Curcumin Treatment for Mesothelioma: Research is Encouraging

curcumin treatment for mesothelioma

The research on curcumin treatment for mesothelioma looks promising, but more hard science is needed before doctors can incorporate it into their treatment plans.  That is the message from a new multi-center international review of studies on curcumin for mesothelioma.  Curcumin is a phytochemical that gives the spice turmeric its distinctive yellow color. Phytochemicals are compounds produced by plants. Different phytochemicals help plants fight disease or protect themselves from other threats.  The new review summarizes the research on curcumin treatment for mesothelioma. It suggests that this compound may one day be a standard part of treating this intractable cancer.  What Do We Know About Curcumin? Practitioners of natural medicine have used the curcumin in turmeric to treat disease for hundreds … Continue reading Curcumin Treatment for Mesothelioma: Research is Encouraging »

Mesothelioma Pain Management with PCC

mesothelioma pain management

A study out of the UK says more doctors should consider using a minimally invasive surgical technique called PCC in mesothelioma pain management. They also say it should happen earlier. Percutaneous cervical cordotomy (PCC)  uses an electrode to destroy a small set of nerves in the spinal cord. These nerves send pain signals to the brain.  Although the evidence for PCC is limited, the researchers say their study shows it is safe and effective for mesothelioma pain management. Unfortunately, the patients who do have PCC tend to have it late in their illness.  Pleural Mesothelioma Discomfort Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin tissue that encases the lungs. There are no nerves in this tissue, so patients do … Continue reading Mesothelioma Pain Management with PCC »

Researchers Argue Against Surgery for Mesothelioma

surgery for mesothelioma

A pair of California surgeons say surgery for mesothelioma is rarely worthwhile. They point to what they say are flawed studies on surgical treatment. One trial they believe was well-conducted seems to show reduced mesothelioma survival after surgery. Writing in the journal Translational Lung Cancer Research, the doctors argue that most patients should choose non-surgical treatment for mesothelioma.  Some Background on Surgery for Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining around the lungs. It is an aggressive cancer with no known cure. There are two primary approaches to surgery for mesothelioma. Both types are controversial and the subject of much debate among surgeons.  Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) is a surgical approach that involves removing the pleural membrane, one lung, … Continue reading Researchers Argue Against Surgery for Mesothelioma »

PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study

PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab

A study of the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab showed “safety and efficacy” in mesothelioma patients who failed with other treatments.  Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy marketed under the brand name Opdivo. It is similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in that it blocks the tumor-promoting protein PD-L1. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.  A multicenter phase II Japanese study found the PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab helped a group of pleural mesothelioma patients live longer. Just as importantly, the side effects of the drug were “manageable”.  Human Trial of PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin is the standard first-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma. But many patients either do not respond to chemotherapy or they stop … Continue reading PD-L1 Inhibitor Nivolumab Works Well in New Mesothelioma Study »

Possible New Drug for Mesothelioma Gets First FDA Approval

new drug for mesothelioma

A possible new drug for mesothelioma has received FDA approval for the treatment of advanced epithelioid sarcoma.  Tazemetostat (Tazverik) is an oral medication made by a company called Epizyme. It is a brand new kind of drug that blocks a protein called EZH2. Tazemetostat is in testing for several different types of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma.  The recent FDA approval is an encouraging sign that it could one day be a new drug for mesothelioma.  In Search of a New Drug for Mesothelioma  Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most serious consequences of exposure to asbestos. Once asbestos fibers get into the lungs and other tissues, they never leave. Their presence sets up a cascade of cellular reactions that can … Continue reading Possible New Drug for Mesothelioma Gets First FDA Approval »

Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed

immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma

A new report says biomarkers are urgently needed to determine which patients would benefit from immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  Researchers made the statement in a review of immunotherapy drugs in testing for malignant mesothelioma.  They say some of these drugs have proven to be more effective than others for asbestos cancer. But a set of biomarkers would go a long way to funneling patients into the right immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  The Status of Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is believed to be the most promising up-and-coming cancer treatment. Immunotherapy treatments harness the strength of the body’s own immune response to attack cancer or help other drugs do so.  Like other types of cancer, mesothelioma cells have ways of avoiding … Continue reading Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed »

Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma

sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma

Japanese doctors are reporting a remarkable response from the immunotherapy drug nivolumab in a patient with sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma.  Sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma is a very rare form of a rare cancer. It accounts for about 10 percent of cases of malignant mesothelioma.  This subtype is typically less responsive to standard treatments than the more common epithelioid variety. But researches at Kyushu Hospital in Fukuoka, Japan say nivolumab turned things around for their patient when the case looked hopeless.  How is Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma DIfferent? Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the linings around organs. Pleural mesothelioma grows on the pleural membrane that surrounds the lungs.  There are three cell subtypes of mesothelioma. The three subtypes respond differently to mesothelioma treatments. … Continue reading Immunotherapy Prompts “Remarkable Response” in Sarcomatoid Pleural Mesothelioma »

Surgery Extends Survival for Patients with Pleural Mesothelioma

patients with pleural mesothelioma

Patients with pleural mesothelioma who choose to have surgery live longer than those who do not. This applies no matter which kind of surgery they have.  That is the conclusion of a Mexican study published in the Annals of Oncology. Doctors with the country’s National Institute for Respiratory Diseases conducted the study. It included 122 pleural mesothelioma patients.  The researchers analyzed a wide range of variables like age, sex, asbestos exposure, and overall health. They discovered that the decision to have surgery was one of the most important survival factors in patients with pleural mesothelioma. Treatment Options for Patients with Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer with no known cure. It usually occurs in people who have been … Continue reading Surgery Extends Survival for Patients with Pleural Mesothelioma »

Targeted Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma May Extend Survival in the Right Patients

targeted radiotherapy for mesothelioma

A meta-analysis conducted by some of the country’s top cancer researchers says targeted radiotherapy for mesothelioma can help some people live longer. It is the first such analysis of targeted radiation after lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery. The team focused on intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). IMRT is more precise than earlier forms of radiation treatment.  The new article appears in Practical Radiation Oncology. It is a meta-analysis of ten smaller studies. The researchers conclude that healthier surgery patients could safely consider targeted radiotherapy for mesothelioma. Making Radiotherapy Less Toxic In the past, radiation for mesothelioma has sometimes done more harm than good. Earlier types of radiation treatment were not as precise as IMRT. When radiation spills over into healthy tissue, it … Continue reading Targeted Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma May Extend Survival in the Right Patients »

Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study

second line mesothelioma treatment

Italian researchers say there is good news and bad news about a proposed second line mesothelioma treatment.  The good news is that the treatment did not cause major side effects in the patients who tried it. The bad news is that it also did not help them live any longer.  The treatment is a mixture of gemcitabine and imatinib. Animal studies suggested that the combination might improve mesothelioma survival.  The newly-published study shows the second line mesothelioma treatment did help control the disease in most patients. But the 23 patients who tried it only lived for a median of 5.7 months. That was not enough for doctors to recommend the combination. Mesothelioma Chemotherapy and Survival The most common first line … Continue reading Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study »

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