Dendritic Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma: Can it Help Other Treatments Work Better?

dendritic cell therapy for mesothelioma

A new kind of mesothelioma treatment called dendritic cell therapy might make other types of treatments even more effective.  Right now, chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) is the only approved therapy for malignant mesothelioma. Many others are in the works. But so far, none of them extend the lives of mesothelioma patients by more than a few months.  Dendritic cell therapy for mesothelioma may be different. This novel treatment uses the patient’s own cells to jumpstart the immune system.  A Dutch company developed and is testing the new treatment. The data so far suggests that it could boost chemotherapy and help new drugs like Keytruda work better.  How Dendritic Cell Therapy Works Dendritic cells are immune system cells that function as … Continue reading Dendritic Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma: Can it Help Other Treatments Work Better? »

New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma

cancer blood test

Israeli researchers hope that a new kind of cancer blood test could help detect mesothelioma and other malignancies earlier. Earlier diagnosis could lead to longer mesothelioma survival. The blood test is based on the idea that immune system cells undergo metabolic changes when they fight a cancer like pleural mesothelioma. Different kinds of changes are associated with different kinds of cancers. The new cancer blood test detects these changes. Immune System Cells and Metabolism The immune system is the body’s primary way of defending itself against diseases like malignant mesothelioma. Metabolism refers to the way immune system cells expend energy to fight cancer.  An Israeli company is developing the new cancer blood test. It focuses on the metabolism of immune … Continue reading New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drug Keytruda Gets a Boost from Opdivo Study

mesothelioma immunotherapy drug

The company that makes a promising new mesothelioma immunotherapy drug got a boost from a competitor’s study this week.  The makers of the lung cancer drug Opdivo have released some disappointing results from their latest lung cancer trial. The findings present another setback for Bristol-Myers Squibb.  But they are good news for Merck, the maker of the mesothelioma immunotherapy drug Keytruda. In the wake of the publication, Merck’s stocks rose while Bristol-Myers’ dropped.  How Opdivo Works Opdivo is the brand name for nivolumab. It is a monoclonal antibody that blocks PD-1. PD-1 is a cell surface protein expressed by some lung cancer and mesothelioma tumors. An Australian study estimated that more than 72 percent of mesothelioma patients overexpress PD-1. Opdivo … Continue reading Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drug Keytruda Gets a Boost from Opdivo Study »

Spotting the BAP1 Gene Mutation in Mesothelioma Patients

BAP1 gene mutation

New guidelines may make it easier to tell which mesothelioma patients contracted the disease because of a BAP1 gene mutation. The knowledge could have an impact on mesothelioma treatment planning. BAP1 stands for BRCA associated protein-1. People who have an inherited BAP1 gene mutation face a higher risk for several conditions, including malignant mesothelioma.  Very few mesothelioma patients have the mutation and gene testing is not routine. So researchers at a top US cancer center have developed a set of screening criteria. The criteria may help predict which mesothelioma patients could benefit from genetic testing. Testing for the Altered Gene Mesothelioma is just one of the conditions associated with the inherited BAP1 gene mutation. People with this condition are also … Continue reading Spotting the BAP1 Gene Mutation in Mesothelioma Patients »

Depression After Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Women Are at Highest Risk

depression after mesothelioma diagnosis

White women are more likely than other patients to experience depression after mesothelioma diagnosis.  That word comes from researchers at the University of Florida. The team analyzed the cases of more than 120,000 patients with late-stage cancer.  Although all patients face a risk of depression with an advanced cancer diagnosis, the problem appears to be worse among white women.  The research team says understanding how cancer news affects patients can help doctors avoid diagnosis bias.   Cancer Records from the SEER Database The Florida study provides important insights into who is likely to get depression after mesothelioma diagnosis.  The study included 123,066 advanced cancer cases from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database. All study subjects received their diagnosis between … Continue reading Depression After Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Women Are at Highest Risk »

