Radiofrequency Ablation for Recurrent Mesothelioma: A New Treatment Option?

A procedure normally used to help alleviate pain has been used to successfully stop a case of recurrent malignant pleural mesothelioma in Japan. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses electrical energy delivered through a thin, hollow needle to heat and destroy cancer cells. Most of the time, this technology is used to destroy small tumors or a treat small area of cancer to alleviate symptoms such as pain or discomfort. But thoracic surgeons at the Hyogo College of Medicine in Hyogo, Japan say their new case study suggests that the procedure should also be considered as a definitive treatment — especially for mesothelioma patients for whom surgery is not a viable option. Complex Mesothelioma Case Drives RFA Decision In a new report … Continue reading Radiofrequency Ablation for Recurrent Mesothelioma: A New Treatment Option? »

Radiotherapy LIkely to Play a Bigger Role in Future Mesothelioma Therapy

New research suggests that radiotherapy is likely to play a larger role in the multi-modal treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma in the future, supporting and enhancing treatments such as surgery and immunotherapy. Radiation scrambles the DNA inside cancer cells, interrupting their life cycle and making replication impossible. If it were possible to irradiate only mesothelioma cells without affecting the surrounding healthy tissue, radiotherapy might even be able to cure cancers like mesothelioma. But as the authors of a new study published in the Journal of Thoracic Disease point out, until recently, radiotherapy has been of limited use in the treatment of mesothelioma because it hasn’t been precise enough. Thanks to new technology, that is changing. Why Mesothelioma is Hard to … Continue reading Radiotherapy LIkely to Play a Bigger Role in Future Mesothelioma Therapy »

Electricity-based Mesothelioma Treatment Moves a Step Closer to FDA Approval

Calling it an “extremely promising therapeutic option” that demonstrates “an impressive extension of median overall survival”, researchers testing a new type of pleural mesothelioma treatment announced the final results of their phase II clinical trial this week. Tumor Treating Fields, a creation of Jersey-based Novocare, are alternating electric fields that destabilize critical proteins, disrupting mesothelioma tumor cell division and killing them. As Surviving Mesothelioma first reported in April, early tests of the technology looked promising. But the final results of the STELLAR phase 2 mesothelioma clinical trial, released this week, are even better than expected. Researchers say Tumor Treating Fields may even become part of the new standard of care for pleural mesothelioma.   Tumor Treating Fields Gain Momentum in … Continue reading Electricity-based Mesothelioma Treatment Moves a Step Closer to FDA Approval »

Mobile App Could Help Mesothelioma Patients Find New Treatments

Mesothelioma patients now have a high-tech new way to connect with cutting edge mesothelioma treatments around the world – for a price. A pair of Harvard-trained oncologists have just rolled out a new app that promises to connect people who have cancers like pleural mesothelioma with treatments and clinical trials that even their physicians may not be aware of. The app, called Driver, is being rolled out this week in the US and China in the wake of a trial run with a hundred people over the past year. How Might Driver Help Mesothelioma Patients? One of the biggest obstacles faced by patients diagnosed with rare cancers like pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma is getting the most up-tp-date information about potential … Continue reading Mobile App Could Help Mesothelioma Patients Find New Treatments »

Milk for Mesothelioma? Proteins in Cow’s Milk May Kill Mesothelioma Cells

  There is new evidence that substances in cow’s milk may trigger a physiological process that leads to the death of chemotherapy-resistant mesothelioma cells. The substances are known as BAMLET and BLAGLET and they consist of either alpha- or beta-lactalbumin from cow’s milk and a lipid called oleic acid. The two protein-lipid complexes have been shown to have cytotoxic effects on eight other types of cancer. Now, researchers in Sydney, Australia have found that the same may be true for malignant mesothelioma, one of the hardest cancers to treat. BAMLET and BLAGLET Explained β-Lactoglobulin is the primary whey protein in the milk of cow’s and sheep (though not humans). α-Lactalbumin is the protein that regulates the production of lactose in … Continue reading Milk for Mesothelioma? Proteins in Cow’s Milk May Kill Mesothelioma Cells »

