Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment?

There may be a new treatment option on the horizon for mesothelioma patients whose cancer has come back again after treatment. Researchers in the UK are even predicting that this drug could become the new standard of care for relapsed malignant mesothelioma. The drug is nivolumab, a PD-1 inhibitor sold under the brand name Opdivo. Already approved for the treatment of recurrent non-small cell lung cancer, nivolumab has been shown in recent clinical trials to reduce the size of mesothelioma tumors and may even extend mesothelioma survival. Opdivo in the News If you think you have been hearing more about nivolumab in the news lately, you are right. Laboratory results have suggested that this immunotherapy drug could be one of … Continue reading Nivolumab a ‘Rising Star’ for Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment? »

Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they have come up with better way to measure the effects of surgery-related inflammation on subsequent mesothelioma therapies. Their results could help other scientists predict the effectiveness of new and existing adjuvant mesothelioma treatments. Combination Therapy for Mesothelioma Because malignant mesothelioma is so difficult to treat, most patients are treated with a combination of different therapies.   While not all patients are candidates for surgery, a number of studies have suggested that mesothelioma patients who do have surgery as one of their treatments tend to live longer than those who only have other types of treatments. The challenge is that surgery itself can be so disruptive to the body that … Continue reading Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes »

Radiation for Mesothelioma: Could Proton Therapy Be the Answer?

Researchers at the Maryland Proton Therapy Treatment Center say a highly-targeted version of proton beam radiation could be the future of radiotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. In a new journal article, doctors at the center detail the evolution of radiation treatment for pleural mesothelioma, from standard photon-based therapy to targeted proton therapy. “Radiation therapy has historically been used [for mesothelioma] only in the palliative setting or as adjuvant therapy after extrapleural pneumonectomy,” notes the report. But the researchers go on to say that radiotherapy advances such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and a more precise form of proton beam therapy called pencil-beam scanning, are changing the value of radiotherapy for mesothelioma patients. Radiation’s Role in Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Radiation works … Continue reading Radiation for Mesothelioma: Could Proton Therapy Be the Answer? »

New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

There is some good news and some bad news this week for patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that occurs on the lining of the abdomen. Both come from a new article on peritoneal cancer published in the International Journal of Clinical Oncology. The good news is that most patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and other forms of cancer on the peritoneal membrane respond well to the multi-modal treatment regimen that has become the standard-of-care for this form of the asbestos cancer. A combination of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) allows most peritoneal cancer patients to “achieve long-term disease-free survival”, according to the study from the National Cancer Centre Singapore. But the more disturbing … Continue reading New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery »

Prospects Good for New Electrical Field-based Mesothelioma Treatment

Prospects are looking good for a company that has developed a new kind of mesothelioma treatment based on electrical fields, and for the patients who stand to benefit from it. Headquartered on the island of Jersey in the UK, the company is called Novocure. Their new technology, called Tumor Treating Fields, uses alternating electrical fields to destabilize critical proteins and disrupt mesothelioma cell division. Now, Novocure’s stock prices are rising and financial advisers are giving it a “buy” rating in the wake of the latest mesothelioma trial results showing longer survival for patients who received the treatment. Tumor Treating Fields and Mesothelioma Treatment Novocure launched the STELLAR study, a phase 2 pilot trial in people with pleural mesothelioma, after achieving positive … Continue reading Prospects Good for New Electrical Field-based Mesothelioma Treatment »

Study Finds Chemotherapy Unlikely to Improve Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

A new study from the University of Illinois suggests that patients with peritoneal mesothelioma who undergo  surgery may not get any benefit from having chemotherapy, too. Mesothelioma patients who have cytoreductive surgery, which is also called debulking surgery, tend to live more than four times as long as those who do not have the surgery. Rinsing the abdominal cavity with a heated solution of cancer-killing drugs may improve survival even more. But, according to the new study, the same cannot be said of chemotherapy drugs that are delivered orally or by injection or infusion so that they circulate through the whole body (systemic chemotherapy). Peritoneal Mesothelioma and Cytoreductive Surgery Peritoneal mesothelioma is a fast-growing malignancy that occurs on the membrane … Continue reading Study Finds Chemotherapy Unlikely to Improve Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

Mesothelioma Patients May Benefit From Kindness, Study Reveals

A study of more than 400 patients and their families shows that people coping with cancers such as malignant mesothelioma do better when their medical caregivers show them kindness. The study was originally published in the Journal of Oncology Practice and identifies six specific types of kindness that can help to ease the pain and challenges of mesothelioma treatment. High Tech Must Be Balanced by “High Touch” In the introduction to the report, Dr. Leonard Berry, a University Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Texas A&M University, says high tech therapies for mesothelioma and other cancers  should be balanced by “high touch” from caregivers. “Simple kindness can help to diffuse negative emotions that are associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment—and may … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patients May Benefit From Kindness, Study Reveals »

PET Beats CT in Study of Mesothelioma Staging Tools

PET Scan

When it comes to accurately assessing the extent of an individual case of malignant pleural mesothelioma, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) may be more effective than Computed Tomography (CT). A combination of the two is even better. That conclusion comes from researchers at the University of Toronto who analyzed the cases of more than 100 mesothelioma patients being considered for multimodality therapy at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. Researchers compared the accuracy of PET and CT separately and together to determine how effective each was at identifying 1) the extent to which mesothelioma had spread to the lymph nodes (N stage) and 2) the number and location of metastatic mesothelioma tumors (M stage). Both N and M staging are used … Continue reading PET Beats CT in Study of Mesothelioma Staging Tools »

New Mesothelioma Treatment Combines Immunotherapy and Targeted Radiation

Researchers at one of the nation’s top cancer institutes are betting on a combination of radiation and immunotherapy in the continued pursuit of better treatments for malignant mesothelioma. Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York is now recruiting relapsed mesothelioma patients into a safety and efficacy study of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and the immunotherapy drug avelumab. The new trial is based on the idea that radiation may boost the immune system’s anti-mesothelioma response and that avelumab may enhance the effect. “The combination of radiation therapy and immunotherapy may be more effective against mesothelioma than either treatment alone,” writes lead researcher and radiation oncologist Andreas Rimner, MD, in a summary of the new study. SBRT in Mesothelioma Treatment The first … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Treatment Combines Immunotherapy and Targeted Radiation »

Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: A Safer Radiation Treatment?

The idea that proton therapy may be a safer alternative to radiotherapy for the asbestos-linked cancer malignant pleural mesothelioma is coming into question in light of recent research. A newly published study of proton therapy in patients with inoperable non-small cell lung cancer, a cancer with many similarities to mesothelioma, showed no difference between proton-based and standard photon-based radiotherapy in terms of lung toxicity or outcomes. The randomized trial was conducted at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas and involved 149 non-small cell lung cancer patients who received comparable doses of either proton therapy or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Proton Therapy and Pleural Mesothelioma Although the standard of care for pleural mesothelioma is chemotherapy, many mesothelioma patients also undergo radiotherapy, … Continue reading Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: A Safer Radiation Treatment? »

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