggest impact on their post-surgical outcomes. Patients underwent lung function and physical function tests both before and after their operations.  It turns out that a mesothelioma patient’s ability to be physically active is even more important than their lung function in predicting their recovery. Lung-Sparing Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the multi-layer membrane (pleura) that surrounds the lungs. As … Continue reading Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes »

CT Evaluation Correlates with Actual Mesothelioma Tumor Volume, Subtype, and Survival

CT evaluation

Two new studies highlight the value of CT evaluation for patients with either peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma.  CT stands for computed tomography. The technology uses X-rays to create three dimensional images of internal structures.  The studies show CT evaluation can give doctors an accurate idea of the size and extent of mesothelioma tumors. These scans can also help predict which patients have the best odds of survival. This helps doctors plan better, more effective treatment strategies.  What is Malignant Mesothelioma? Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that grows on the membranes around internal organs. The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. This kind of tumor starts on the pleural membrane around the lungs.  Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for … Continue reading CT Evaluation Correlates with Actual Mesothelioma Tumor Volume, Subtype, and Survival »

New Test May Help Doctors Choose the Best Mesothelioma Surgery

best mesothelioma surgery

A new predictive model may make it easier for cancer doctors to choose the best mesothelioma surgery for each pleural mesothelioma patient.  There are two major surgical approaches for pleural mesothelioma. One involves removal of a lung and the other does not.  Right now, the choice about which surgery to have is based on patient demographics, symptoms, and lab values. Which surgery is most common at the institution may also play a role. Many surgeons have strong opinions about which is the best mesothelioma surgery.   But Harvard researchers say the new predictive model they tested is a better way to stratify mesothelioma patients. Their study suggests that this approach may lead to better treatment outcomes and more accurate clinical trials.  … Continue reading New Test May Help Doctors Choose the Best Mesothelioma Surgery »

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Prognosis: Searching for New Factors

peritoneal mesothelioma prognosis

An international research study including patients from 11 countries may help reveal new and better ways to predict peritoneal mesothelioma prognosis.  Right now, doctors use three primary criteria to determine peritoneal mesothelioma prognosis. Those are how much cancer was in the abdomen at the time of surgery, how complete the surgery was, and the tumor grade.  But about 70 percent of people treated for peritoneal cancers like mesothelioma have recurrent disease. The goal of the new study is to find more prognostic factors. Knowing these factors could help doctors make better choices about which patients are most likely to benefit from cytoreductive surgery (CRS).  The CRS/HIPEC Procedure for Mesothelioma Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs on the lining of the abdomen. Peritoneal mesothelioma … Continue reading Peritoneal Mesothelioma Prognosis: Searching for New Factors »

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? »

Treatment Advances Fail to Improve Mesothelioma Survival Trends

mesothelioma survival trends

A new report shows mesothelioma survival trends have remained steady for decades, despite new drugs, new surgery techniques, and the introduction of pleural catheters.  The report comes from cancer researchers at Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre in Canada. Canada has one of the world’s highest rates of malignant pleural mesothelioma. This is likely related to the country’s long history of asbestos production. To compile the new report, researchers compared mesothelioma outcomes in three different decades between 1991 and 2019. There were surprisingly few differences in mesothelioma survival trends in the three decades.  Mesothelioma’s Destructive History Pleural mesothelioma is a virulent cancer of the pleural membrane. This is the tissue or mesothelium that surrounds the lungs. It is thin but flexible and … Continue reading Treatment Advances Fail to Improve Mesothelioma Survival Trends »

Concerning CT Findings and Mesothelioma Prognosis

Concerning CT Findings

One of the nation’s top mesothelioma doctors says concerning CT findings may be one of the best ways to predict peritoneal mesothelioma outcomes.  Dr. Paul Sugarbaker is with MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. His newly published study compares 11 different concerning CT findings with outcomes in 100 mesothelioma patients.  Sugarbaker and his team found that the prognostic value of these 11 CT features is on a par with peritoneal cancer index (PCI) and cytoreduction (CC) score. It means that CT findings could become even more important for mesothelioma treatment planning.  CT Scans Reveal Information About Peritoneal Mesothelioma Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs on the lining around the abdomen. It is an aggressive and hard-to-treat cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. … Continue reading Concerning CT Findings and Mesothelioma Prognosis »

Prognostic Value of PET/CT in Pleural Mesothelioma Patients

prognostic value of PET/CT

New data highlights the prognostic value of PET/CT scans for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare malignancy with a poor prognosis. But some patients tend to do better than others. Scientists are always looking for better ways to predict which patients will respond best to which treatment. A new Turkish study focused on the prognostic value of scans that measure tumor volume and metabolic activity. They conclude that PET/CT is a valuable way to predict mesothelioma outcomes. Doctors can use the information to help plan for chemotherapy or surgical treatment.  How PET/CT Scans Work Doctors have been aware of malignant mesothelioma since the 1930s. That is when it first started appearing among asbestos workers. But there … Continue reading Prognostic Value of PET/CT in Pleural Mesothelioma Patients »

Age and Smoking Less Important Than Other Factors for Mesothelioma Outcomes

age and smoking

A newly published study suggests that a mesothelioma patient’s age and smoking history is less important to prognosis than certain biomarkers or what treatment they choose. The study comes from scientists at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases in Mexico City.  They performed a retrospective analysis of 136 patients with pleural mesothelioma. The goal was to see which factors played the biggest role in outcomes. Age and smoking were among seven factors evaluated. It turns out they were not the most important ones.  Who Gets Pleural Mesothelioma? Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most closely associated with asbestos exposure. Most people who get it have lived or worked around asbestos. Mesothelioma can take decades to develop. Most patients are over 65.  … Continue reading Age and Smoking Less Important Than Other Factors for Mesothelioma Outcomes »

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