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 »

Extending Mesothelioma Survival with Chemotherapy

In the continued quest to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, two new studies have been published this week on the effectiveness of adding additional drugs to the standard combination. The majority of patients who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis will have treatment that includes chemotherapy. According to data from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database, the chemotherapy regimen prescribed most often for mesothelioma is a combination of pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin or carboplatin. Approximately 67 percent of mesothelioma patients who receive chemotherapy have this combination. Unfortunately, even the standard chemotherapy combination has not been shown to extend mesothelioma survival by more that a few months. Scientists are continually looking for ways to make it more effective. … Continue reading Extending Mesothelioma Survival with Chemotherapy »

New Immunotherapy Drug Stops Mesothelioma in Half of Patients Tested

The results are in on the Phase I/II trial of the mesothelioma drug ONCOS-102 and researchers say there is reason to be excited. As Surviving Mesothelioma first reported in the fall of 2016, ONCOS-102 and standard chemotherapy significantly slowed the growth of malignant mesothelioma tumors in preclinical studies of infected mice. Now, the first human trial suggests that it can do the same thing in some human mesothelioma patients, boosting the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy and improving mesothelioma survival. Mesothelioma Study Results According to news released by Norway-based drug maker Targovax this week, three out of six patients with unresectable mesothelioma responded to a combination of ONCOS-102 and standard chemotherapy. In two patients, their mesothelioma tumors stopped growing and in … Continue reading New Immunotherapy Drug Stops Mesothelioma in Half of Patients Tested »

“Spray On” Drugs May Be New Option for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patients

Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

A new, minimally-invasive way of delivering drugs right to the site of a tumor is being called “safe and feasible” for people with recurrent malignant mesothelioma. Right now, mesothelioma patients whose cancer comes back after surgery and systemic chemotherapy have few viable treatment options. The new procedure, called Pressurized Inraperitoneal Aerosol Chemotherapy (PIPAC), may change that. During PIPAC, chemotherapy drugs are essentially “sprayed” as gas directly onto the site of the cancer. PIPAC is performed through a small incision using a laparoscope for guidance. Testing PIPAC in Mesothelioma Treatment Right now, PIPAC is still in clinical trials, but it has already been used on thousands of patients in Germany and several other European locations. In a new malignant mesothelioma study, … Continue reading “Spray On” Drugs May Be New Option for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patients »

Study Finds Chemotherapy Unlikely to Improve Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

A new study from the University of Illinois suggests that patients with peritoneal mesothelioma who undergo  surgery may not get any benefit from having chemotherapy, too. Mesothelioma patients who have cytoreductive surgery, which is also called debulking surgery, tend to live more than four times as long as those who do not have the surgery. Rinsing the abdominal cavity with a heated solution of cancer-killing drugs may improve survival even more. But, according to the new study, the same cannot be said of chemotherapy drugs that are delivered orally or by injection or infusion so that they circulate through the whole body (systemic chemotherapy). Peritoneal Mesothelioma and Cytoreductive Surgery Peritoneal mesothelioma is a fast-growing malignancy that occurs on the membrane … Continue reading Study Finds Chemotherapy Unlikely to Improve Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

Home-Based Rehab Helps Mesothelioma Patients Bounce Back After Chemotherapy

New evidence suggests that a pulmonary rehabilitation program that comes to them might help patients recover after pleural mesothelioma treatment. Experts in pulmonary cancers at several French institutions recently published what they called a “real-life feasibility study” of home-based rehab in patients who had received chemotherapy for either lung cancer or malignant pleural mesothelioma. Previous research has shown that these patients are typically less physically active and experience a lower quality of life as a result of the cancer and/or the treatment. Managing Mesothelioma Rehabilitation at Home In the new French study, patients who had undergone chemotherapy for lung cancer or pleural mesothelioma were screened to see if they would be good candidates for a rehabilitation program offered in their … Continue reading Home-Based Rehab Helps Mesothelioma Patients Bounce Back After Chemotherapy »

Simple Blood Test Detects Mesothelioma Progression

Malignant mesothelioma patients may not need multiple CT scans to tell whether their cancer has progressed in the months after  chemotherapy treatment. UK researchers say a simple blood test to check their levels of the protein mesothelin costs less, requires fewer hospital visits, and is 96 percent accurate in most mesothelioma patients.   Measuring Mesothelioma Progression The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Bristol who recruited 41 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma to participate for at least a year after the end of their treatment. The mesothelioma patients included in the study had received either chemotherapy or best supportive care. At the end of chemotherapy (or from baseline in the patients receiving best supportive care), patients had … Continue reading Simple Blood Test Detects Mesothelioma Progression »

Mini-Tumors May Help Doctors Develop Personalized Mesothelioma Treatments

Doctors at Wake Forest University are using miniature lab-grown three dimensional tumors to test personalized mesothelioma treatments. The mini-tumors are known as organoids and are grown from biopsy tissue taken from patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. Researchers say they can serve as models to try out new mesothelioma therapies before using them on patients. “There is a need for model systems to help predict personalized responses to chemotherapeutics,” writes lead investigator Andrea R. Massocchi with the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “We have microengineered 3D tumor organoids directly from fresh tumor biopsies to provide patient-specific models with which treatment optimization can be performed before initiation of therapy.” Personalized Medicine and Malignant Mesothelioma Precision medicine in an up-and-coming area of medicine … Continue reading Mini-Tumors May Help Doctors Develop Personalized Mesothelioma Treatments »

Clinical Trials Often the Best Option for Malignant Mesothelioma

Newly-diagnosed patients with malignant mesothelioma are forced to face a harsh reality early on in their cancer journey – there is no universally effective treatment for this aggressive cancer. In fact, as a highly resistant malignancy, mesothelioma is often unresponsive to even the “gold standard” treatment combination of pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin. But that does not mean that mesothelioma patients do not have options. Clinical trials, the tools scientists use to test promising new mesothelioma treatments, are a good alternative for many patients. Clinical Trials of New Mesothelioma Treatments Although there can be a stigma around drug testing on human subjects, the FDA’s rules governing clinical trials today are strict. No drug can be used on a human subject until … Continue reading Clinical Trials Often the Best Option for Malignant Mesothelioma »

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