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 »

Estrogen Signaling Genes May be Secret to Survival for Women with Mesothelioma

women with mesothelioma

Scientists think they now have a better understanding of why most women with mesothelioma live longer than men.  Malignant mesothelioma is four times more common in men than in women. But many studies show that women with mesothelioma do better than men after treatment.  Researchers with The International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston say the difference is in the genes. Their new study focused on the potentially protective role of estrogen signaling genes in female patients. The RERG Gene and Mesothelioma Survival In the latest study, researchers analyzed genetic data and survival in groups of mesothelioma patients. The groups included both men and women with mesothelioma. The goal was to determine what aspect of the women’s … Continue reading Estrogen Signaling Genes May be Secret to Survival for Women with Mesothelioma »

COVID-19 Vaccine May Help Mesothelioma Survivors Avoid Serious Side Effects

COVID-19 Vaccine

Several new studies illustrate the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine for malignant mesothelioma patients and survivors. They suggest that people with mesothelioma would do well to find out the rules for vaccination in their state.  In one study, cancer patients who contracted the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) infection developed serious neurologic symptoms. These symptoms are rarely seen in healthy people who get the illness.  Another study showed cancer survivors were more likely to get severely ill or die from SARS-CoV-2. The study says this is because they tend to have more underlying medical conditions.  An article published in Cancer Discovery found that people with cancer die of SARS-CoV-2 at a rate twice as high as those without cancer.  The COVID-19 vaccine may … Continue reading COVID-19 Vaccine May Help Mesothelioma Survivors Avoid Serious Side Effects »

ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment

Fast Track designation

An immunotherapy treatment called ONCOS-102 has received fast track designation from the FDA as a pleural mesothelioma therapy. Targovax is a Norweigian company that makes ONCOS-102. The company made the announcement today. It means that ONCOS-102 could be available to help people with pleural mesothelioma sooner.  Fast-track designation is for therapies with the potential to address serious medical conditions that have no good treatments. Right now, there is no cure for pleural mesothelioma and very few viable treatment options. The FDA based its decision on encouraging animal studies and early human trials of ONCOS-102.   Importance of Fast Track Designation ONCOS-102 is an experimental treatment made from a modified virus. The virus allows ONCOS-102 to overcome one of the biggest challenges … Continue reading ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment »

Radiotherapy Outcomes in Mesothelioma Linked to Metabolism

radiotherapy outcomes

Italian researchers say metabolic markers may hold the key to predicting radiotherapy outcomes in people with mesothelioma. Metabolism is the process by which cells produce energy. Metabolism is necessary for cancer cells to live. Mesothelioma cells metabolize faster than healthy cells.  Radiotherapy affects cancer cell metabolism. A new study shows that compounds produced during metabolism may impact radiotherapy outcomes. It suggests that a patient’s metabolic profile – or metabolome – could help doctors choose good candidates for radiation. Radical Hemithoracic Radiotherapy and Mesothelioma  Pleural mesothelioma is a rare lung-related cancer caused by asbestos exposure. There is no cure for mesothelioma. Most mesothelioma patients have a combination of therapies. Radiation is one of the methods doctors use to help slow its … Continue reading Radiotherapy Outcomes in Mesothelioma Linked to Metabolism »

Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy

Biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma

Two of the most important biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma are not much help when it comes to tracking response to immunotherapy. Top mesothelioma researchers at the University of Pennsylvania drew that conclusion based on data from a cohort of 58 patients.  They focused on two primary biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma: SMRP and fibulin-3. Doctors use both of these markers to diagnose and plan treatment for mesothelioma.  The study confirms the correlation between these markers and mesothelioma tumor volume. But the Penn Medicine researchers say these biomarkers of pleural mesothelioma were “not useful” for measuring immunotherapy response. Understanding Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma A biomarker is a substance produced by the body that indicates a biological process or condition. Most mesothelioma biomarkers … Continue reading Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy »

Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics

chemoresistance in mesothelioma

A team of Swiss and German researchers have a theory about why so many mesothelioma patients experience chemoresistance.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for asbestos cancer. But fewer than half of patients respond to it.  The new study suggests that this may have to do with an alteration on the BAP1 gene. Medicine cannot change a person’s underlying genetics. But knowing who is likely to experience chemoresistance could help patients and doctors choose the most effective treatments.  BAP1 Expression and Mesothelioma BAP1 stands for BRCA1 associated protein-1. People who have an inherited mutation of this gene produce less of the BAP1 protein. This seems to increase their risk for malignant mesothelioma and several other conditions. People with BAP1 loss … Continue reading Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics »

Autoimmune Disease and Mesothelioma: Will it Impact Survival?

autoimmune disease

A new lung cancer study suggests that having an autoimmune disease will not necessarily lead to shorter cancer survival. This could be good news for pleural mesothelioma patients suffering from autoimmune disorders. Pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related disease that has many characteristics in common with lung cancer.  The new study comes from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. It included 177 lung cancer patients who also had immune diseases. Doctors compared their survival with a control group of lung cancer patients.   They determined that having an autoimmune disease did not negatively impact lung cancer survival. In fact, some of those patients lived longer than those with healthy immune systems.  What is an Autoimmune Disease? An autoimmune disease is … Continue reading Autoimmune Disease and Mesothelioma: Will it Impact Survival? »

WHO to Recognize Fourth Mesothelioma Subtype

mesothelioma subtype

The World Health Organization will soon recognize mesothelioma in situ as a fourth mesothelioma subtype.  The 2015 WHO classification of pleural mesothelioma includes three histological subtypes. Pathologists can tell the difference between the subtypes by looking at the cells under a microscope. Each subtype has a slightly different cell shape, growth pattern, and nuclear characteristics.  The proposed fourth mesothelioma subtype is a very early form of mesothelioma. Previous studies suggest that it may be a precursor to invasive mesothelioma. If patients know they have it, they may have years to try to keep mesothelioma from developing. Differences Between the Subtypes Pleural mesothelioma is a very rare type of cancer. Only about 2,500 people in the US receive a mesothelioma diagnosis … Continue reading WHO to Recognize Fourth Mesothelioma Subtype »

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