It is official – the VEGF inhibitor Ofev is out of the running as a treatment for pleural mesothelioma. Hopes had been high for this drug after initial results showed a survival advantage. For the last two years, Ofev (nintedanib) was the subject of a large, international clinical trial. But now the leaders of that trial have published their Phase III trial results in The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine. They show that Ofev did not extend survival and is not an effective treatment for pleural mesothelioma. Why Hopes Were High for Ofev Ofev is an oral medication that stops cancer cells from producing a protein called VEGF. VEGF promotes the growth of blood vessels that help mesothelioma tumors grow. VEGF may … Continue reading Ofev Shelved as a Treatment for Pleural Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma patients need to beware of low-volume centers that are less likely to follow mesothelioma treatment guidelines. That is the message from a new study based on data from the National Cancer Institute. The study was run by doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. It shows that treatment centers that do not see a lot of mesothelioma cases are less likely to follow the life-saving mesothelioma treatment guidelines. As a result, patients treated in these lower-volume facilities tend to have shorter mesothelioma survival. What are the Mesothelioma Treatment Guidelines? Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a cancer that occurs on the membrane that surrounds the lungs. It is extremely rare and difficult to treat. Many hospitals and doctors never see … Continue reading Lower-Volume Centers Less Likely to Follow Mesothelioma Treatment Guidelines
New research out of Pennsylvania suggested that not all people with metastatic mesothelioma will live longer with chemotherapy. Although chemotherapy is the primary treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, some types of metastatic mesothelioma appear to be less responsive than others. In some cases, the researchers say best supportive care may be a better option for preserving a patient’s quality of life. Three Mesothelioma Subtypes There are three histological subtypes of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The categories are based on how the cells look under a microscope. Cell type appears to influence how aggressive they are as metastatic mesothelioma. Cell type also factors into mesothelioma prognosis. Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common cell type. Epithelioid cells tend to lack uniformity and may … Continue reading Metastatic Mesothelioma: Does Chemotherapy Work?
A new National Cancer Institute study shines a light on some of the ways genes impact mesothelioma survival. It could have important implications for mesothelioma treatment. The study was led by prominent mesothelioma researcher Raffit Hassan, MD. It focused on genetic mutations that may make certain mesothelioma patients more sensitive to chemotherapy. Genes, Genotype, and Mesothelioma Treatment A mesothelioma patient’s unique collection of genes, including genetic mutations, is known as their genotype. Genes impact mesothelioma survival in a variety of ways. Tumor suppressor genes are supposed to help keep tumors from forming. People with mutations on these genes may be more likely to get malignant mesothelioma. Other genes influence the cancer’s ability to “hide” from detection by the immune system. … Continue reading Study Highlights How Genes Impact Mesothelioma Survival
A combination mesothelioma therapy that showed promise in early trials is finally being studied on a larger scale. The power-packed chemo-immuno-gene therapy known as TR002 has the potential to change the outlook for thousands of malignant mesothelioma patients. A small trial of the combination mesothelioma therapy in 2016 produced “significantly higher” mesothelioma survival rates than most patients are told to expect. Drug company Trizell announced last month that the combination will now be tested on 300 patients at sites in the US, Europe, Australia and Russia. Combination Mesothelioma Therapy Starts with Gene Therapy TR002 is an investigational gene therapy for mesothelioma patients who have failed first-line chemotherapy. This combination mesothelioma therapy is based on the human interferon-alpha 2b gene. The … Continue reading Combination Mesothelioma Therapy Begins Pivotal Trial
The older a mesothelioma patient is, the less likely he or she may be to receive mesothelioma chemotherapy. A new study says many older mesothelioma sufferers may be paying the price in shorter lifespans. Chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin is the gold standard for mesothelioma treatment. Many studies have linked it with longer mesothelioma survival. But an Australian study suggests that not enough older people are receiving mesothelioma chemotherapy. In fact, the older they are, the less likely they are to have chemotherapy for their mesothelioma. As a result, their chances of dying from malignant mesothelioma are higher. Mesothelioma Chemotherapy is Standard of Care Malignant mesothelioma is a hard-to-treat cancer with a poor prognosis. Mesothelioma chemotherapy is the primary … Continue reading Study Reveals Mesothelioma Chemotherapy May Be Underused in Older Patients
There is evidence that repeatedly rinsing the abdomen with medicine might lead to longer mesothelioma survival after surgery. A rinse of heated chemotherapy drugs during surgery has become standard of care for peritoneal mesothelioma. Unfortunately, mesothelioma usually comes back. But a top mesothelioma doctor says longer mesothelioma survival might be possible if patients got regular chemotherapy “rinses” through a catheter. Studies show the drugs may not even have to be heated to work. Longer Mesothelioma Survival After Surgery Peritoneal mesothelioma is a type of asbestos cancer. It starts on the lining around the abdomen and can spread to other parts of the body. About a fifth of mesothelioma patients have this type. Heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has led to longer … Continue reading Longer Mesothelioma Survival Possible with Long-Term Local Chemotherapy
New research in the Netherlands suggests that patients who would not normally be prescribed Alimta for mesothelioma could still benefit from the gold standard mesothelioma treatment. The key is an alternate dosing strategy. Alimta is a powerful drug that works by blocking a molecule needed for cell replication. Right now, doctors do not recommend Alimta for mesothelioma in people with poor kidney function. But Dutch pharmacology experts now say it is possible to adjust the dosing to make Alimta safer for these mesothelioma patients. Alimta for Mesothelioma: Proper Dosing is Key The FDA approved Alimta for mesothelioma in 2004. Alimta (pemetrexed) is still the only drug approved for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. It has also been approved to treat … Continue reading Patients with Impaired Kidneys Could Still Take Alimta for Mesothelioma, Study Finds
A new study finds that chemotherapy during mesothelioma surgery does not raise the risk for complications. That could be good news for pleural mesothelioma patients who want to keep cancer at bay as long as possible. A group of Indian doctors compared the cases of thoracic cancer patients who had surgery with or without intraoperative chemotherapy. Only one of the “surgery + chemotherapy” patients developed a serious complication. Patients in this group also lived longer than those who did not receive intraoperative chemotherapy. When Do Doctors Use Chemotherapy During Mesothelioma Surgery? The two primary types of mesothelioma surgery are extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). Patients often have chemotherapy prior to surgery to shrink their mesothelioma tumor. Many have … Continue reading Chemotherapy During Mesothelioma Surgery: Is it Dangerous?
Mesothelioma survival after recurrence may be better with lung-preserving P/D surgery than with more radical EPP. Japanese researchers recently analyzed the cases of 44 mesothelioma patients who underwent either EPP or P/D. It took about the same amount of time for mesothelioma tumors to start growing again, no matter what type of surgery the patient had. The difference was in survival. Both overall survival and mesothelioma survival after recurrence were longer in the P/D patients. EPP vs. P/D: The Ongoing Debate Mesothelioma surgeons around the world are still divided about which type of mesothelioma surgery is best. On one hand, extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) removes more diseased tissue, including a lung. Some say this improves the odds of long term mesothelioma … Continue reading Conservative Surgery Leads to Better Mesothelioma Survival After Recurrence