Chemotherapy Resistance in Mesothelioma Patients: New Insights

chemotherapy resistance

Canadian cancer researchers have discovered what may be a key cause of chemotherapy resistance in mesothelioma and other types of cancer. The news could lead to more effective ways of treating malignant mesothelioma.  Chemotherapy resistance is a major problem for mesothelioma patients. The FDA has approved two different drug therapies for mesothelioma. But neither approach seems to hold asbestos cancer at bay long term.  Scientists at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto say it may be because cancer cells “hibernate” to escape attack. If doctors can understand this cancer cell defense mechanism, they might be able to undermine it.  The Problem of Chemotherapy Resistance Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of several illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos fibers … Continue reading Chemotherapy Resistance in Mesothelioma Patients: New Insights »

Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Have Similar Psychological Challenges

mesothelioma and COVID-19

Researchers in Italy say malignant mesothelioma and COVID-19 present patients with similar psychological challenges. In both cases, group therapy may help. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the lung lining. COVID-19 is the respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus. The two illnesses may not seem to have much in common.  But psychology researchers at the University of Turin say there are similarities between mesothelioma and COVID-19. They say understanding how mesothelioma affects patients psychologically could help providers support people with COVID-19.  Coping with Pleural Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Pleural mesothelioma is usually the result of asbestos exposure. Most people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis either worked with asbestos or lived near it. Many of them had no idea … Continue reading Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Have Similar Psychological Challenges »

Predicting Mesothelioma Survival with Routine Clinical Tests

predicting mesothelioma survival

UK researchers say predicting mesothelioma survival does not have to be complicated. Their new study shows routine doctor’s office tests may be just as accurate as more complex metrics. The study appears in the new issue of the BMJ Open Respiratory Research journal. It involved 100 patients with malignant mesothelioma over a four-year period.  The team compared treatment outcomes among these patients with their results on basic health tests. More often than not, these tests correctly predicted their prognosis. The researchers say simplifying the process of predicting mesothelioma survival could help doctors and patients make better treatment decisions.  Prognostic Indicators in Asbestos Cancer Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an uncommon but lethal form of membrane cancer. Patients who get it usually … Continue reading Predicting Mesothelioma Survival with Routine Clinical Tests »

Spread of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Slows with Apatinib

spread of peritoneal mesothelioma

An investigational drug called apatinib may help stop the growth and spread of peritoneal mesothelioma. Chinese researchers recently tested the VEGF inhibitor on mice infected with human mesothelioma.  They found that the spread of peritoneal mesothelioma slowed way down in the presence of apatinib. The drug worked in the lab and in live mice with few serious side effects. If larger experiments confirm apatinib’s effectiveness, the next step could be trials in human mesothelioma patients.  Apatinib Blocks Blood Vessel Formation Apatinib is also known as Rivoceranib. It keeps cancer cells from using the protein VEGF. VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) allows tumors to spawn new blood vessels. A rich supply of fresh blood fuels the growth and spread of peritoneal … Continue reading Spread of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Slows with Apatinib »

Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020

breakthroughs in mesothelioma

In spite of a global pandemic, there were some major breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020 that made the year a hopeful one for people fighting asbestos cancer. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious illness caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.  Mesothelioma is still not curable. But researchers have made major breakthroughs in mesothelioma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment this year.  Mesothelioma Treatment Advances Mesothelioma treatment saw the biggest breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020. The FDA approved the first systemic treatment for mesothelioma since 2004. That was the year that Alimta (pemetrexed) received approval.  They approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy. Yervoy helps activate and proliferate T-cells. Opdivo helps existing T-cells discover the mesothelioma  tumor. The patients who … Continue reading Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020 »

