Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma

New and More Objective Way to Diagnose Mesothelioma

TTFields and chemotherapy offer one of the most potent combinations against malignant mesothelioma tumors. Now a new study reveals why they work so well together.  Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) are low intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields. They are delivered into the chest of mesothelioma patients with a vest-like device marketed under the brand name Optune Lua.  In 2019, a combination of TTFields and chemotherapy became the first new FDA-approved treatment for mesothelioma in 15 years.  Now, a new report in the journal Lung Cancer sheds light on the synergy between the two modes of mesothelioma treatment.  Combating Cancer with Electrical Currents The Tumor Treating Fields approach was created by Jersey-based Novocure. The technology uses electrical fields to destabilize critical … Continue reading Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma »

Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes

physical function

A patient’s level of physical function prior to mesothelioma surgery is a strong predictor of how well they will do after surgery. That is the conclusion of a new University of Maryland study. Researchers analyzed the cases of 54 pleural mesothelioma patients before and after lung-sparing P/D surgery.  The goal was to see what factors had the biggest impact on their post-surgical outcomes. Patients underwent lung function and physical function tests both before and after their operations.  It turns out that a mesothelioma patient’s ability to be physically active is even more important than their lung function in predicting their recovery. Lung-Sparing Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the multi-layer membrane (pleura) that surrounds the lungs. As … Continue reading Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes »

New Tool Measures Stress Levels Among Mesothelioma Caregivers

Suicide Prevention in Mesothelioma

Preliminary tests of a new tool designed to measure stress levels among mesothelioma caregivers shows that the tool is both reliable and helpful.  The tool was developed by occupational medicine researchers in Rome. Their goal was to create a “short, flexible, and comprehensive tool” to detect psychological distress in carers.  The team recently tested the tool in a group of mesothelioma caregivers. Their results have just been published in the journal Psycho-Oncology.  The Strain of Caring for a Loved One with Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma is a highly lethal type of membrane cancer. Most mesothelioma patients lived or worked around asbestos.  Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma. It affects about 2,000 people in the US every year. Another … Continue reading New Tool Measures Stress Levels Among Mesothelioma Caregivers »

Academic Medical Centers Extend Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

academic medical centers

A new published study suggests that peritoneal mesothelioma patients treated at academic medical centers survive much longer than those who get their care at community hospitals. The study was conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer of abdominal membranes. There is no known cure. The new study compared outcomes and survival among more than 2,600 mesothelioma patients. Patients were treated at high-volume academic hospitals or community cancer centers.  The results suggest that academic medical centers consistently provide more advanced and potentially life-extending care for this complex cancer.  Experience is Critical for Mesothelioma Care Malignant mesothelioma is the name for cancers that occur on internal membranes. It … Continue reading Academic Medical Centers Extend Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

Mesothelioma Patient Warning: Beware of Dangerous Cancer Information Online

cancer information

New research suggests that mesothelioma patients looking for cancer information online could do more harm than good if they are looking in the wrong places.  Researchers identified 200 cancer-related articles posted on social media between 2018 and 2019. Experts from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) reviewed the articles for inaccuracies and harmful information. Almost a third of the articles contained misinformation. Just over 30 percent contained cancer information that could be harmful to mesothelioma patients and others with cancer.  Mesothelioma and the Search for Cancer Information It can be devastating to receive a cancer diagnosis. For many families, a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is especially frightening. Mesothelioma is very rare and highly aggressive. The prognosis for mesothelioma is usually … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patient Warning: Beware of Dangerous Cancer Information Online »

Personalized Exercise Program Improves Mesothelioma Quality of Life

exercise program

A new case study suggests that a personalized exercise program could improve the quality of life for people fighting malignant mesothelioma. An estimated 2,500 Americans receive a mesothelioma diagnosis every year. Most of them are over 65. This population is typically less active than younger people anyway. It can be even harder to get enough physical activity when they are depleted by cancer and treatment. Research shows that physical activity does more than make patients stronger. It can also help them fight cancers like malignant mesothelioma. But many patients still do not get enough. The new report shows how a custom exercise program can help mesothelioma patients feel and function better. Physical Activity and Mesothelioma Treatment Pleural mesothelioma is a … Continue reading Personalized Exercise Program Improves Mesothelioma Quality of Life »

CAR-T Cells + Keytruda: New Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma?

immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma

Researchers at a top US cancer center are experimenting with a new approach to immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma – with exciting results.  The research was done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and published in a recent issue of Cancer Discovery.  The Phase I trial is the first to treat pleural mesothelioma patients with CAR-T cell therapy and the PD-1 blocker pembrolizumab (Keytruda). Although the trial was small, 83 percent of patients lived for more than a year. Some lived for nearly two.  Malignant Mesothelioma commonly claims the lives of patients within months. This new type of immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma could be a breakthrough in improving survival. The Challenge of Malignant Mesothelioma Scientists have known about … Continue reading CAR-T Cells + Keytruda: New Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma? »

Mesothelioma Update: Drinking and Cancer Risk

drinking and cancer risk

A new study on the link between drinking and cancer risk may make people at risk for mesothelioma think twice about their alcohol consumption.  The new study is the latest to draw a direct line between drinking and cancer risk. According to the report released this week, more than 4 percent of new cancer cases last year were linked to alcohol use.  Asbestos exposure is the main cause of mesothelioma. But not everyone who is exposed to asbestos gets mesothelioma. Genetic factors play a role. But the new alcohol study suggests that drinking could also be a catalyst for cancer development.  The Link Between Drinking and Cancer Risk The new study was conducted by scientists from the International Agency for … Continue reading Mesothelioma Update: Drinking and Cancer Risk »

New Test May Help Doctors Choose the Best Mesothelioma Surgery

best mesothelioma surgery

A new predictive model may make it easier for cancer doctors to choose the best mesothelioma surgery for each pleural mesothelioma patient.  There are two major surgical approaches for pleural mesothelioma. One involves removal of a lung and the other does not.  Right now, the choice about which surgery to have is based on patient demographics, symptoms, and lab values. Which surgery is most common at the institution may also play a role. Many surgeons have strong opinions about which is the best mesothelioma surgery.   But Harvard researchers say the new predictive model they tested is a better way to stratify mesothelioma patients. Their study suggests that this approach may lead to better treatment outcomes and more accurate clinical trials.  … Continue reading New Test May Help Doctors Choose the Best Mesothelioma Surgery »

Annual Report on Cancer Death Rates: Good and Bad News for Mesothelioma Patients

cancer death rates

The latest report on cancer death rates in the US is both good and bad news for people with malignant mesothelioma.  The good news is that the rate of death from all types of cancer has declined in recent years. This is true for both men and women of all races. Better drugs and improved screening tools are some of the reasons.  The bad news for people with mesothelioma is that the likelihood of dying from it is not declining as rapidly as overall cancer death rates. Asbestos cancer continues to confound cancer researchers around the world.  Mesothelioma: A Rare Cancer with High Mortality Malignant mesothelioma is one of the rarest cancers in the US. That is fortunate because the … Continue reading Annual Report on Cancer Death Rates: Good and Bad News for Mesothelioma Patients »

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