Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival: Follow-up is Critical

long-term mesothelioma survival

A newly published French case report is a reminder that long-term mesothelioma survival requires long-term follow-up. The case comes from Aix-Marseille University in Marseille. In the Annals of Medicine and Surgery, doctors wrote about a man who survived mesothelioma for 14 years. In all that time, his cancer did not progress. The situation is unusual for mesothelioma. The life expectancy of most mesothelioma patients is about 18 months. Prolonged survival is two years or more. But the authors of the new report say their case shows that long-term mesothelioma survival is not impossible with the right approach. Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma usually occurs in people who have lived or worked around asbestos. Many do not know they have … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival: Follow-up is Critical »

New Cancer Vaccine Might Help Resistant Mesothelioma

new cancer vaccine

Researchers at Harvard are developing a new cancer vaccine. Preliminary data suggest that it might work just as well as more complex and time-consuming personalized mesothelioma therapies.  Mesothelioma immunotherapy is a focus for researchers around the world. But this kind of treatment can take a long time to develop. And there is no single therapy that works for every patient.  The new cancer vaccine would combine chemotherapy and a more generic kind of immunotherapy. This approach has the potential to help mesothelioma patients who do not respond to standard treatments.  How Does Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Work? Immunotherapy is one element of the proposed new cancer vaccine. Immunotherapy fights cancers like mesothelioma by manipulating the immune system.  Some kinds of mesothelioma immunotherapy … Continue reading New Cancer Vaccine Might Help Resistant Mesothelioma »

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma in New Phase I Trial

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York are about to try a new kind of CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma in human patients.  This is the first Phase I trial of the new CAR T-cell approach. The therapy involves removing some of a patient’s T-cells, modifying them, and giving them back to fight cancer.  The new CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma involves cells that have been modified in new ways. They still seek out cancer cells. But these CAR T-cells are made to last longer and to undermine a primary mesothelioma cell defense mechanism. The FDA approved the study in September. Memorial Sloan Kettering is recruiting mesothelioma patients for it now.  T-Cells That Target Mesothelioma Cells CART T-cell therapy … Continue reading CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma in New Phase I Trial »

Smartphone Monitoring System Helps Manage Mesothelioma Symptoms

Manage Mesothelioma Symptoms

A new study shows a system that connects doctors and patients via smartphone may make it easier to manage mesothelioma symptoms.  Mesothelioma tumors grow quickly on the membrane around the lungs. Mesothelioma patients tend to have many physical symptoms.  Researchers in the UK tested a mesothelioma-specific version of a symptom management system. Their study shows patients felt better with easier access to a doctor to help them manage mesothelioma symptoms.  Symptoms of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of asbestos cancer. As tumors grow, the pleural membrane becomes less pliable. This makes it harder for the lungs to expand. The space around the lungs can also fill up with fluid (pleural effusions) as the body tries … Continue reading Smartphone Monitoring System Helps Manage Mesothelioma Symptoms »

T-Cells Test May Predict Success of New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma

new drug combination for mesothelioma

A month after the FDA approved a new drug combination for pleural mesothelioma, scientists are discovering more about who might benefit the most from this treatment.  A new report in EBioMedicine suggests that the success of the new drug combination for mesothelioma depends on the presence and activation of special immune system cells. Researchers in the Netherlands found that patients with enough of the right kind of T-cells had the best results. The findings could help doctors screen out mesothelioma patients who are less likely to benefit.  The Long-Awaited New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma  The two medicines in the new drug combination for mesothelioma are nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy).  The FDA approved a mix of the two immunotherapy drugs … Continue reading T-Cells Test May Predict Success of New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma »

Altered Herpes Virus Halts Mesothelioma Growth in New Study

altered herpes virus

An altered herpes virus has been shown to stabilize the growth of mesothelioma tumors in half of patients who participated in a new UK study.  Researchers at the University of Sheffield injected thirteen mesothelioma patients with a cancer cell-seeking version of HSV, the virus that causes herpes.  The altered herpes virus is not able to replicate in non-dividing cells. This also makes it most destructive inside cancer cells. It is also attenuated or weakened so it does not cause herpes. Other studies show the virus (HSV1716) can stimulate the immune system against cancer. The new report suggests that it may be a safe new way to fight mesothelioma, too. The Need for a New Mesothelioma Drug The FDA has only approved … Continue reading Altered Herpes Virus Halts Mesothelioma Growth in New Study »

Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma

Nivolumab and Chemotherapy

Researchers in Germany are recruiting patients for a trial of nivolumab and chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma patients who have had surgery. Nivolumab (Opdivo) is an immunotherapy drug similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda). It blocks a protein that helps mesothelioma cells hide from the immune system. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The multicenter German study will test if a combination of nivolumab and chemotherapy can help keep tumors from growing back after mesothelioma surgery. Previous studies suggest that it has the potential to do so. How Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Work Immune checkpoint inhibitors like nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and ipilimumab (Yervoy) are a major focus for mesothelioma researchers. Mesothelioma cells are notoriously tenacious. They often fail to … Continue reading Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Vitamin D3 May Slow the Spread of Pleural Mesothelioma, Study Shows

Vitamin D

A study conducted in Italy suggests that Vitamin D3 might help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading. The biologically active form of Vitamin D is calcitriol or D3. Other studies suggest it might have anticancer properties. But no one has studied its effect on mesothelioma cells until now.  The researchers applied Vitamin D3 to pleural mesothelioma cells in the lab. Not only did it weaken the cells, but it also blocked their ability to divide into new cells. The study suggests that Vitamin D may even boost the effectiveness of mesothelioma chemotherapy. The Cancer-Fighting Role of Calcitriol The body naturally produces calcitriol. It plays a role in regulating the cell cycle, including apoptosis or natural cell death. Vitamin D3 … Continue reading Vitamin D3 May Slow the Spread of Pleural Mesothelioma, Study Shows »

Complications After PD Surgery for Mesothelioma

Complications After PD Surgery

Durable air leak is one of the most common complications after PD surgery for pleural mesothelioma, according to the authors of a new study. People with overall better health are less likely than others to experience the problem.  Air leaks happen when inhaled air does not stay in the alveoli in the lungs. Instead, it leaks into the area around the lungs. This can cause breathing problems and put pressure on the heart. Too much leaked air can even collapse a lung. A new Japanese study found that more than half of mesothelioma patients analyzed experienced serious complications after PD surgery. One in three patients suffered from air leak for more than ten days.  Pleurectomy/Decortication for Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is … Continue reading Complications After PD Surgery for Mesothelioma »

Leukemia Drug for Mesothelioma? Lab Tests Show It’s Possible

leukemia drug

New data suggests that doctors might have good luck using a leukemia drug to treat pleural mesothelioma. The drug in question is ponatinib. It sells under the brand name Iclusig. Ponatinib is a pill that inhibits certain enzymes that may lead to mesothelioma tumor growth.  A study carried out at the University of California showed that the leukemia drug kept mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading in the lab. It could give doctors a new treatment option for patients who do not respond to standard therapies.  How the Leukemia Drug Works Ponatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Tyrosine kinases are enzymes that interact with certain proteins inside cells. Tyrosine kinases act as on/off switches for many cellular functions.  In some … Continue reading Leukemia Drug for Mesothelioma? Lab Tests Show It’s Possible »

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