Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102

long-term mesothelioma survival

The makers of the immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102 have released promising new data on its ability to promote long-term mesothelioma survival. The report came less than two weeks after ONCOS-102 got FDA approval to fast-track its development.  ONCOS-102 is an investigational treatment made from a modified virus. The virus helps the treatment target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone.  The new long-term mesothelioma survival data shows half of people on ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy have lived for 21 months. And the study is not over yet. Typical survival with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy is about a year.  Targovax says the data shows how valuable ONCOS-102 could be for patients with this rare but aggressive malignancy. Standard of Care for Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102 »

Some Mesothelioma Patients Have Unrealistic View of Palliative Chemotherapy

palliative chemotherapy

A new Danish study suggests that, when it comes to palliative chemotherapy for mesothelioma, patients, families, and doctors may have very different expectations.  Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. It is not curable but chemotherapy can sometimes slow it down. Palliative chemotherapy is chemotherapy aimed at relieving mesothelioma symptoms.  But researchers at Odense University and University of Southern Denmark say nearly a third of families expect palliative chemotherapy to cure their cancer. This was especially true of patients younger than 70.  Palliative Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma Chemotherapy has been the main treatment for mesothelioma since the early 2000s. Pemetrexed (Alimta) and a platinum drug like cisplatin is the standard drug combination. But this treatment is rarely a cure. … Continue reading Some Mesothelioma Patients Have Unrealistic View of Palliative Chemotherapy »

Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis

medical thoracoscopy

UK researchers say a minimally invasive procedure called medical thoracoscopy is safe and effective for diagnosing mesothelioma and treating its symptoms.  The word comes from a large medical center in Northumberland. The UK has one of the highest rates of pleural mesothelioma in the world. Rates of pleural mesothelioma in Northumberland are especially high.  Mesothelioma diagnosis usually requires a biopsy. The new study finds that medical thoracoscopy enabled “high diagnostic sensitivity” with few serious complications.   Understanding Medical Thoracoscopy Medical thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the pleura. The pleura is a membrane that surrounds the lung. People with mesothelioma and some other diseases can develop fluid between the pleura and the lungs. The fluid is … Continue reading Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

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 »

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 »

Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study

diabetes drug

A new study suggests that the diabetes drug metformin may help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading.  The study is not the first study of metformin for mesothelioma. But this one dives deeper into how the diabetes drug may actually work against asbestos cancer.  Drugs to treat mesothelioma can be expensive. But metformin pills are common and relatively cheap. If the drug proves to be helpful against mesothelioma, it could offer hope to thousands of patients fighting this rare cancer.  Mesothelioma Treatment with a Diabetes Drug? Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos. It affects the thin tissue surrounding the lungs.  As cancer grows on this membrane, it prevents the natural movement of the … Continue reading Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study »

Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study

maintenance therapy

Dutch researchers say administering maintenance therapy with gemcitabine after chemotherapy may help mesothelioma patients live longer than supportive care alone.  Gemcitabine is an antimetabolite sold under the brand name Gemzar. Oncologists use it to treat several other types of cancer. When cancer cells absorb gemcitabine, they can no longer divide into new cancer cells.  Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy as their first-line treatment. If they are healthy enough, they may also have mesothelioma surgery. A maintenance therapy is a treatment that follows the main treatment. It is an effort to maintain the effects of the treatment.  The new Dutch study shows gemcitabine may be a safe and effective choice for maintenance therapy. What Does Maintenance Therapy Mean? Right now, there … Continue reading Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study »

Still No Clear Answer on SMART Protocol for Pleural Mesothelioma

SMART protocol for mesothelioma

Another study is out and there is still no clear answer about the value of the SMART protocol for mesothelioma.  SMART stands for surgery for mesothelioma after radiotherapy. After studying nearly a hundred patients, doctors in Toronto say radical surgery after RT can be effective. But they also say it is still very hard to prevent serious complications, even in an experienced center like theirs.  The team at Princess Margaret Cancer Center tested the SMART protocol on previously-untreated pleural mesothelioma patients.  As with previous studies of the SMART protocol for mesothelioma, some of the patients did very well. Many lived longer than they would normally expect to live. But there was also a high incidence of serious surgery-related complications.  The … Continue reading Still No Clear Answer on SMART Protocol for Pleural Mesothelioma »

Immunotherapy with Keytruda for Mesothelioma: A New Case Report

immunotherapy with Keytruda

  There’s more encouraging news about immunotherapy with Keytruda for people with pleural mesothelioma. The latest report comes from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.  A doctor in the orthopaedic department at the school has malignant pleural mesothelioma. He and three colleagues recently published news of his “prompt and exceptionally favorable” response to firstline treatment with pembrolizumab.  Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Several studies suggest that adding immunotherapy with Keytruda to other mesothelioma treatments may improve outcomes.  But the new case report indicates that Keytruda could also be a good firstline option for some mesothelioma patients.  How Immunotherapy with Keytruda Works Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system against the cancer. … Continue reading Immunotherapy with Keytruda for Mesothelioma: A New Case Report »

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 »

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