Study Confirms Feasibility and Safety of Minimally Invasive Mesothelioma Surgery

New research suggests that the future of surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma could be much less invasive than it is now—at least for select patients. The study focused on patients with tumors that had spread to the peritoneal membrane that lines the abdomen. This is the place where malignant mesothelioma starts. In a report published in the journal Surgical Endoscopy, an international team of experts concludes that minimally invasive surgery for peritoneal cancers like malignant mesothelioma is both feasible and safe and should be considered for certain patients. CRS/HIPEC Standard of Care for Malignant Mesothelioma Currently, the standard of care for peritoneal mesothelioma is cytoreductive surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible followed by a rinse of heated … Continue reading Study Confirms Feasibility and Safety of Minimally Invasive Mesothelioma Surgery »

Compound Makes Mesothelioma Tumors More Susceptible to Chemo

Swiss cancer researchers may have found a way to get around malignant mesothelioma’s notorious resistance to chemotherapy with an investigational metal-based compound called RAPTA-T. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an incurable and highly aggressive cancer. One of the reasons it is so deadly is that it rarely responds to standard cancer treatments. Even the treatment combination that is considered the standard of care for pleural mesothelioma—pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin—is only effective in about 4 out of 10 patients. But scientists with Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland have discovered a counterintuitive way to ramp up the cancer-killing power of mesothelioma chemotherapy. Creating a “Healthier” Tumor The element on which the RAPTA-T compound is … Continue reading Compound Makes Mesothelioma Tumors More Susceptible to Chemo »

Immunotherapy Drug Produces ‘Exceptional and Sustained Response’ in Mesothelioma Patient

As part of what they call the “new era” of mesothelioma immunotherapy research, doctors in Ohio and Florida have just published the case report of a man whose pleural mesothelioma was stopped in its tracks with the drug nivolumab. The case is detailed in the latest issue of the American Journal of Case Reports by researchers at the University of Florida and The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. Details of the Mesothelioma Case Report The patient in question had been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that typically carries a poor prognosis, even with aggressive treatment. In fact, even though chemotherapy with a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed (Alimta) is considered the standard-of-care for malignant mesothelioma, fewer than 4 … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug Produces ‘Exceptional and Sustained Response’ in Mesothelioma Patient »

Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment?

There may be a new treatment option on the horizon for mesothelioma patients whose cancer has come back again after treatment. Researchers in the UK are even predicting that this drug could become the new standard of care for relapsed malignant mesothelioma. The drug is nivolumab, a PD-1 inhibitor sold under the brand name Opdivo. Already approved for the treatment of recurrent non-small cell lung cancer, nivolumab has been shown in recent clinical trials to reduce the size of mesothelioma tumors and may even extend mesothelioma survival. Opdivo in the News If you think you have been hearing more about nivolumab in the news lately, you are right. Laboratory results have suggested that this immunotherapy drug could be one of … Continue reading Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment? »

Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they have come up with better way to measure the effects of surgery-related inflammation on subsequent mesothelioma therapies. Their results could help other scientists predict the effectiveness of new and existing adjuvant mesothelioma treatments. Combination Therapy for Mesothelioma Because malignant mesothelioma is so difficult to treat, most patients are treated with a combination of different therapies.   While not all patients are candidates for surgery, a number of studies have suggested that mesothelioma patients who do have surgery as one of their treatments tend to live longer than those who only have other types of treatments. The challenge is that surgery itself can be so disruptive to the body that … Continue reading Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes »

CT Discovery May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Detecting Mesothelioma with New CT Algorithm

Researchers in Western Australia believe they may have found a way to overcome one of the biggest challenges in the management of malignant pleural mesothelioma—making the diagnosis earlier. Malignant mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer that starts on the membrane, or pleura, that surrounds the lungs. Because the seeds for this disease can exist for decades before symptoms develop, and because the early symptoms of mesothelioma tend to be vague and similar to those of other conditions, the so-called “asbestos cancer” often goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage. As a result, the survivability of this disease is typically very low. But scientists at the University of Western Australia in Perth say there may be a simple way to … Continue reading CT Discovery May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

Radiation for Mesothelioma: Could Proton Therapy Be the Answer?

Researchers at the Maryland Proton Therapy Treatment Center say a highly-targeted version of proton beam radiation could be the future of radiotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. In a new journal article, doctors at the center detail the evolution of radiation treatment for pleural mesothelioma, from standard photon-based therapy to targeted proton therapy. “Radiation therapy has historically been used [for mesothelioma] only in the palliative setting or as adjuvant therapy after extrapleural pneumonectomy,” notes the report. But the researchers go on to say that radiotherapy advances such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and a more precise form of proton beam therapy called pencil-beam scanning, are changing the value of radiotherapy for mesothelioma patients. Radiation’s Role in Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Radiation works … Continue reading Radiation for Mesothelioma: Could Proton Therapy Be the Answer? »

New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

There is some good news and some bad news this week for patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that occurs on the lining of the abdomen. Both come from a new article on peritoneal cancer published in the International Journal of Clinical Oncology. The good news is that most patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and other forms of cancer on the peritoneal membrane respond well to the multi-modal treatment regimen that has become the standard-of-care for this form of the asbestos cancer. A combination of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) allows most peritoneal cancer patients to “achieve long-term disease-free survival”, according to the study from the National Cancer Centre Singapore. But the more disturbing … Continue reading New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery »

Experimental Mesothelioma Drugs and the New Right-to-Try Law

Legislation signed this week by President Trump could pave the way for mesothelioma patients to access promising experimental treatments—even years before they are approved by the FDA. But not everyone thinks it is a good idea. The “Right to Try” legislation gives patients with terminal illnesses like malignant mesothelioma the right to receive new treatments they would not normally be able to get because they haven’t gone through the FDA’s three-phase testing requirement. Controversy Over New Legislation Although the legislation could make it easier for some patients to access potentially life-saving mesothelioma treatments, it is also not without controversy. Some argue it could even be dangerous. Typically, the FDA requires that all proposed mesothelioma therapies go through three-phases of studies … Continue reading Experimental Mesothelioma Drugs and the New Right-to-Try Law »

Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma

AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy drug tremelimumab may still have a chance as a novel mesothelioma treatment, even though an international clinical trial completed last year found that it did not extend mesothelioma survival. In a new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Italian researchers report that combining the monoclonal antibody with another drug called durvalumab “appeared active” as a second-line mesothelioma treatment with “a good safety profile”. Tremelimumab’s Rocky Start as a Mesothelioma Treatment Hopes were initially high for tremelimumab, a monoclonal antibody that works by binding to the protein CTLA-4 on the surface of white blood cells and preventing it from inhibiting the cells’ cancer-fighting power. The US even granted tremelimumab “orphan drug” status in 2015, a designation designed to … Continue reading Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma »

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