ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment

Fast Track designation

An immunotherapy treatment called ONCOS-102 has received fast track designation from the FDA as a pleural mesothelioma therapy. Targovax is a Norweigian company that makes ONCOS-102. The company made the announcement today. It means that ONCOS-102 could be available to help people with pleural mesothelioma sooner.  Fast-track designation is for therapies with the potential to address serious medical conditions that have no good treatments. Right now, there is no cure for pleural mesothelioma and very few viable treatment options. The FDA based its decision on encouraging animal studies and early human trials of ONCOS-102.   Importance of Fast Track Designation ONCOS-102 is an experimental treatment made from a modified virus. The virus allows ONCOS-102 to overcome one of the biggest challenges … Continue reading ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment »

Radiotherapy Outcomes in Mesothelioma Linked to Metabolism

radiotherapy outcomes

Italian researchers say metabolic markers may hold the key to predicting radiotherapy outcomes in people with mesothelioma. Metabolism is the process by which cells produce energy. Metabolism is necessary for cancer cells to live. Mesothelioma cells metabolize faster than healthy cells.  Radiotherapy affects cancer cell metabolism. A new study shows that compounds produced during metabolism may impact radiotherapy outcomes. It suggests that a patient’s metabolic profile – or metabolome – could help doctors choose good candidates for radiation. Radical Hemithoracic Radiotherapy and Mesothelioma  Pleural mesothelioma is a rare lung-related cancer caused by asbestos exposure. There is no cure for mesothelioma. Most mesothelioma patients have a combination of therapies. Radiation is one of the methods doctors use to help slow its … Continue reading Radiotherapy Outcomes in Mesothelioma Linked to Metabolism »

Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy

Biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma

Two of the most important biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma are not much help when it comes to tracking response to immunotherapy. Top mesothelioma researchers at the University of Pennsylvania drew that conclusion based on data from a cohort of 58 patients.  They focused on two primary biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma: SMRP and fibulin-3. Doctors use both of these markers to diagnose and plan treatment for mesothelioma.  The study confirms the correlation between these markers and mesothelioma tumor volume. But the Penn Medicine researchers say these biomarkers of pleural mesothelioma were “not useful” for measuring immunotherapy response. Understanding Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma A biomarker is a substance produced by the body that indicates a biological process or condition. Most mesothelioma biomarkers … Continue reading Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy »

Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics

chemoresistance in mesothelioma

A team of Swiss and German researchers have a theory about why so many mesothelioma patients experience chemoresistance.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for asbestos cancer. But fewer than half of patients respond to it.  The new study suggests that this may have to do with an alteration on the BAP1 gene. Medicine cannot change a person’s underlying genetics. But knowing who is likely to experience chemoresistance could help patients and doctors choose the most effective treatments.  BAP1 Expression and Mesothelioma BAP1 stands for BRCA1 associated protein-1. People who have an inherited mutation of this gene produce less of the BAP1 protein. This seems to increase their risk for malignant mesothelioma and several other conditions. People with BAP1 loss … Continue reading Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics »

Autoimmune Disease and Mesothelioma: Will it Impact Survival?

autoimmune disease

A new lung cancer study suggests that having an autoimmune disease will not necessarily lead to shorter cancer survival. This could be good news for pleural mesothelioma patients suffering from autoimmune disorders. Pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related disease that has many characteristics in common with lung cancer.  The new study comes from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. It included 177 lung cancer patients who also had immune diseases. Doctors compared their survival with a control group of lung cancer patients.   They determined that having an autoimmune disease did not negatively impact lung cancer survival. In fact, some of those patients lived longer than those with healthy immune systems.  What is an Autoimmune Disease? An autoimmune disease is … Continue reading Autoimmune Disease and Mesothelioma: Will it Impact Survival? »

WHO to Recognize Fourth Mesothelioma Subtype

mesothelioma subtype

The World Health Organization will soon recognize mesothelioma in situ as a fourth mesothelioma subtype.  The 2015 WHO classification of pleural mesothelioma includes three histological subtypes. Pathologists can tell the difference between the subtypes by looking at the cells under a microscope. Each subtype has a slightly different cell shape, growth pattern, and nuclear characteristics.  The proposed fourth mesothelioma subtype is a very early form of mesothelioma. Previous studies suggest that it may be a precursor to invasive mesothelioma. If patients know they have it, they may have years to try to keep mesothelioma from developing. Differences Between the Subtypes Pleural mesothelioma is a very rare type of cancer. Only about 2,500 people in the US receive a mesothelioma diagnosis … Continue reading WHO to Recognize Fourth Mesothelioma Subtype »

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 »

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