School Supply Study Raises Mesothelioma Concerns

A group that tests common school supplies for toxins is warning parents to stay away from Playskool brand crayons sold at Dollar Tree stores because they could contain trace amounts of asbestos. Even small amounts of asbestos have been linked to malignant mesothelioma, a rare but deadly cancer that can crop up decades after exposure. The US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), a non-governmental watchdog agency, says multiple tests of the green Playskool crayons found asbestos concentrations from .10% to .13%. It is believed the asbestos may have come from the talc used in crayon manufacturing. The two types of mineral deposits typically lie close to each other and talc mines are often contaminated with asbestos. Could Crayons Really Cause … Continue reading School Supply Study Raises Mesothelioma Concerns »

Mesothelioma Survival Improves with Post-Surgery Radiation

Pleural mesothelioma patients who undergo radiotherapy after their surgery tend to live longer than those whose treatment plan does not include radiation. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of patients who could stand to benefit from this treatment actually get it. Researchers at Houston Methodist Hospital, Baylor, and The University of Texas have come to that conclusion after analyzing data from the National Cancer Database on nearly 25,000 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma from 2004 to 2013. It was the largest study of adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma ever conducted. Radiotherapy in Mesothelioma Treatment Although radiotherapy is not routinely used in mesothelioma treatment, when it is used, it is typically either palliative as a way to relieve symptoms, or as an add-on … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival Improves with Post-Surgery Radiation »

Unravelling the Mystery Behind Mesothelioma Tumors

In what could be a step closer to a mesothelioma cure, French cancer researchers say they have identified two of the key genetic pathways responsible for triggering mesothelioma in asbestos-exposed people. Led by Inserm (The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), the study focused on mice that had been genetically engineered with mutations on certain tumor-suppressor genes known to play a role in malignant mesothelioma in people. Learning About Human Mesothelioma from Mice In the experiment, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, some of the genetically engineered mice, as well as some normal (wild type) mice, were exposed to asbestos while others were not. The goal was to understand exactly what is happening at the molecular … Continue reading Unravelling the Mystery Behind Mesothelioma Tumors »

Nurse Compassion May Improve Mesothelioma Outcomes


Recent research suggests that how people with lung cancers like pleural mesothelioma are treated by their oncology nurses can have a direct bearing on their treatment outcomes. The news is based on a groundbreaking study conducted at two Chinese universities and published in Psychology Research and Behavior Management. Empathy and Lung Cancer Survival The study focused on 365 lung cancer patients who were cared for by 30 different nurses at a Beijing hospital between October 2016 and May 2017. Researchers used a test called flow cytometry to measure the activity of cancer fighting immune system cells including T-cells, B-cells and natural killer (NK) cells. These cells are also activated in patients battling malignant mesothelioma and other cancers. This “cellular immunity” … Continue reading Nurse Compassion May Improve Mesothelioma Outcomes »

Pleural Mesothelioma Patients Feel Better with This Symptom Management Regimen

For mesothelioma patients with indwelling pleural catheters, new research suggests that draining them daily can improve their quality of life and may even resolve the problem faster than waiting until symptoms arise. Pleural effusions, a buildup of fluid between the layers of the pleural membrane surrounding the lungs, is a fact of life for patients with several types of cancer, including pleural mesothelioma. If not addressed, this fluid accumulation often leads to life-limiting side effects like chest pain, coughing, and breathlessness.   Managing Pleural Effusions from Malignant Mesothelioma There are surgical procedures aimed at preventing pleural effusions in mesothelioma patients and resolving symptoms by physically closing the spaces where fluid accumulates. Closing up the pleural space is known as pleurodesis. … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Patients Feel Better with This Symptom Management Regimen »

Lung Fluid Tests May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Using the free-floating cancer cells present in lung-fluid to diagnose malignant mesothelioma may lead to earlier detection and better outcomes. That is the conclusion of cancer researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska University Hospital. The team’s goal was to evaluate the established criteria for cytopathological diagnosis of mesothelioma, i.e. diagnosis using cells found in fluid (effusions) instead of cells from a tissue biopsy. In a newly published article in the Archives of Pathological and Laboratory Medicine, the researchers observe, “Despite the difficulties in recognizing malignant cells present in those early effusions, they are often the first available biologic material for diagnosis.” Diagnosing Pleural  Mesothelioma Malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare but fast-growing cancer associated with asbestos exposure, is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Diagnosis … Continue reading Lung Fluid Tests May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

Penn Surgeons “Light Up” Tumors to Boost Mesothelioma Survival

University of Pennsylvania surgeons are experimenting with a new technology that could vastly improve survival for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma by ensuring that more of their cancer can be  removed. Complete resection of mesothelioma tumors can be the difference between life and death; even a few cancer cells left behind can quickly grow into new tumors. But macroscopic complete resection, as it is called, is not easy. Not only are mesothelioma tumors irregularly-shaped and located close to critical organs like the lungs and heart, but surgeons say it is often hard to distinguish tiny metastatic tumors from inflammation or scar tissue. In addition, traditional scanning techniques like PET can’t usually show nodules smaller than a centimeter and can’t distinguish … Continue reading Penn Surgeons “Light Up” Tumors to Boost Mesothelioma Survival »

Drug-Coated Film May Prevent Mesothelioma Recurrence

Mesothelioma researchers in Italy have developed a new surgical technique with the potential to dramatically increase the odds of surviving malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that grows on the membranous tissue (pleura) surrounding the lungs. It is most common in people who have ever lived or worked in the presence of deadly asbestos dust.                       The new technique involves placing a drug-coated polymer film directly on the mesothelial surface after tumor-removal surgery as a way to prevent recurrent pleural mesothelioma. In a new article in the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, researchers at the University of Parma say the film “almost completely prevented tumor recurrence” in treated mice. Battling Recurrent Mesothelioma The typical treatment … Continue reading Drug-Coated Film May Prevent Mesothelioma Recurrence »

New Study: Asbestos May Drive Mesothelioma Progression

A new study suggests that asbestos, the primary trigger for almost all cases of malignant mesothelioma, may do more than cause the disease—it may also play a role in how quickly it grows and spreads. Malignant mesothelioma is typically a disease of old age. Once inhaled or swallowed, it can take decades for asbestos fibers to work their way into tissues and wreak havoc with the DNA of mesothelial cells. But the new joint Italian/American study suggests that that time may be significantly shortened in cases of heavy exposure. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina and the National Tumor Institute in Milan  have found that the younger a person is at the time of their mesothelioma diagnosis, the … Continue reading New Study: Asbestos May Drive Mesothelioma Progression »

Immunotherapy Drug Produces ‘Exceptional and Sustained Response’ in Mesothelioma Patient

As part of what they call the “new era” of mesothelioma immunotherapy research, doctors in Ohio and Florida have just published the case report of a man whose pleural mesothelioma was stopped in its tracks with the drug nivolumab. The case is detailed in the latest issue of the American Journal of Case Reports by researchers at the University of Florida and The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. Details of the Mesothelioma Case Report The patient in question had been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that typically carries a poor prognosis, even with aggressive treatment. In fact, even though chemotherapy with a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed (Alimta) is considered the standard-of-care for malignant mesothelioma, fewer than 4 … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug Produces ‘Exceptional and Sustained Response’ in Mesothelioma Patient »

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