Novel Strategy May Improve Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

Canadian scientists say suppressing certain kinds of immune system cells could improve the effectiveness of immuno-radiotherapy for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a fast-growing membrane cancer caused by asbestos. Doctors have not found a single therapy that can beat it. For most patients, a combination of treatments offer the best survival odds. Immuno-radiotherapy for mesothelioma combines two types of treatments. Immunotherapy drugs activate the immune system while radiation attacks the tumor directly.  Mesothelioma tumors fight back against both kinds of treatments. But researchers testing a combination of the two may have found a way to make it even more powerful. How Immuno-Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Works Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most treatment-resistant cancers. Doctors have to attack it from many different … Continue reading Novel Strategy May Improve Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Pandemic-Related Mesothelioma Treatment Delays Could Impact Outcomes

mesothelioma treatment delays

Mesothelioma treatment delays that happened because of the COVID-19 pandemic will probably impact survival rates for some patients.  A new study of Canadian lung cancer patients found that more than half of them stopped or delayed treatment because of concerns about the virus this spring. Pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related cancer. Like lung cancer patients, mesothelioma patients face a higher risk of virus-related complications because they already have breathing problems.  But mesothelioma is also a fast-growing cancer. Most patients get several kinds of treatment at the same time. Mesothelioma treatment delays may give tumors a chance to grow unchecked.  A Catch-22 for Mesothelioma Patients Mesothelioma patients and others with lung diseases have had to make some difficult decisions because of … Continue reading Pandemic-Related Mesothelioma Treatment Delays Could Impact Outcomes »

Medical Appointments for Advanced Mesothelioma Patients: How Much is Too Much?

medical appointments

A pair of researchers in New Zealand say the typical number of in-person medical appointments for people with untreatable pleural mesothelioma may be more stressful than helpful. Their study focused on lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma patients with no active treatment options. They found that what most of these patients really want is reliable information, hope, and a positive relationship with their medical team.  The report suggests that doctors could meet many of these with fewer visits or virtual medical appointments. Coping with Advanced Mesothelioma Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive lung-related cancer. Mesothelioma starts on the lining around the lungs. It can quickly spread into the lungs and to other organs in the chest.  Most patients … Continue reading Medical Appointments for Advanced Mesothelioma Patients: How Much is Too Much? »

Manipulating “Fight or Flight” Could Impact Effectiveness of Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

Effectiveness of Immunotherapy

Doctors at the University of Connecticut may have found a way to influence the effectiveness of immunotherapy by manipulating the body’s fight or flight response. The finding could have a bearing on the treatment of advanced mesothelioma.   Researchers used mice to confirm the connection between the sympathetic nervous system and the body’s ability to fight off cancer. The sympathetic nervous system regulates the “fight or flight” response to stress.  The report shows that this response impacts the development of natural killer cells. Drugs that alter that response might change the effectiveness of immunotherapy.  What is the Sympathetic Nervous System? When the body is under stress, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) releases a cascade of hormones and chemicals. These hormones increase … Continue reading Manipulating “Fight or Flight” Could Impact Effectiveness of Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields: New Hope for Mesothelioma?

Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields

There is hope that a new lung cancer trial combining Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields could lead to a new treatment for pleural mesothelioma.  Recent studies show Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is one of the most promising immunotherapy drugs against malignant mesothelioma. Electrical device Tumor Treating Fields is only the second treatment to receive FDA approval for mesothelioma.  This summer, the manufacturers of these two treatments announced they would team up. They will test Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The results could impact the future of mesothelioma treatment, too. Two Promising Therapies: Keytruda Keytruda is an immunotherapy drug. It blocks a protein called PD-1. Many types of cancer cells overproduce PD-1 to evade the immune … Continue reading Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields: New Hope for Mesothelioma? »

