Real-World Mesothelioma Patients Need New Systemic Treatments

real-world mesothelioma patients

The newest study on real-world mesothelioma patients illustrates the need for more ways to treat this devastating cancer.  Many studies focus on a carefully-chosen subset of patients. Patients have to meet specific guidelines to qualify for a mesothelioma clinical trial.  But the authors of a new report in Future Oncology focused on real-world mesothelioma patients in community clinics. The goal was to see what kinds of treatments these patients got and how well they worked.  The results show most people do not have other treatments after first-line therapy. They also suggest that mesothelioma doctors and patients need new first-line alternatives.  First- and Second-Line Mesothelioma Therapies Malignant mesothelioma is the name for cancer on the membranes around internal organs. Pleural mesothelioma … Continue reading Real-World Mesothelioma Patients Need New Systemic Treatments »

Which Mesothelioma Patients will Benefit from Second-Line Chemotherapy

second-line chemotherapy

Japanese oncologists say they have found a way to help predict which peritoneal mesothelioma patients are most likely to get results from second-line chemotherapy. First-line therapy is the mesothelioma treatment that doctors try first. Usually, that is chemotherapy. If that does not work or stops working, they may move on to another option. Second-line chemotherapy is one of those options.  Doctors at National Cancer Center Hospital in Tokyo evaluated mesothelioma cases. These were patients at their institution between 2007 and 2019. They found that patients who have more rounds of first-line chemotherapy are most likely to respond to second-line chemotherapy.  Drug Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer on the lining that surrounds the abdominal organs. It usually … Continue reading Which Mesothelioma Patients will Benefit from Second-Line Chemotherapy »

Phase 3 Clinical Trial to Test Durvalumab for Mesothelioma

phase 3 clinical trial

A potential new first-line immunotherapy treatment for mesothelioma is now recruiting patients for a phase 3 clinical trial. The trial will compare the immunotherapy drug durvalumab (IMFINZI) combined with chemotherapy against chemotherapy alone.  Results from the phase 2 trials of this combination released last year were promising. Tests showed that it extended mesothelioma survival by about 8 months with no debilitating side effects.  The randomized phase 3 clinical trial will try to confirm these results in a larger group of people. Mesothelioma Treatment with Durvalumab Durvalumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Immune checkpoint inhibitors deactivate a cancer cell survival mechanism that helps cancer cells evade the immune system. Pleural mesothelioma and other types of cancer use proteins like PD-1 to … Continue reading Phase 3 Clinical Trial to Test Durvalumab for Mesothelioma »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin Improves Mesothelioma Response in New Study

induction chemotherapy with Avastin

Mesothelioma patients who had induction chemotherapy with Avastin (bevacizumab) prior to surgery responded better than those who had only chemotherapy in a new Swedish study.  Researchers at the University Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 88 pleural mesothelioma patients who were slated to have surgery.  Most of the patients had standard chemotherapy before surgery. Some had induction chemotherapy with Avastin. Those who got the extra drug had a “significantly better response” according to a new report in Frontiers in Oncology. The Use of Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin or Without Induction chemotherapy is chemotherapy delivered before mesothelioma surgery. The goal of the treatment is to shrink the mesothelioma tumor as much as possible. This may improve the odds that surgeons can … Continue reading Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin Improves Mesothelioma Response in New Study »

Focused Radiation After Chemotherapy May Improve Mesothelioma Survival

focused radiation after chemotherapy

New research suggests that mesothelioma patients who have focused radiation after chemotherapy may live longer with slower disease progression than those who have other therapy combinations. Researchers used two kinds of focused radiotherapy (FRT) in the study. One was stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and the other was hypo-fractionated radiotherapy. Both treatments deliver a deadly dose of radiation into tumors while sparing normal tissue.  Italian researchers say giving focused radiation after chemotherapy makes it even more effective against mesothelioma that is not yet widespread.  Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Radiotherapy is one of several possible treatments for mesothelioma. Most patients start with chemotherapy. But chemotherapy has limited effectiveness. Increasingly, researchers are looking for other approaches to combat mesothelioma.  Most patients get the … Continue reading Focused Radiation After Chemotherapy May Improve Mesothelioma Survival »

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 »

Standard Mesothelioma Chemotherapy with Avastin: More Good News

Standard Mesothelioma Chemotherapy

Another new study suggests that adding a third drug to standard mesothelioma chemotherapy might lead to better treatment outcomes.  Several recent studies show immunotherapy drugs like Keytruda and IMFINZI may boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy.  The newest report focuses on the monoclonal antibody, bevacizumab (Avastin). Japanese researchers back up what others have found. They say most patients did well on a combination of Avastin and standard mesothelioma chemotherapy.  Drug Blocks Blood Vessel Formation Like all body tissues, mesothelioma tumors need blood vessels to grow and thrive. Angiogenesis is the process by which tumors create their own new blood vessels.  Avastin works by blocking this process. Without an adequate blood supply, a mesothelioma tumor may be more susceptible to standard mesothelioma … Continue reading Standard Mesothelioma Chemotherapy with Avastin: More Good News »

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