Immunohistochemical Staining and Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma: Beyond the Lab

immunohistochemical staining

When it comes to understanding individual cases of sarcomatoid mesothelioma, doctors should not rely too heavily on immunohistochemical staining.  That conclusion comes from mesothelioma researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.  The researchers just released a new study focused on this rare mesothelioma subtype. A patient’s subtype has an impact on what kind of treatment could work best for them. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is usually less responsive to chemotherapy. Immunohistochemical staining is a pathology technique. It is the main way that doctors tell the difference between mesothelioma subtypes.  But the MD Anderson report suggests that not all cases of sarcomatoid mesothelioma are created equal. The researchers say it is important to look beyond the lab findings to understand individual cases. … Continue reading Immunohistochemical Staining and Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma: Beyond the Lab »

Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments

different mesothelioma subtypes

A group of European pathologists say the different mesothelioma subtypes have significant differences in their pattern of gene expression. Exploiting these differences could help scientists craft more effective mesothelioma treatments.  Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. But doctors know that genetics play a role, too. Newly-approved immunotherapy drugs target proteins expressed by specific genes. But these drugs work much better in some mesothelioma patients than they do in others.  The new study suggests that differences in the genetic profiles of different mesothelioma subtypes could help explain why.  Immunotherapy Drugs for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is an up-and-coming treatment approach for mesothelioma and other cancers. It harnesses the power of the person’s immune system to fight cancer.  In people with mesothelioma, … Continue reading Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination

immunotherapy combination

An immunotherapy combination of tremelimumab and durvalumab has resulted in long-term survival for some mesothelioma patients in a new follow-up Italian study.  Tremelimumab and durvalumab (Imfinzi) received orphan drug designation from the FDA last year for liver cancer. Now, it looks like this immunotherapy combination could help some people with the rare asbestos cancer, too.  Mesothelioma patients who had the best results in the new study were those with a high number of mutated genes. Mesothelioma is often fatal within a year. But the longest-living patient in the study survived for more than 41 months.  Immunotherapy Combination Blocks Key Proteins White blood cells have the power to help combat mesothelioma. But a protein called CTLA-4 can block that ability. Tremelimumab … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination »

Genetic Links to Mesothelioma Illustrated in New Interactive Model

genetic links to mesothelioma

An interactive model of protein interactions could reveal new genetic links to mesothelioma and even lead to new treatments.  The model is the brainchild of researchers in the US and India. It is a map of the thousands of protein-to-protein interactions that govern how mesothelioma cells develop, thrive, and spread.  Understanding the genetic links to mesothelioma is key to understanding who gets the disease and who does not. It is also crucial for developing new therapies aimed at manipulating the way mesothelioma cells use certain proteins.  Proteins Govern Cellular Functions Mesothelioma is a cancer of the membranes around organs. Asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma worldwide. But only a small percentage of people who are exposed to asbestos go … Continue reading Genetic Links to Mesothelioma Illustrated in New Interactive Model »

CRS/HIPEC Procedure Has Improved Over Time, Study Finds

CRS/HIPEC Procedure

A new French study contains some good news for people considering the CRS/HIPEC procedure for peritoneal mesothelioma.  The CRS/HIPEC procedure combines surgical resection with localized chemotherapy. Its aim is to remove or destroy as many mesothelioma cells as possible in the abdomen.  French researchers studied the evolution of the procedure over time. They discovered that it has improved. As a result, people with peritoneal cancers like malignant mesothelioma are living longer.  Cytoreductive Surgery for Mesothelioma Peritoneal mesothelioma causes tumors on the peritoneal membrane that lines the abdomen. Like other forms of mesothelioma, the cause is usually asbestos exposure.  Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) is an operation to remove tumors from the abdomen. Mesothelioma tumors may be confined to the peritoneal membrane, or … Continue reading CRS/HIPEC Procedure Has Improved Over Time, Study Finds »

Real-World Mesothelioma Patients Need New Systemic Treatments

real-world mesothelioma patients

The newest study on real-world mesothelioma patients illustrates the need for more ways to treat this devastating cancer.  Many studies focus on a carefully-chosen subset of patients. Patients have to meet specific guidelines to qualify for a mesothelioma clinical trial.  But the authors of a new report in Future Oncology focused on real-world mesothelioma patients in community clinics. The goal was to see what kinds of treatments these patients got and how well they worked.  The results show most people do not have other treatments after first-line therapy. They also suggest that mesothelioma doctors and patients need new first-line alternatives.  First- and Second-Line Mesothelioma Therapies Malignant mesothelioma is the name for cancer on the membranes around internal organs. Pleural mesothelioma … Continue reading Real-World Mesothelioma Patients Need New Systemic Treatments »

Irradiating Procedure Tracts Reduces Metastatic Mesothelioma in New Study

metastatic pleural mesothelioma

Irradiating the tracts through which certain interventions are performed can reduce the risk of metastatic pleural mesothelioma. That word comes from a new study in Singapore.  The pleural form of malignant mesothelioma occurs on the lining around the lungs. Doctors often have to insert tools through the chest wall for diagnosis or treatment. The paths or tracts along which they insert those tools can be the site of new mesothelioma tumors.  But the study shows that timely radiation treatment of those paths may prevent metastatic pleural mesothelioma. Metastatic Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis is when cancer cells move from their original site to another place in the body. A tumor that is contained in one spot is easier to treat or remove. … Continue reading Irradiating Procedure Tracts Reduces Metastatic Mesothelioma in New Study »

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 »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102

long-term mesothelioma survival

The makers of the immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102 have released promising new data on its ability to promote long-term mesothelioma survival. The report came less than two weeks after ONCOS-102 got FDA approval to fast-track its development.  ONCOS-102 is an investigational treatment made from a modified virus. The virus helps the treatment target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone.  The new long-term mesothelioma survival data shows half of people on ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy have lived for 21 months. And the study is not over yet. Typical survival with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy is about a year.  Targovax says the data shows how valuable ONCOS-102 could be for patients with this rare but aggressive malignancy. Standard of Care for Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102 »

Visualizing the Immune Profile of Mesothelioma Patients

immune profile

Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have come up with a better way to analyze the immune profile of people with malignant mesothelioma.  A person’s immune profile is the unique set of immune system cells and how they are working at any given time. The functionality of immune system cells in the area right around the tumor – the tumor microenvironment or TME – is especially telling.  The system developed at MD Anderson assigns different colors to key immune system markers. They applied the color system to a sample from the microenvironment of mesothelioma tumors. The result was an image of each tmor’s immune profile. These images could help doctors determine new targets for mesothelioma treatment.  What is … Continue reading Visualizing the Immune Profile of Mesothelioma Patients »

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