Researchers Argue Against Surgery for Mesothelioma

surgery for mesothelioma

A pair of California surgeons say surgery for mesothelioma is rarely worthwhile. They point to what they say are flawed studies on surgical treatment. One trial they believe was well-conducted seems to show reduced mesothelioma survival after surgery. Writing in the journal Translational Lung Cancer Research, the doctors argue that most patients should choose non-surgical treatment for mesothelioma.  Some Background on Surgery for Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining around the lungs. It is an aggressive cancer with no known cure. There are two primary approaches to surgery for mesothelioma. Both types are controversial and the subject of much debate among surgeons.  Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) is a surgical approach that involves removing the pleural membrane, one lung, … Continue reading Researchers Argue Against Surgery for Mesothelioma »

Targeted Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma May Extend Survival in the Right Patients

targeted radiotherapy for mesothelioma

A meta-analysis conducted by some of the country’s top cancer researchers says targeted radiotherapy for mesothelioma can help some people live longer. It is the first such analysis of targeted radiation after lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery. The team focused on intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). IMRT is more precise than earlier forms of radiation treatment.  The new article appears in Practical Radiation Oncology. It is a meta-analysis of ten smaller studies. The researchers conclude that healthier surgery patients could safely consider targeted radiotherapy for mesothelioma. Making Radiotherapy Less Toxic In the past, radiation for mesothelioma has sometimes done more harm than good. Earlier types of radiation treatment were not as precise as IMRT. When radiation spills over into healthy tissue, it … Continue reading Targeted Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma May Extend Survival in the Right Patients »

Tumor Treating Fields for Mesothelioma Faces Criticism

tumor treating fields

Tumor Treating Fields for mesothelioma is coming under fire from some other researchers. The treatment uses electricity to interfere with division of cancer cells. The FDA approved it for mesothelioma last year under the Humanitarian Device Exemption. It is only the second treatment ever approved for asbestos cancer.  But scientists in Italy and the Netherlands are disputing some of the findings from the STELLAR trial of TTFields. They published separate articles in a recent issue of The Lancet Oncology. STELLAR tested Tumor Treating Fields along with chemotherapy as a novel mesothelioma treatment. The FDA based its approval on the STELLAR results.  But the newly published articles suggest that there were problems with the trial. Both say Tumor Treating Fields is … Continue reading Tumor Treating Fields for Mesothelioma Faces Criticism »

Biphasic Mesothelioma Survival Possible in Select Patients

biphasic mesothelioma survival

A new report contains some hopeful news about biphasic mesothelioma survival.  Biphasic mesothelioma is the rarest subtype of a rare cancer. It is also the subtype that is hardest to treat.  Biphasic mesothelioma survival is typically shorter than other subtypes. But Italian researchers say, with the right combination of mesothelioma treatments, patients with this subtype can achieve long-term survival. Subtypes and their Impact on Biphasic Mesothelioma Survival All pleural mesothelioma tumors grow on the membrane that surrounds the lungs. When this membrane is healthy, it is flexible and expands naturally with each breath.  When a mesothelioma tumor grows on this membrane, it can restrict the lungs and make it hard to breathe. As tumors grow, mesothelioma can spread to other … Continue reading Biphasic Mesothelioma Survival Possible in Select Patients »

Step Counts for Cancer Prognosis: Could it Work for Mesothelioma?

step counts for cancer prognosis

Cancer researchers in New York are exploring the concept of using step counts for cancer prognosis. If further studies back it up, the technique might help predict outcomes for people with mesothelioma. The new study involved people with non-small cell lung cancer. The patients wore commercial fitness trackers so doctors could see how much they walked.  The researchers compared step levels with treatment outcomes. They concluded that there is value to using step counts for cancer prognosis. It may even be more effective than some more traditional methods for predicting survival. Cancer Prognosis and Chemoradiotherapy Mesothelioma survival usually depends on how well patients respond to standard treatments. Healthier, more active cancer patients tend to have better outcomes.  Chemotherapy and radiation … Continue reading Step Counts for Cancer Prognosis: Could it Work for Mesothelioma? »