Radiation Exposure Alone Unlikely to Cause Mesothelioma

radiation exposure in shipyards

A new study finds that low-dose occupational radiation exposure is unlikely to cause mesothelioma by itself. Instead, the study confirms what scientists have suspected for at least 60 years: The primary cause of mesothelioma is almost always asbestos.  The goal of the study was to see if radiation exposure by itself raises the risk for mesothelioma. Researchers analyzed three groups of people exposed to radiation on the job.   After reviewing more than 50 years worth of records, the team found that some workers were more likely than others to get malignant mesothelioma. But these were not the workers with the most radiation exposure. Radiation, Asbestos, and Mesothelioma A team of epidemiologists, cancer specialists, and radiation experts ran the new study. … Continue reading Radiation Exposure Alone Unlikely to Cause Mesothelioma »

Shorter Mesothelioma Survival Again Linked to Higher PD-L1 Levels

shorter mesothelioma linked to protein

Patients with the rarest mesothelioma subtypes tend to experience shorter mesothelioma survival. Now, new mesothelioma research suggests that may have something to do with a protein called PD-L1. French researchers studied the PD-L1 levels in the tumors of 214 mesothelioma patients. They compared the levels with each patient’s subtype and their treatment outcome.  The results may help explain cases of shorter mesothelioma survival, especially among patients with sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma subtypes.  PD-L1 Levels and Shorter Mesothelioma Survival Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is one of the proteins that helps mesothelioma cells and other cancers “hide” from the immune system.  Normally, the immune system finds and destroys renegade cells. But if a patient’s mesothelioma tumor expresses higher amount of PD-L1, … Continue reading Shorter Mesothelioma Survival Again Linked to Higher PD-L1 Levels »

Experimental Mesothelioma Treatment Targets Tumor Growth Compounds

Experimental mesothelioma treatment

Hong Kong researchers have released the first results of an experimental mesothelioma treatment they are working on. The treatment targets organic compounds believed to contribute to mesothelioma growth. The trial took place at the University of Hong Kong. Mice with mesothelioma received doses of an enzyme inhibitor called DFMO. The drug appears to stop the production of organic compounds called polyamines. In tests, mice with lower polyamine levels lived longer with pleural mesothelioma. Enzymes Contribute to Tumor Growth The growth and spread of pleural mesothelioma is a complex process. It involves many different proteins and enzymes working together. Scientists have not yet identified all of the compounds that contribute to cancer growth. But the experimental mesothelioma treatment in Hong Kong … Continue reading Experimental Mesothelioma Treatment Targets Tumor Growth Compounds »

Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Shows Promise in Combination Treatment

immunotherapy vaccine for mesothelioma

A bacteria-based immunotherapy vaccine for mesothelioma may improve the odds of surviving the disease by boosting the effects of chemotherapy.  That is the word from the latest clinical trial of CRS-207 headed by researchers at the National Cancer Institute. Thirty-five inoperable patients received the immunotherapy vaccine for mesothelioma along with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy. Eighty-nine percent of them experienced either a full or partial response to the treatment combination.  CRS-207 Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma CRS-207 is based on a modified version of Listeria monocytogenes. The bacterium is best known for causing the food borne illness Listeriosis. In CRS-207, the bacteria has been changed so it cannot make patients sick. The immunotherapy vaccine for mesothelioma uses the bacteria to trigger a powerful … Continue reading Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Shows Promise in Combination Treatment »

PIPAC May Make More Patients Candidates for Mesothelioma Surgery

candidates for mesothelioma surgery

Researchers in France have come up with a way to turn some people with inoperable peritoneal mesothelioma into good candidates for mesothelioma surgery.  They are using a new technique to spray chemotherapy drugs directly onto peritoneal tumors in order to shrink them.  In some cases, the technique shrunk mesothelioma tumors enough that they could be surgically removed with the CRS/HIPEC procedure.  What Makes a Good Candidate for Mesothelioma Surgery A number of factors influence whether patients are good candidates for mesothelioma surgery. Patients have to be in otherwise reasonably good health so that their body can handle the surgery. It is also critical that their mesothelioma not be so widespread in their abdomen that it would be impossible for surgeons … Continue reading PIPAC May Make More Patients Candidates for Mesothelioma Surgery »

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