When Chemotherapy Fails: Apatinib May Offer Third-Line Option for Mesothelioma Patients

An investigational drug being developed in China may offer a third lifeline to mesothelioma patients whose cancer does not respond to other chemotherapy drugs. Apatinib, also called YN968D1, is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is thought to help prevent the formation of blood vessels that mesothelioma tumors need to grow and spread. Right now, there is no approved second-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma, let alone a third-line treatment. Chinese researchers at 363 Hospital in Cheng Du — along with mesothelioma patients around the world — are hoping that apatinib will change that. Mesothelioma Case Study The researchers are hanging their hopes on the case of a 58-year old woman who showed up at their hospital complaining that she had had … Continue reading When Chemotherapy Fails: Apatinib May Offer Third-Line Option for Mesothelioma Patients »

Mesothelioma Patients Should Use Caution When Considering Complementary Treatments

Mesothelioma Complementary Treatments

If you are going to consider complementary therapies for malignant mesothelioma, it may not be wise to do it at the exclusion of conventional cancer treatment. That is the message from a new study of nearly 2 million cancer patients published in JAMA Oncology. The study included patients with breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer who were diagnosed between 2004 and 2013 at 1,500 Commission on Cancer-accredited centers across the US. Researchers found that the 258 patients who chose to use complementary medicine for their condition had a higher risk of death than those who didn’t. But the reason may have less to do with the complementary therapies themselves than the fact that many of these same patients also refused … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patients Should Use Caution When Considering Complementary Treatments »

Meta-Analysis Finds Lung-Sparing Surgery the Best Option for Most Mesothelioma Patients

There is now more evidence to support the growing number of experts who favor lung-sparing P/D surgery over radical extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. There has been an ongoing debate within the surgical community over which procedure carries the most benefit with the least risk. The late David Sugarbaker, MD, of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston was a pioneer of the EPP procedure, which involves removing not only the diseased pleural lining where mesothelioma tumors grow, but also the nearest lung, most of the diaphragm, the pericardium, and other at-risk tissues. But it turns out that, although Sugarbaker and his team were able to show a mesothelioma survival benefit with EPP, their results, … Continue reading Meta-Analysis Finds Lung-Sparing Surgery the Best Option for Most Mesothelioma Patients »

Ofev Fails to Boost Mesothelioma Survival in New Study

In the quest to develop new, more effective first-line treatments for malignant pleural mesothelioma, it now looks like Ofev (nintedanib) is out of the running. Phase III results of the LUME-Meso mesothelioma trial are in and they contain some disappointing news for mesothelioma patients and for the drug’s developer, Boehringer Ingelheim. The news is especially disappointing since the results of the Phase II portion of the trial, released last year, looked promising. At that time, researchers reported a survival gain of more than 5 months among the Ofev-treated mesothelioma patients and progression-free survival of four months. But further research did not support those results, as investigators announced to the world’s lung cancer experts at the IASLC 19th World Lung Cancer … Continue reading Ofev Fails to Boost Mesothelioma Survival in New Study »

Old Drug May Breath New Life Into Mesothelioma Radiotherapy

Researchers at the University of Ohio may have found a way to make radiation therapy more effective for people with mesothelioma and other types of solid tumors. They’re using a muscle relaxant approved in the 1800s to increase the level of oxygen in cancer cells and make them more susceptible to the damaging effects of radiation. The research could have wide-ranging implications, especially for patients fighting treatment-resistant malignancies like pleural mesothelioma. The Limitations of Radiation for Pleural Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer associated with asbestos exposure that occurs on the membranes around internal organs. Although the irregular shape and tricky location of mesothelioma tumors can make them difficult to treat with radiotherapy, advanced targeting techniques are making it more … Continue reading Old Drug May Breath New Life Into Mesothelioma Radiotherapy »

Mesothelioma Surgery and the Threat of Opioid Addiction

A new study of opioid addiction among lung cancer patients may have implications for pleural mesothelioma patients who are considering surgery. The study, published this month in JAMA Oncology, finds that patients treated with more invasive surgical techniques are more likely to become chronic opioid users than those who have less invasive surgery. Opioids Are ‘Standard of Care’ for Lung Surgery Patients Researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York studied the cases of nearly 4,000  people from the SEER Medicare database who had some type of surgery for non-small cell lung cancer, a type of cancer that shares many commonalities with the lung-related asbestos cancer, pleural mesothelioma. Some of the lung cancer patients studied underwent open thoracic surgery while others … Continue reading Mesothelioma Surgery and the Threat of Opioid Addiction »

Surgery May Offer Survival Advantage for Rare Mesothelioma Subtypes

People with the most dangerous subtypes of malignant pleural mesothelioma may live longer if they undergo surgery. In an article in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, University of Arizona researchers say cancer-directed surgery can lengthen survival in people with sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma, two of the hardest cancers to treat. Multiple studies have suggested that there is a survival benefit from surgery in people with epithelioid mesothelioma, the most common subtype. But, the evidence is much more scanty for people with either sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma, both of which are associated with a worse mesothelioma prognosis  and shorter overall survival. Now, the Tucson-based research team says surgery aimed at removing the cancer (rather than just alleviating symptoms) can help these mesothelioma … Continue reading Surgery May Offer Survival Advantage for Rare Mesothelioma Subtypes »

Short Term Mesothelioma Survival Better with Conservative Surgery

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have added their voices to the ongoing debate over the best type of surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma. After a meta-analysis of 30-day mortality among 500 mesothelioma patients, the group has come down on the side of pleurectomy decortication (PD), the more conservative — and less risky — of the two major types of mesothelioma surgery. Mesothelioma Surgery: EPP vs. P/D Pleural mesothelioma, also referred to as asbestos cancer, is notoriously difficult to treat. Successful mesothelioma treatment usually involves a combination of therapies, such as Alimta (pemetrexed), radiotherapy, and curative surgery in patients who are healthy enough to undergo it. (Surgery is currently only recommended for patients with epithelioid mesothelioma, … Continue reading Short Term Mesothelioma Survival Better with Conservative Surgery »

Is it Time for a Curcumin-Based Mesothelioma Treatment?

Yet another scientific study appears to confirm the power of the spice-derived compound curcumin as a weapon against malignant pleural mesothelioma. The Chinese researchers who conducted the latest study say the substance has the potential to be the basis of a whole new way of treating this aggressive asbestos cancer. This team tested curcumin on a line of mouse mesothelioma cells, both in the lab and in live animals, and published their promising results in the prestigious International Journal of Oncology. Curcumin’s Impact on Mesothelioma Cells Curumin is a primary chemical in turmeric, responsible for the root’s spicy flavor and characteristic yellow hue. If turmeric does, in fact, help fight cancer, as so many health food stores and supplement makers … Continue reading Is it Time for a Curcumin-Based Mesothelioma Treatment? »

New Study Points to Benefits of IMRT for Mesothelioma Treatment

There is more evidence that mesothelioma patients who have lung sparing surgery can live longer if it’s followed up with highly targeted radiation therapy. In the first study to come out of Israel on the subject, a team of oncologists, pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, and thoracic surgeons at Rabin Medicine Center in Petah Tikva say intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is safe and effective for slowing down the growth of pleural mesothelioma tumors. The Challenge of Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma The irregularity of malignant mesothelioma tumors makes them difficult to treat with standard external beam radiotherapy without damaging healthy tissue and causing serious side effects. This is particularly problematic in patients who still have both lungs, either because they were not good … Continue reading New Study Points to Benefits of IMRT for Mesothelioma Treatment »

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