Muscle Loss May Predict Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

Age-related muscle loss appears to be an independent predictor of peritoneal mesothelioma survival after surgery. The news might help patients and doctors make better treatment decisions. Researchers at the Lyon-Sud Hospital Center in Lyon say they have found a connection between sarcopenia—muscle loss associated with aging—and how long people with peritoneal mesothelioma (or another abdominal condition called pseudomyxoma peritonei) survive after cytoreductive surgery. The bottom line: The less muscle loss, the longer a mesothelioma patient is likely to survive. CRS/HIPEC Surgery for Mesothelioma Cancer Both peritoneal mesothelioma and pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) are cancers that grow in the abdomen. Like other types of malignant mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma is associated with exposure to asbestos. It is typically a fast-growing cancer for which … Continue reading Muscle Loss May Predict Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

Study Predicts New Mesothelioma Therapies on the Horizon

mesothelioma survivor

A new article published by a pair of UK scientists predicts a brighter future for mesothelioma patients thanks to a growing understanding of the disease and how to treat it. Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most closely associated with asbestos. Although only a small percentage of asbestos-exposed people go on to develop mesothelioma, those who do face a grim prognosis. Doctors learned early on that standard cancer treatments rarely work for patients with mesothelioma. But Anna Bibby and Nick Maskell with Bristol Medical School and the North Bristol Lung Centre say the large amount of high-quality mesothelioma research conducted in the last decade has moved medicine closer to finding a cure for this intractable cancer. Important Mesothelioma Research Findings In … Continue reading Study Predicts New Mesothelioma Therapies on the Horizon »

Mesothelioma Tumors Thrive in Low Oxygen Environment

Epithelioid cells

South Korean researchers have uncovered a clue that might help explain why mesothelioma tumors are so aggressive — and what can be done to counter that aggression. The new study centers on hypoxia, a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. It is a hallmark of many types of solid tumors and it turns out that malignant mesothelioma tumors are no exception. Patients with these hypoxic tumors tend to worsen quickly, be less responsive to treatment, and end up with poor outcomes. The Effect of Oxygen on Malignant Mesothelioma Scientists in the Laboratory of Clinical Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University are trying to better understand how hypoxia effects human malignant mesothelioma cells and exactly what … Continue reading Mesothelioma Tumors Thrive in Low Oxygen Environment »

Opdivo for Malignant Mesothelioma: Could a Lower Dose Work?

There is new evidence that low doses of the drug Opdivo (nivolumab) may extend lung cancer survival as well as the standard dose—at a much lower cost. The news may have implications for people with the lung-related asbestos cancer, malignant mesothelioma, who are also sometimes treated with Opdivo. Pleural mesothelioma is a hard-to-treat cancer that grows on the lining around the lungs and causes many of the same symptoms as lung cancer. Some evidence has suggested that Opdivo, an immunotherapy drug already approved for the treatment of recurrent lung cancer, may soon become the first drug approved for recurrent mesothelioma, too. Now, a newly-published Korean study finds that patients may not need as much of the drug as originally thought … Continue reading Opdivo for Malignant Mesothelioma: Could a Lower Dose Work? »

Mesothelioma Survival Improves with Post-Surgery Radiation

Pleural mesothelioma patients who undergo radiotherapy after their surgery tend to live longer than those whose treatment plan does not include radiation. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of patients who could stand to benefit from this treatment actually get it. Researchers at Houston Methodist Hospital, Baylor, and The University of Texas have come to that conclusion after analyzing data from the National Cancer Database on nearly 25,000 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma from 2004 to 2013. It was the largest study of adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma ever conducted. Radiotherapy in Mesothelioma Treatment Although radiotherapy is not routinely used in mesothelioma treatment, when it is used, it is typically either palliative as a way to relieve symptoms, or as an add-on … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival Improves with Post-Surgery Radiation »

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