New Hope for Relapsed Pleural Mesothelioma?

relapsed pleural mesothelioma

There is new evidence that adding a drug called vorinostat to immunotherapy might help relapsed pleural mesothelioma patients.  The new study comes from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. It focused on patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is similar to pleural mesothelioma in many ways.  The study found that patients who received vorinostat along with an immune checkpoint inhibitor had better results. The findings could be good news for relapsed pleural mesothelioma patients, too. Different Immunotherapy Drugs Vorinostat is sold under the brand name Zolinza. It is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. HDAC inhibitors alter the way proteins are expressed inside cells. They also stimulate the immune system.  Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) like Keytruda also … Continue reading New Hope for Relapsed Pleural Mesothelioma? »

IMRT for Mesothelioma: Barriers to Completing Treatment

PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab

MD Anderson researchers say too many patients who might benefit from IMRT for mesothelioma never complete the treatment. The problem could be impacting their survival. Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) is a type of targeted radiation. It is designed to direct as much radiation as possible into the mesothelioma tumor without harming the surrounding tissue.  Patients who have a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and IMRT for mesothelioma have the best odds of survival. But at MD Anderson Cancer Center, only two thirds of eligible patients completed IMRT after mesothelioma surgery. The new study aimed to find out why. Trimodal Therapy and Mesothelioma Survival Malignant mesothelioma rarely responds to a single cancer therapy. Trimodal therapy combines several different treatments to maximize success.  … Continue reading IMRT for Mesothelioma: Barriers to Completing Treatment »

Dendritic Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma: Can it Help Other Treatments Work Better?

dendritic cell therapy for mesothelioma

A new kind of mesothelioma treatment called dendritic cell therapy might make other types of treatments even more effective.  Right now, chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) is the only approved therapy for malignant mesothelioma. Many others are in the works. But so far, none of them extend the lives of mesothelioma patients by more than a few months.  Dendritic cell therapy for mesothelioma may be different. This novel treatment uses the patient’s own cells to jumpstart the immune system.  A Dutch company developed and is testing the new treatment. The data so far suggests that it could boost chemotherapy and help new drugs like Keytruda work better.  How Dendritic Cell Therapy Works Dendritic cells are immune system cells that function as … Continue reading Dendritic Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma: Can it Help Other Treatments Work Better? »

HITHOC Treatment Deemed Safe for Some Pleural Mesothelioma Patients

mesothelioma among construction workers

German doctors testing the HITHOC treatment for pleural mesothelioma say it is a “safe therapeutic option”. The key to success is careful patient selection. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer linked to asbestos. Tumors grow on the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Doctors have not yet found a cure for mesothelioma.  HITHOC treatment involves rinsing heated chemotherapy drugs through the chest after mesothelioma surgery. The new study suggests that this advanced approach may help certain mesothelioma patients live longer.  Understanding Pleural Mesothelioma Tumors To understand how HITHOC treatment works, it is important to understand how and where mesothelioma tumors grow.  Pleural mesothelioma tumors start on the lining around the lungs called the pleura. As tumors grow, the pleura thickens and … Continue reading HITHOC Treatment Deemed Safe for Some Pleural Mesothelioma Patients »

Mesothelioma Survival Rates Have Remained Flat for Decades

mesothelioma survival rates

Mesothelioma survival rates have stayed steady for decades, even though treatments are improving. According to more than 25 years worth of data from the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank, people with malignant mesothelioma live a median of 15 months. That number has changed little since 1990. Charting Mesothelioma Patients Over Time Researchers from several major US cancer centers compiled the new report. The goal was to chart mesothelioma survival rates over time and identify factors that impact them. The group evaluated mesothelioma survival rates from 888 cases of pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in the NMVB. The NMVB houses information on more than 1400 mesothelioma cases diagnosed between 1990 and 2017. Overall mesothelioma survival rates stayed right around 15 months. But there … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival Rates Have Remained Flat for Decades »

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