Cholesterol Drugs Extend Mesothelioma Survival in New Study

cholesterol drugs

Cholesterol drugs called statins have been shown to improve survival among mesothelioma patients taking PD-1 inhibitors.  The news comes from an international study from cancer researchers in Italy and the Netherlands.  More than 250 patients with pleural mesothelioma or non-small cell lung cancer were evaluated for the study. Researchers found that those who took cholesterol drugs while also receiving PD-1 blockers like Keytruda lived longer and had slower disease progression.  Mesothelioma Patients and Statins The body needs some cholesterol to build healthy cells. But many adults have too much cholesterol in their blood. This can lead to fatty deposits in the arteries that raise the risk for heart disease and stroke.  Cholesterol drugs called statins are designed to bring cholesterol … Continue reading Cholesterol Drugs Extend Mesothelioma Survival in New Study »

Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin Improves Mesothelioma Response in New Study

induction chemotherapy with Avastin

Mesothelioma patients who had induction chemotherapy with Avastin (bevacizumab) prior to surgery responded better than those who had only chemotherapy in a new Swedish study.  Researchers at the University Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 88 pleural mesothelioma patients who were slated to have surgery.  Most of the patients had standard chemotherapy before surgery. Some had induction chemotherapy with Avastin. Those who got the extra drug had a “significantly better response” according to a new report in Frontiers in Oncology. The Use of Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin or Without Induction chemotherapy is chemotherapy delivered before mesothelioma surgery. The goal of the treatment is to shrink the mesothelioma tumor as much as possible. This may improve the odds that surgeons can … Continue reading Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin Improves Mesothelioma Response in New Study »

Vitamin D3 May Slow the Spread of Pleural Mesothelioma, Study Shows

Vitamin D

A study conducted in Italy suggests that Vitamin D3 might help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading. The biologically active form of Vitamin D is calcitriol or D3. Other studies suggest it might have anticancer properties. But no one has studied its effect on mesothelioma cells until now.  The researchers applied Vitamin D3 to pleural mesothelioma cells in the lab. Not only did it weaken the cells, but it also blocked their ability to divide into new cells. The study suggests that Vitamin D may even boost the effectiveness of mesothelioma chemotherapy. The Cancer-Fighting Role of Calcitriol The body naturally produces calcitriol. It plays a role in regulating the cell cycle, including apoptosis or natural cell death. Vitamin D3 … Continue reading Vitamin D3 May Slow the Spread of Pleural Mesothelioma, Study Shows »

High-Dose Vitamin C and a Fast-Like Diet Might Help Fight Mesothelioma

Vitamin C

A combination of a low-calorie, plant-based diet and high levels of Vitamin C might offer a new and less-toxic way to combat malignant mesothelioma. A report published in the journal Nature Communications says the combination delayed tumor progression in mouse models of colorectal cancer. In some mice, it even caused their tumors to shrink. The most-affected tumors had a genetic mutation found in about a quarter of human cancers, including some cases of mesothelioma. Mutations in the KRAS gene help mesothelioma resist standard cancer treatments.  The study indicates that adding Vitamin C to a diet that mimics fasting might help doctors get around this mesothelioma defence mechanism.  The Anti-Cancer Effects of Ascorbic Acid Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic … Continue reading High-Dose Vitamin C and a Fast-Like Diet Might Help Fight Mesothelioma »

Leukemia Drug for Mesothelioma? Lab Tests Show It’s Possible

leukemia drug

New data suggests that doctors might have good luck using a leukemia drug to treat pleural mesothelioma. The drug in question is ponatinib. It sells under the brand name Iclusig. Ponatinib is a pill that inhibits certain enzymes that may lead to mesothelioma tumor growth.  A study carried out at the University of California showed that the leukemia drug kept mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading in the lab. It could give doctors a new treatment option for patients who do not respond to standard therapies.  How the Leukemia Drug Works Ponatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Tyrosine kinases are enzymes that interact with certain proteins inside cells. Tyrosine kinases act as on/off switches for many cellular functions.  In some … Continue reading Leukemia Drug for Mesothelioma? Lab Tests Show It’s Possible »

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