Amatuximab May Extend Survival for Mesothelioma Patients on Chemotherapy

There is mounting evidence that the monoclonal antibody amatuximab could be used to make chemotherapy more effective for people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Researchers studying amatuximab as part of an international trial recently published results that appear to offer some encouraging news for mesothelioma patients and their families. What is Amatuximab? Amatuximab is an chimeric monoclonal antibody developed by a company called Morphotek, Inc. to help in the treatment of people whose cancer cells overexpress the protein mesothelin. Mesothelin-positive cancers typically include pancreatic, ovarian, mesothelioma and lung. In patients with these cancers, amatuximab binds to the mesothelin and stops the cells from dividing. In a double-blind, placebo controlled trial that goes by the acronym (ARTEMIS), the compound is being used … Continue reading Amatuximab May Extend Survival for Mesothelioma Patients on Chemotherapy »

New Approach Enhances Mesothelioma Survival in Mice on Chemo

Even the best chemotherapy for malignant mesothelioma has limited effectiveness. But new research suggests that manipulating a mesothelioma patient’s RNA may offer a way to change that. Most mesothelioma patients will undergo chemotherapy as part of their treatment. Pemetrexed (Alimta) is the mainstay of mesothelioma treatment, even though a substantial percentage of mesothelioma patients don’t respond to it. Now, a study conducted in Japan suggests that RNA interference technology (RNAi) can make mesothelioma cells more susceptible to chemotherapy and potentially improve mesothelioma survival. RNA in Malignant Mesothelioma Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a molecule that acts as a messenger, carrying and translating instructions from DNA that control critical cellular processes, from metabolism to replication and death. Cancer researchers have found that, … Continue reading New Approach Enhances Mesothelioma Survival in Mice on Chemo »

New Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma Relies on Altered T-Cells

An emerging type of mesothelioma therapy that uses altered T-cells to attack tumors is generating some excitement among researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The approach, called CAR T-cell therapy, produces what the National Cancer Institute has called a “living drug” for targeted mesothelioma treatment. A new review of this immunotherapy approach has some encouraging news for mesothelioma patients and their families. Producing a “Living Drug” for Mesothelioma Therapy CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma and other cancers starts by extracting some immune system cells called T-cells from a sample of the patient’s blood. The T-cells are then altered in the laboratory using chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), which essentially program them to recognize certain antigens on the surface … Continue reading New Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma Relies on Altered T-Cells »

Making Mesothelioma Cells More Susceptible to Chemotherapy

A potential new mesothelioma drug may have moved a step closer to gaining mainstream acceptance for use in sick patients. Doctors studying the drug say they have found a way to make cells more susceptible to its damaging effects. GDC-0980, also known as Apitolisib, is a class I inhibitor of two cell signaling pathways – P13 and mTOR – both of which play critical roles in regulating the life cycle of cells, including mesothelioma cells. Because mesothelioma is so difficult to treat with standard chemotherapy drugs, researchers around the world are exploring ways to improve treatment by manipulating the vital signaling pathways inside mesothelioma cells. Now, doctors at cancer research centers in the US, the UK, and Switzerland say they … Continue reading Making Mesothelioma Cells More Susceptible to Chemotherapy »

Orphan Drug Approval Could Mean New Mesothelioma Treatment Option

A drug designed to fight cancer by destroying the stem cells that give rise to new cancer cells has been granted orphan drug status for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The designation paves the way for mesothelioma patients, who often have few treatment options, to get access to VS-5584 earlier than it would otherwise be available. VS-5584 is a powerful inhibitor of a signaling pathway that regulates cancer progression and the survival of cancer stem cells. According to Verastem, the Boston-based maker of VS-5584, the drug has already received a similar designation for mesothelioma in Europe. “This is an important regulatory milestone for Verastem and… will facilitate our global development of VS-5584 to help improve the available treatment options for patients suffering … Continue reading Orphan Drug Approval Could Mean New Mesothelioma Treatment Option »

