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 »

Electrochemotherapy for Mesothelioma May Relieve Pain, Shrink Tumors

Electrochemotherapy for Mesothelioma

There’s new evidence that a technique called electrochemotherapy (ECT) may relieve mesothelioma pain and even shrink tumors. It may be an option for patients who have not had success with other treatments.  Cancer researchers with the Italian Ministry of Health recently conducted the first test of electrochemotherapy on pleural mesothelioma and several other rare cancers.  They found that zapping tumors with electricity helped the medicine go through the cell membranes. The treatment reduced pain for every patient tested. In most cases, it also slowed down or even temporarily stopped their tumor growth.   How Electrochemotherapy Works Malignant mesothelioma is a rare membrane cancer. Chemotherapy is the main treatment for mesothelioma. But more than half of mesothelioma tumors do not respond to … Continue reading Electrochemotherapy for Mesothelioma May Relieve Pain, Shrink Tumors »

Triple Therapy May Become New First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma

First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma

A combination of three powerful mesothelioma therapies could become a new first-line treatment for mesothelioma if an upcoming clinical trial is successful. The makers of the experimental immunotherapy drug ONCOS-102 announced the new clinical trial. It will enroll up to 100 mesothelioma patients from around the world.  The trial will test ONCOS-102 along with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and standard chemotherapy. Keytruda is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Both ONCOS-102 and Keytruda have shown some promise when combined with mesothelioma chemotherapy. Targovax hopes that the triple therapy approach will produce an even more powerful first-line treatment for mesothelioma. Clinic Trial of ONCOS-102 A first-line treatment is a treatment for mesothelioma patients who have not yet had any other therapies. Most patients start with … Continue reading Triple Therapy May Become New First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma »

Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival with NIPEC

Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

A new report suggests that long term peritoneal mesothelioma survival may be possible with a treatment called NIPEC and the drug paclitaxel.  NIPEC stands for normothermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. It is similar to the heated chemotherapy that many peritoneal mesothelioma patients now get. But NIPEC is delivered through a catheter over time and at room temperature.  The new article details the long term peritoneal mesothelioma survival of six patients on NIPEC with paclitaxel. It comes from one the nation’s leading experts in this form of mesothelioma, Paul Sugarbaker, MD.  Even though the sample size is small, Dr. Sugarbaker says the results are impressive enough to warrant further study.  HIPEC and Mesothelioma Treatment Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for about 20 percent of mesothelioma … Continue reading Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival with NIPEC »

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