Study Highlights Treatment Disparities in Female Mesothelioma Patients

Female Mesothelioma Patients

Female mesothelioma patients are less likely to have surgery and other aggressive treatments than male patients are, but they still tend to live longer. That’s according to a nine-year study of nearly 19,000 pleural mesothelioma patients.  Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine led the study. The team used the National Cancer Database to identify pleural mesothelioma cases diagnosed between 2004 and 2013. The study included more than four thousand female mesothelioma patients.  The conclusion is that there are serious disparities in the way doctors treat men and women with malignant mesothelioma. Gender Differences in Mesothelioma Incidence Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma. Although it can affect either gender, most mesothelioma patients are … Continue reading Study Highlights Treatment Disparities in Female Mesothelioma Patients »

Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival with NIPEC

Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

A new report suggests that long term peritoneal mesothelioma survival may be possible with a treatment called NIPEC and the drug paclitaxel.  NIPEC stands for normothermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. It is similar to the heated chemotherapy that many peritoneal mesothelioma patients now get. But NIPEC is delivered through a catheter over time and at room temperature.  The new article details the long term peritoneal mesothelioma survival of six patients on NIPEC with paclitaxel. It comes from one the nation’s leading experts in this form of mesothelioma, Paul Sugarbaker, MD.  Even though the sample size is small, Dr. Sugarbaker says the results are impressive enough to warrant further study.  HIPEC and Mesothelioma Treatment Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for about 20 percent of mesothelioma … Continue reading Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival with NIPEC »

Understanding the Psychological Effects of Mesothelioma

Psychological Effects of Mesothelioma

A new study is shedding light on the psychological effects of mesothelioma on patients and their caregivers.  Researchers at the University of Sheffield in the UK reviewed more than 35 years worth of medical literature to find relevant studies. They say the psychological effects of mesothelioma revolve around timelines, emotions, and communication. They also suggest that more should be done to understand the unique burdens of mesothelioma caregivers.  Rarity of Mesothelioma May Impact the Psychological Effects  Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of internal membranes. It can be a lonely disease for caregivers and patients. Only about 2,500 Americans receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year making it one of the rarest types of cancer. In many cases, a family may … Continue reading Understanding the Psychological Effects of Mesothelioma »

Regular Physical Activity May Boost Mesothelioma Survival

Physical Activity Can Boost Mesothelioma Survival

There is new evidence that regular physical activity may help patients with mesothelioma live longer.  A Korean professor has just published the findings of his study on physical activity among lung cancer patients. The findings may be relevant for people with the lung-related cancer, pleural mesothelioma.   Dr. Junga Lee analyzed 11 studies. The studies included more than 6 million lung cancer patients and spanned a 19 year period.  Dr. Lee found that patients’ cardiorespiratory fitness, walking speed, and level of physical activity correlated with how long they lived. Even their leisure activities played a role.  Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Pleural mesothelioma starts in the lining around the lungs. Because it does not arise from lung cancer cells, it is not … Continue reading Regular Physical Activity May Boost Mesothelioma Survival »

Second-Line Mesothelioma Treatment with Ramucirumab

second-line mesothelioma treatment

A combination of ramucirumab (CYRAMZA) and gemcitabine creates a promising second-line mesothelioma treatment. New research shows the combination nearly doubled survival in a group of patients whose tumors kept growing with standard therapy.  Italian researchers shared their findings at the virtual annual meeting of ASCO. ASCO is one of the largest gatherings of cancer doctors in the US. First-Line Mesothelioma Treatment Failure For most mesothelioma patients, chemotherapy with Alimta is the first-line treatment. This does keep the cancer in check for some patients. But after a while, mesothelioma tumors almost always come back. Chemotherapy only extends survival by about four months.  Doctors have tested many different approaches to second-line mesothelioma treatment.  Some of the therapies tested are: Additional rounds of … Continue reading Second-Line Mesothelioma Treatment with Ramucirumab »