Targeting Estrogen Receptor Boosts Effectiveness of Mesothelioma Chemotherapy

Malignant mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and is notoriously hard to treat.  The chemotherapy combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed is standard of care (SOC) for treating pleural mesothelioma, even though only 40% of patients respond to this therapy. Chemotherapy does not typically extend life by more than a few months and the median overall survival for mesothelioma is between 9 and 17 months. But pharmaceutical researchers at the University of Piemonte Orientale “A. Avogadro” in Italy and the department of biosciences and nutrition at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden say they may have found a way to bolster the effectiveness of chemotherapy for mesothelioma. The focus of their study was Estrogen Receptor Beta (ERbeta), an estrogen sensitive molecule … Continue reading Targeting Estrogen Receptor Boosts Effectiveness of Mesothelioma Chemotherapy »

Component in Spice May Help Slow Mesothelioma Growth

Yet another study has demonstrated the potential mesothelioma-fighting properties of curcumin, an anti-inflammatory polyphenol that is the primary component in the spice turmeric. The latest study suggests that applying curcumin along with cancer-fighting peptides may increase the levels of a protein inhibitor that can slow the progression of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is usually caused by exposure to the mineral asbestos. Tens of thousands of people contract this aggressive cancer annually. Many of them worked in industries that used asbestos heavily before it was revealed to cause mesothelioma. Cancer researchers around the world continue to work on a way to slow the cancer, which often claims the lives of patients within a year of diagnosis. The latest study was conducted by doctors … Continue reading Component in Spice May Help Slow Mesothelioma Growth »

New Treatments Have Improved Outcomes for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The newest studies on peritoneal mesothelioma indicate that the outlook for people with this rare asbestos-linked cancer are better than ever. A recent article in the World Journal of Gastroenterology detailed the progress that has been made – and continues to be made – in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma in the last decade. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a type of mesothelioma that occurs on the peritoneum, the lining around the abdominal organs. It accounts for less than a third of mesothelioma cases. In the new article, surgeons with Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine and the Massey Cancer Center in Richmond report that the increasing use of cytoreductive surgery combined with a rinse of heated chemotherapy drugs has significantly improved … Continue reading New Treatments Have Improved Outcomes for Peritoneal Mesothelioma »

Australian Doctors Use Bacteria to Shrink Mesothelioma Tumors

Could bacteria responsible for problems ranging from sinusitis to food poisoning be used as a weapon in the fight against malignant mesothelioma? The results of a new study conducted by mesothelioma researchers at the University of Western Australia suggest that it might. The researchers focused their study on a compound made up of proteins produced by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, also called ‘Staph’ bacteria. The compound has been used clinically to induce pleurodesis, a closing up of the pleural space around the lungs that can become fluid-filled in people with mesothelioma. Based on its success in pleurodesis, the Australian team wondered if the S. aureus protein compound could also shrink tumors. Scientists in the University’s Centre for Asthma, Allergy and … Continue reading Australian Doctors Use Bacteria to Shrink Mesothelioma Tumors »

Mesothelioma Cells Respond Better to Chemotherapy Drug When Pretreated with Two Compounds

There’s new evidence that a transplant anti-rejection drug and a chemical compound similar to curcumin may both increase the mesothelioma-fighting power of chemotherapy with less harm to healthy cells. Chemotherapy with platinum-based drugs like cisplatin is the fist-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma, an asbestos-linked cancer that starts on the mesothelium  surrounding the lungs . One of the biggest challenges of chemotherapy is how to kill as many mesothelioma cells as possible without damaging normal cells on the mesothelium. Now, a team of cancer researchers in Turkey a say they have found two compounds that appear to make that challenge easier. The first compound is EF24, an analog of curcumin, the yellow pigment in the spice turmeric. Although curcumin has been … Continue reading Mesothelioma Cells Respond Better to Chemotherapy Drug When Pretreated with Two Compounds »

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