Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment?

There may be a new treatment option on the horizon for mesothelioma patients whose cancer has come back again after treatment. Researchers in the UK are even predicting that this drug could become the new standard of care for relapsed malignant mesothelioma. The drug is nivolumab, a PD-1 inhibitor sold under the brand name Opdivo. Already approved for the treatment of recurrent non-small cell lung cancer, nivolumab has been shown in recent clinical trials to reduce the size of mesothelioma tumors and may even extend mesothelioma survival. Opdivo in the News If you think you have been hearing more about nivolumab in the news lately, you are right. Laboratory results have suggested that this immunotherapy drug could be one of … Continue reading Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment? »

Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they have come up with better way to measure the effects of surgery-related inflammation on subsequent mesothelioma therapies. Their results could help other scientists predict the effectiveness of new and existing adjuvant mesothelioma treatments. Combination Therapy for Mesothelioma Because malignant mesothelioma is so difficult to treat, most patients are treated with a combination of different therapies.   While not all patients are candidates for surgery, a number of studies have suggested that mesothelioma patients who do have surgery as one of their treatments tend to live longer than those who only have other types of treatments. The challenge is that surgery itself can be so disruptive to the body that … Continue reading Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes »

Radiation for Mesothelioma: Could Proton Therapy Be the Answer?

Researchers at the Maryland Proton Therapy Treatment Center say a highly-targeted version of proton beam radiation could be the future of radiotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. In a new journal article, doctors at the center detail the evolution of radiation treatment for pleural mesothelioma, from standard photon-based therapy to targeted proton therapy. “Radiation therapy has historically been used [for mesothelioma] only in the palliative setting or as adjuvant therapy after extrapleural pneumonectomy,” notes the report. But the researchers go on to say that radiotherapy advances such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and a more precise form of proton beam therapy called pencil-beam scanning, are changing the value of radiotherapy for mesothelioma patients. Radiation’s Role in Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Radiation works … Continue reading Radiation for Mesothelioma: Could Proton Therapy Be the Answer? »

Updated Guidelines Aim to Advance Mesothelioma Research

The criteria for measuring treatment response in malignant pleural mesothelioma is being revised—again. Researchers are hopeful that the new criteria will improve the quality and value of mesothelioma clinical trials and move researchers closer to a cure. Researchers at the University of Chicago and the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases in Australia are proposing new modifications to the “modified RECIST” criteria by which researchers currently assess the response of mesothelioma tumors. In order for mesothelioma clinical trials to be truly valuable—and have any chance of leading to a cure—researchers must be “on the same page” in how they assess the size of mesothelioma tumors and their response to treatment. Because malignant mesothelioma is so rare, there are fewer studies … Continue reading Updated Guidelines Aim to Advance Mesothelioma Research »

Tea Leaf Cancer Treatment May Have Implications for Mesothelioma Patients

A new type of nanoparticle derived from green tea leaves has been shown to kill lung cancer cells and may one day do the same for pleural mesothelioma. Scientists at Swansea University in Wales in collaboration with researchers at Bharathiar University in India discovered the power of the tea-based nanoparticles—called quantum dots—when attempting to create a less expensive tool for lung cancer imaging. “The main reason we started looking at tea leaves is that chemically synthesised quantum dots cost between £250 and £500 per microgram,” lead researcher Dr. Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu told the BBC. “Whereas organically-derived ones can be manufactured for £10 per microgram, and at the same time they don’t poison healthy cells surrounding the cancer.” Fluorescent Cancer Fighters Nanoparticles … Continue reading Tea Leaf Cancer Treatment May Have Implications for Mesothelioma Patients »

Study Highlights Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma From Naturally-Occurring Asbestos

A new study is shining a spotlight on the disturbing fact that you don’t have to have worked in an asbestos industry to be exposed to asbestos and develop malignant pleural mesothelioma, one of the world’s deadliest cancers. A new study conducted in the Mount Pollino area of Southern Italy, where asbestos is found in abundance in the soil, finds a “significant excess” of mesothelioma diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths from asbestos-related conditions. Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma Asbestos is the name for a set of six naturally-occurring silicate minerals that were once prized for their high tensile strength and resistance to heat and corrosion. Asbestos was used in a variety of building products and insulation materials from as early as the … Continue reading Study Highlights Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma From Naturally-Occurring Asbestos »

Extending Mesothelioma Survival with Chemotherapy

In the continued quest to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, two new studies have been published this week on the effectiveness of adding additional drugs to the standard combination. The majority of patients who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis will have treatment that includes chemotherapy. According to data from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database, the chemotherapy regimen prescribed most often for mesothelioma is a combination of pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin or carboplatin. Approximately 67 percent of mesothelioma patients who receive chemotherapy have this combination. Unfortunately, even the standard chemotherapy combination has not been shown to extend mesothelioma survival by more that a few months. Scientists are continually looking for ways to make it more effective. … Continue reading Extending Mesothelioma Survival with Chemotherapy »

Mesothelioma Outcomes Better at High Volume Facilities

mesothelioma survivor

A new study provides more evidence that malignant pleural mesothelioma patients considering surgery would do well to seek out a facility that does a lot of them. Researchers found that mesothelioma patients tend to have fewer complications and shorter hospital stays when they are treated at high volume facilities. The new study is based on data from the National Cancer Database and is published in the latest issue of the journal Lung Cancer. It defines a “high volume facility” as a medical facility that falls into the 90th percentile in terms of the number of pleural mesothelioma surgeries done there. All other facilities were classified as lower volume facilities (LVFs). HVFs vs LVFs for Mesothelioma Treatment Of the 1307 mesothelioma … Continue reading Mesothelioma Outcomes Better at High Volume Facilities »

Mesothelioma and Laboratory Pads

Studies have shown that fibers of both chrysotile and tremolite asbestos were found in the air where laboratories pads have been used.    Multiple studies have confirmed that, if there is any chance of asbestos fibers entering the lungs, there is a risk of pleural mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition. This is because it is very difficult for the body to rid itself of these sharp fibers after they have embedded themselves in the tissue. The longer these fibers stay in the body, the greater the likelihood that the person will eventually be facing a mesothelioma diagnosis.  

New Pill Could Make Mesothelioma Diagnosis Easier, More Accurate

A pill that makes cancer cells glow under infrared light may have the capacity to improve the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. So far, the pill, being developed by researchers at the University of MIchigan with funding from the NIH, has only been tested on breast cancer tumors in mice. But it was so effective at exposing hidden clusters of cancer cells, that the research team expects it to be useful in the diagnosis of other cancers, too. That could eventually include mesothelioma. The Urgent Need for Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis Mesothelioma, a fast-growing cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is diagnosed in about 2,500 new patients in the US each year. About 2,000 of them have pleural mesothelioma, the most common type. … Continue reading New Pill Could Make Mesothelioma Diagnosis Easier, More Accurate »

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