Black Mesothelioma Patients Less Likely to Receive Surgery

black mesothelioma patients

Black mesothelioma patients are less likely to receive potentially-life saving surgery than white patients, even though they have worse short-term mortality.   That is the finding of a new study published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.  Mount Sinai researchers used data from the National Cancer Institute to compare mesothelioma treatment trends among 2550 patients.  They concluded that both white and black mesothelioma patients live longer with surgery, but white patients tend to get the most benefit. Surgical Options for Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma is a membrane cancer. It can occur in different places in the body. The type of treatment varies depending on where the cancer occurs. For mesothelioma in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), surgery with a rinse … Continue reading Black Mesothelioma Patients Less Likely to Receive Surgery »

Promising Data on New Mesothelioma Pill Presented at National Conference

new mesothelioma pill

Doctors researching a new mesothelioma pill presented research on the drug at a national virtual conference in May.  The ASCO conference is one of the most important gatherings of cancer doctors in the country. This year’s online meeting gave them a chance to safely learn about new cancer research. Only the most notable research is presented at the conference. The new mesothelioma pill made the cut because research suggests it can help patients with asbestos cancer live longer.  How the New Medication Works Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Epizyme makes the new mesothelioma pill, called tazemetostat (Tazverik). The oral drug blocks the protein EZH2. This protein inhibits the genes that are supposed to suppress tumor growth. Over-expression of EZH2 has been linked to … Continue reading Promising Data on New Mesothelioma Pill Presented at National Conference »

Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: New Consensus Statement

proton therapy for mesothelioma

A group of international experts in radiation oncology say proton therapy for mesothelioma may be a safer alternative to standard radiotherapy.  Proton therapy uses protons instead of photons to destroy mesothelioma tumor cells.  The group evaluated both types of radiation therapy. They conclude that proton therapy for mesothelioma is less likely to damage the opposite lung and other organs.  What is Proton Therapy? Conventional radiation therapy for mesothelioma uses photons. A radiation oncologist delivers photons into the tumor with a linear accelerator. The photons or X-rays permanently damage the DNA. Damaged mesothelioma cells cannot grow and divide normally and the cells die.  The downside of standard radiation therapy is that normal tissue absorbs some of the damaging photons, too. This … Continue reading Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: New Consensus Statement »

Best Practices for Pleural Mesothelioma: Updated Recommendations from Europe’s Top Doctors

best practices for pleural mesothelioma

Europe’s top mesothelioma experts have released new best practices for pleural mesothelioma. They include the latest recommendations on diagnosis, staging, monitoring, and treatment. The task force was made up of members from:  European Respiratory Society (ERS) European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) This is the first time the best practices for pleural mesothelioma were updated since 2009. The group based the new recommendations on mesothelioma data gathered in the last decade.  Mesothelioma Remains a Global Challenge Malignant mesothelioma is one of the world’s most challenging cancers. Doctors know that asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. But many other things about this disease are a mystery.  Some people with a … Continue reading Best Practices for Pleural Mesothelioma: Updated Recommendations from Europe’s Top Doctors »

Rare But Dangerous Side Effects of Opdivo for Mesothelioma

side effects of Opdivo

Australian researchers are warning of some rare but deadly side effects of Opdivo (nivolumab) for pleural mesothelioma.  They have just published a case report of a mesothelioma patient on nivolumab, a drug often used to treat lung cancer. The patient developed swelling of the heart and other muscles. The swelling lasted for months, even after they stopped taking the drug.  The case report details the healthcare teams’ effort to manage these potentially lethal side effects of Opdivo. They caution that other immune checkpoint inhibitors might cause similar complications. How Opdivo Fights Mesothelioma The primary treatment for mesothelioma is chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta). Eventually, most patients stop responding to chemotherapy. At that point, doctors may turn to an immunotherapy drug like … Continue reading Rare But Dangerous Side Effects of Opdivo for Mesothelioma »

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