Korean Cancer Doctors Embrace PIPAC for Mesothelioma

PIPAC for mesothelioma

Five out of ten Korean oncologists surveyed feel positive about using an aerosolized chemotherapy system called PIPAC for mesothelioma and other types of cancer. PIPAC stands for pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy. The system turns liquid chemotherapy drugs into a spray that can be applied with a nebulizer. It was developed to treat surface malignancies like peritoneal mesothelioma that can be hard to treat with standard methods.  PIPAC can be used in conjunction with mesothelioma surgery or by itself as either a palliative or curative treatment.  The technology is still very new. Many doctors have never used it. But research conducted by the Seoul National University College of Medicine shows Korean doctors are ready to embrace it. How Spray-on Chemotherapy Works … Continue reading Korean Cancer Doctors Embrace PIPAC for Mesothelioma »

Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma

unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma

A top mesothelioma expert says chemotherapy may still be the best first-line treatment for unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma, even though immunotherapy is an increasingly popular option. Chemotherapy has been the primary way to treat mesothelioma since 2004. This is when the FDA approved the drug Alimta (pemetrexed). Alimta remained the only systemic treatment for asbestos cancer until 2020. In 2020, the FDA approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo). But Dean Fennell, PhD, of the UK’s University of Leicester says chemotherapy is still a good choice for many unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma cases. A Better Version of Chemotherapy? Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common subtype. It is also the most responsive to treatment. For the healthiest patients, … Continue reading Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Histology Impacts Response to Chemotherapy

Response to chemotherapy

Response to chemotherapy for people with malignant mesothelioma may depend – at least in part – on the histology or subtype of their tumor. That is the finding of a new study from a team of Spanish doctors. The doctors analyzed the cases of 189 pleural mesothelioma patients treated at their hospital between 2002 and 2020.  Their study confirms what other studies have suggested: People with epithelioid tumors have better response to chemotherapy than those with non-epithelioid subtypes. These patients experienced both longer progression-free survival and longer overall survival.  Systemic Treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma The first chemotherapy drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma received FDA approval in 2004. Alimta was the only approved systemic (whole body) treatment for pleural mesothelioma until 2020.  … Continue reading Mesothelioma Histology Impacts Response to Chemotherapy »

Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy Shrink Peritoneal Mesothelioma Tumors: New Case Reports

immunotherapy and chemotherapy

Two new case reports appear to support the idea that immunotherapy and chemotherapy can work together to fight peritoneal mesothelioma.  The case reports appears in the newest issue of the Journal of Immunotherapy. It details the cases of two patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma – a lethal cancer of the lining of the abdomen.  Both patients relapsed on standard platinum-based chemotherapy. But adding an immune checkpoint inhibitor dramatically improved their results. In one case, a patient’s tumor nearly disappeared.  Doctors at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center say the cases suggest that immunotherapy and chemotherapy might offer an alternative for patients who have run out of options.  Alternative Treatments Needed for Peritoneal Mesothelioma About a fifth of patients who … Continue reading Immunotherapy and Chemotherapy Shrink Peritoneal Mesothelioma Tumors: New Case Reports »

HITOC for Mesothelioma: Benefits May Outweigh the Risk

HITOC for mesothelioma

The benefits of a localized chemotherapy regimen known as HITOC for mesothelioma outweigh the small risk of kidney failure for most patients.  That is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Cancers. German researchers conducted a retrospective review of the medical literature on HITOC (also called HITHOC) in pleural mesothelioma patients.  They were most interested in patients who developed kidney problems after the procedure. This is a known risk with HITOC for mesothelioma. But the study suggests that most patients benefit from this type of chemotherapy in spite of the risk. Localized Treatment Versus Systemic Treatment Pleural mesothelioma tumors start on the membrane around the lungs and are hard to treat. Once this cancer takes hold, most … Continue reading HITOC for Mesothelioma: Benefits May Outweigh the Risk »

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Safe Both Before and After Mesothelioma Surgery

immune checkpoint inhibitor

A report presented to an international gathering of lung cancer doctors shows an immune checkpoint inhibitor can make pre-surgery chemotherapy more effective for pleural mesothelioma patients.  The report was presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer. The week-long virtual conference ended yesterday.  Dr. Anne Tsao of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center presented her study results. They show that mesothelioma patients may benefit from an immune checkpoint inhibitor as part of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The same drug may also be helpful as a maintenance therapy after surgery. How Does an Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Work? Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a form of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy treatments work by manipulating the immune … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Safe Both Before and After Mesothelioma Surgery »

Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma

TTFields and chemotherapy

TTFields and chemotherapy offer one of the most potent combinations against malignant mesothelioma tumors. Now a new study reveals why they work so well together.  Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) are low intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields. They are delivered into the chest of mesothelioma patients with a vest-like device marketed under the brand name Optune Lua.  In 2019, a combination of TTFields and chemotherapy became the first new FDA-approved treatment for mesothelioma in 15 years.  Now, a new report in the journal Lung Cancer sheds light on the synergy between the two modes of mesothelioma treatment.  Combating Cancer with Electrical Currents The Tumor Treating Fields approach was created by Jersey-based Novocure. The technology uses electrical fields to destabilize critical … Continue reading Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma »

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study

neoadjuvant chemotherapy

A new prospective Japanese mesothelioma study shows the potentially life-saving benefits of undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery. This has been the preferred way to treat pleural mesothelioma for many years. But most of the studies on it are retrospective. This means that researchers analyze data on mesothelioma patients who already had treatment. In many cases, they are patients who have died.  The new study is one of the few prospective studies on neoadjuvant chemotherapy and mesothelioma surgery.  In a prospective study, researchers enroll patients and follow their progress through treatment.  Pleural mesothelioma is often fatal within a few months. But ninety-five percent of the study subjects who had presurgical chemotherapy followed by an operation were still alive a year … Continue reading Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study »

Academic Medical Centers Extend Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

academic medical centers

A new published study suggests that peritoneal mesothelioma patients treated at academic medical centers survive much longer than those who get their care at community hospitals. The study was conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer of abdominal membranes. There is no known cure. The new study compared outcomes and survival among more than 2,600 mesothelioma patients. Patients were treated at high-volume academic hospitals or community cancer centers.  The results suggest that academic medical centers consistently provide more advanced and potentially life-extending care for this complex cancer.  Experience is Critical for Mesothelioma Care Malignant mesothelioma is the name for cancers that occur on internal membranes. It … Continue reading Academic Medical Centers Extend Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

New Study: PD Surgery and HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma

PD surgery and HITHOC

German doctors say a combination of extended PD surgery and HITHOC has produced some ‘remarkable’ results for patients with pleural mesothelioma.  Extended PD (pleurectomy with decortication) is a lung-sparing surgical procedure for people with cancer on the pleural membrane around the lungs. HITHOC is a method for infusing the area with heated chemotherapy drugs without sending those drugs through the whole body.  Together, extended PD surgery and HITHOC produced median progression-free survival of more than a year and a half for mesothelioma patients in a new German study. Their experience is the focus of a new article in the journal Respiration.  Removing and Killing Cancer Cells: The One-Two Punch Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that starts on the … Continue reading New Study: PD Surgery and HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma »

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