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

IMRT for mesothelioma

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

HITHOC treatment for mesothelioma

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 »

Tumor Treating Fields Win FDA Approval for Mesothelioma Treatment

Tumor Treating Fields

The FDA has approved an electricity-based mesothelioma treatment known as Tumor Treating Fields (NovoTTF-100L). The treatment is approved for use along with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy. It is the first new treatment for pleural mesothelioma since the approval of Alimta (pemetrexed) in 2004. Approval of NovoTTF-100L was based on the promising results of the STELLAR phase 2 mesothelioma clinical trial. Those results, released in April, were even better than expected. Electricity is the Basis of Tumor Treating Fields The Tumor Treating Fields approach was created by Jersey-based Novocure. It first found success in the treatment of the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma. The technology uses electrical fields to destabilize critical proteins responsible for cell division. When these proteins cannot do their job, … Continue reading Tumor Treating Fields Win FDA Approval for Mesothelioma Treatment »

When Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma Occur Together

pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma

Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma rarely occur at the same time. But when they do, there is still hope for treatment. That message comes from a new study conducted at Columbia University and published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology. The researchers analyzed cases of patients diagnosed with both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma at Columbia. They were looking for the factors that impacted their survival and the most effective ways to treat them. Comparing Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma There are two primary types of malignant mesothelioma, the type of cancer most closely associated with asbestos exposure. The most common type is pleural mesothelioma. With this type, the first tumors show up on the membrane that surrounds the lungs (pleura). Chest pain, … Continue reading When Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma Occur Together »

Mesothelioma Doctors Urged to Sharpen Their Communication Skills

mesothelioma doctors need better communication

A Japanese study suggests that some mesothelioma doctors are falling short when it comes to communicating with their patients. The study was based on quality-of-life surveys of seventy-three pleural mesothelioma patients. Patients answered two open-ended questions about their care experience. The researchers say most concerns had to do with communication. Many patients said they wanted clearer explanations and more empathy from their mesothelioma doctors. Unique Challenges of Malignant Mesothelioma Coping with any type of cancer can be stressful and confusing. But mesothelioma presents some special challenges to both patients and mesothelioma doctors.   Pleural mesothelioma is a rare and complex malignancy with a poor prognosis. No single treatment is likely to help. On top of this, mesothelioma symptoms such as … Continue reading Mesothelioma Doctors Urged to Sharpen Their Communication Skills »

Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Doubles Survival in New Study

Radiotherapy for mesothelioma

Italian researchers presenting at an international conference this week say the right kind of radiotherapy for mesothelioma can dramatically boost survival. Radiation oncologist Marco Trovo and his colleagues at the University Hospital of Udine conducted the new mesothelioma research. They studied 108 pleural mesothelioma patients whose tumors could not be completely removed with surgery. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane around the lungs and is usually fatal within a year. But in the new study, more than half of the patients who had high doses of targeted radiotherapy in just the right area were still alive two years later. In contrast, just over a quarter of the patients who had palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma lived to two years. Curative Versus Palliative … Continue reading Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Doubles Survival in New Study »

Many Elderly Mesothelioma Patients Get No Treatment

elderly mesothelioma patients

The majority of elderly mesothelioma patients are observed rather than treated and this can have a negative impact on their survival. That is the finding of a new study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology. The study included more than 4,500 mesothelioma patients. Less than a quarter of these patients received any treatment for their mesothelioma. As a result, most of these patients lived less than six months. Treatment Options for Elderly Mesothelioma Patients Exposure to asbestos causes pleural mesothelioma. It can take decades after exposure for mesothelioma symptoms to occur. The median age for a malignant pleural mesothelioma diagnosis is 72. The older a patient is at diagnosis, the more likely they are to have other health problems. … Continue reading Many Elderly Mesothelioma Patients Get No Treatment »

Get your free copy of
“Surviving Mesothelioma” Today!