Standard Mesothelioma Chemotherapy with Avastin: More Good News

Standard Mesothelioma Chemotherapy

Another new study suggests that adding a third drug to standard mesothelioma chemotherapy might lead to better treatment outcomes.  Several recent studies show immunotherapy drugs like Keytruda and IMFINZI may boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy.  The newest report focuses on the monoclonal antibody, bevacizumab (Avastin). Japanese researchers back up what others have found. They say most patients did well on a combination of Avastin and standard mesothelioma chemotherapy.  Drug Blocks Blood Vessel Formation Like all body tissues, mesothelioma tumors need blood vessels to grow and thrive. Angiogenesis is the process by which tumors create their own new blood vessels.  Avastin works by blocking this process. Without an adequate blood supply, a mesothelioma tumor may be more susceptible to standard mesothelioma … Continue reading Standard Mesothelioma Chemotherapy with Avastin: More Good News »

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor May Change the Standard Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor

The immune checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab could become a standard part of first-line mesothelioma treatment if the results of a new study hold true in a Phase 3 trial.  Australian researchers have become the latest to show the benefit of adding durvalumab to first-line chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is usually the first thing doctors use to treat pleural mesothelioma. But as many as half of mesothelioma patients do not respond to it. Researchers around the world are hopeful that adding an immune checkpoint inhibitor like durvalumab will lead to better response rates. What is an Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor? Mesothelioma cells survive and thrive in part because they have ways of protecting themselves. Chemotherapy drugs are less likely to hurt them … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor May Change the Standard Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma »

Could Anti-Malaria Drug Become New Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment?

new pleural mesothelioma treatment

A new report  suggests an anti-malaria drug called quinacrine has potential as a new pleural mesothelioma treatment. Before chloroquine became more popular, quinacrine was widely used to treat malaria. Now doctors mostly use it for a diarrhea disease caused by a parasite. But a report published in the International Journal of Molecular Science says quinacrine also has anti-cancer properties. Laboratory tests suggest it has the makings of a powerful new pleural mesothelioma treatment. The Challenge of Pleural Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma starts on the membranes around internal organs. It can quickly spread to other parts of the body. Pleural mesothelioma grows on the lining around the lungs. It is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos dust.  Most people with mesothelioma … Continue reading Could Anti-Malaria Drug Become New Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment? »

Skin Side Effects of TTFields Mesothelioma Treatment

Skin Side Effects

A new report has some advice for dealing with the possible skin side effects of the newest FDA-approved mesothelioma treatment, Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields). TTFields, or Optune Lua, is an antimitotic treatment for asbestos cancer. It generates alternating electrical fields that disrupt the cancer cells’ ability to divide. TTFields is also approved for a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma.   The new report says skin side effects like itching, sweating, and dry skin, can cause people to stop the treatment. Dealing with those problems effectively could improve survival for mesothelioma patients.  How TTF Works Pleural mesothelioma tumors grow on the membrane around the lungs. Alimta is the only FDA-approved medicine for mesothelioma. It received approval in 2004.  The Optune Lua … Continue reading Skin Side Effects of TTFields Mesothelioma Treatment »

T-Cell Immunotherapy Trial Could be Good News for Mesothelioma Patients

T-Cell Immunotherapy

The first four mesothelioma patients treated with a new kind of T-cell immunotherapy have responded well with few side effects.  That is the word from researchers working with the drug TC-210. TC-210 is a type of T cell therapy. It is made by TCR² Therapeutics. Malignant mesothelioma is one of several kinds of cancers that overproduce the protein mesothelin. In the Phase I trial, tumors regressed in all five cancer patients who received T-cell immunotherapy with TC-210.  Targeting Cancer with T-Cells T-cells are immune system cells that help fight cancer and other invaders. Mesothelioma and other cancers have ways of avoiding the body’s natural killer T-cell response. T-cell immunotherapy helps to turn it back on.  TC-210 is like a “living … Continue reading T-Cell Immunotherapy Trial Could be Good News for Mesothelioma Patients »

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