Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin Improves Mesothelioma Response in New Study

induction chemotherapy with Avastin

Mesothelioma patients who had induction chemotherapy with Avastin (bevacizumab) prior to surgery responded better than those who had only chemotherapy in a new Swedish study.  Researchers at the University Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 88 pleural mesothelioma patients who were slated to have surgery.  Most of the patients had standard chemotherapy before surgery. Some had induction chemotherapy with Avastin. Those who got the extra drug had a “significantly better response” according to a new report in Frontiers in Oncology. The Use of Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin or Without Induction chemotherapy is chemotherapy delivered before mesothelioma surgery. The goal of the treatment is to shrink the mesothelioma tumor as much as possible. This may improve the odds that surgeons can … Continue reading Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin Improves Mesothelioma Response in New Study »

Age is a Factor in Mesothelioma Survival After Surgery

mesothelioma survival after surgery

Age appears to be one of the biggest predictors of mesothelioma survival after surgery. This holds true no matter which kind of surgery a patient has.  A new study from the University of Pennsylvania compared the outcomes of more than 2,000 mesothelioma surgery patients. They compared them by surgical type. They also compared their survival with that of people who did not have surgery. Mesothelioma survival after surgery was consistently longer for younger patients. The risk of death within a few months went up a little bit with each year of age. The news could help patients and doctors make better treatment decisions. Surgical Procedures for Mesothelioma Operating on mesothelioma patients is controversial. Mesothelioma tumors are irregularly shaped and difficult to … Continue reading Age is a Factor in Mesothelioma Survival After Surgery »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival: Follow-up is Critical

long-term mesothelioma survival

A newly published French case report is a reminder that long-term mesothelioma survival requires long-term follow-up. The case comes from Aix-Marseille University in Marseille. In the Annals of Medicine and Surgery, doctors wrote about a man who survived mesothelioma for 14 years. In all that time, his cancer did not progress. The situation is unusual for mesothelioma. The life expectancy of most mesothelioma patients is about 18 months. Prolonged survival is two years or more. But the authors of the new report say their case shows that long-term mesothelioma survival is not impossible with the right approach. Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma usually occurs in people who have lived or worked around asbestos. Many do not know they have … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival: Follow-up is Critical »

Multimodal Mesothelioma Treatment Doubles Survival in Mexican Study

multimodal mesothelioma treatment

Researchers at Mexico’s National Cancer Institute say multimodal mesothelioma treatment with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation can slow tumor growth and improve survival. Their new study of patients with advanced pleural mesothelioma produced a median survival of nearly two years. That is almost twice as long as average for pleural mesothelioma.  The researchers say the key is a multimodal mesothelioma treatment approach that attacks tumors from three different angles. Chemotherapy Alone is Rarely Enough Chemotherapy is still the main treatment for most patients with pleural mesothelioma. The FDA approved pemetrexed (Alimta) in 2004. Until the recent approval of a combination of Opdivo and Yervoy, Alimta was the only drug for mesothelioma. It is still the main component in mesothelioma chemotherapy. But … Continue reading Multimodal Mesothelioma Treatment Doubles Survival in Mexican Study »

Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields: New Hope for Mesothelioma?

Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields

There is hope that a new lung cancer trial combining Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields could lead to a new treatment for pleural mesothelioma.  Recent studies show Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is one of the most promising immunotherapy drugs against malignant mesothelioma. Electrical device Tumor Treating Fields is only the second treatment to receive FDA approval for mesothelioma.  This summer, the manufacturers of these two treatments announced they would team up. They will test Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The results could impact the future of mesothelioma treatment, too. Two Promising Therapies: Keytruda Keytruda is an immunotherapy drug. It blocks a protein called PD-1. Many types of cancer cells overproduce PD-1 to evade the immune … Continue reading Keytruda and Tumor Treating Fields: New Hope for Mesothelioma? »

First-Line Immunotherapy May Be Better Than Chemo for This Mesothelioma Subtype

First-Line Immunotherapy

A new study suggests that people with sarcomatoid mesothelioma may fare better if they have first-line immunotherapy before considering chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for most people with mesothelioma. But a report in the journal Translational Lung Cancer questions the wisdom of that trend. The study focused on the outcomes of patients with the sarcomatoid mesothelioma subtype. These patients lived longer after immunotherapy than patients with other subtypes.  When first-line immunotherapy worked best, patients produced more white blood cells. Researchers say these patients might do well to avoid having chemotherapy first. Chemotherapy as Standard Mesothelioma Treatment First-line immunotherapy is not the typical mesothelioma treatment. Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) before other treatments.  Alimta is the … Continue reading First-Line Immunotherapy May Be Better Than Chemo for This Mesothelioma Subtype »

Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival with NIPEC

Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

A new report suggests that long term peritoneal mesothelioma survival may be possible with a treatment called NIPEC and the drug paclitaxel.  NIPEC stands for normothermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. It is similar to the heated chemotherapy that many peritoneal mesothelioma patients now get. But NIPEC is delivered through a catheter over time and at room temperature.  The new article details the long term peritoneal mesothelioma survival of six patients on NIPEC with paclitaxel. It comes from one the nation’s leading experts in this form of mesothelioma, Paul Sugarbaker, MD.  Even though the sample size is small, Dr. Sugarbaker says the results are impressive enough to warrant further study.  HIPEC and Mesothelioma Treatment Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for about 20 percent of mesothelioma … Continue reading Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival with NIPEC »

Immunotherapy with Durvalumab: Record Survival in Inoperable Mesothelioma

immunotherapy drug durvalumab

There is new evidence that the immunotherapy drug durvalumab may make chemotherapy more effective for people with inoperable pleural mesothelioma. Researchers recently achieved record mesothelioma survival times with this combination. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer with a poor prognosis. Surgery can sometimes help if it is caught early. But only a small percentage of patients are candidates for mesothelioma surgery. Most have chemotherapy, which is only moderately effective.  But new research presented to the nation’s largest gathering of cancer doctors shows the immunotherapy drug durvalumab may help.  Doctors at Johns Hopkins combined durvalumab with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy. Study participants lived an average of 8 months longer than is typical with this disease.  If further studies confirm the benefit, it could … Continue reading Immunotherapy with Durvalumab: Record Survival in Inoperable Mesothelioma »

Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: New Consensus Statement

proton therapy for mesothelioma

A group of international experts in radiation oncology say proton therapy for mesothelioma may be a safer alternative to standard radiotherapy.  Proton therapy uses protons instead of photons to destroy mesothelioma tumor cells.  The group evaluated both types of radiation therapy. They conclude that proton therapy for mesothelioma is less likely to damage the opposite lung and other organs.  What is Proton Therapy? Conventional radiation therapy for mesothelioma uses photons. A radiation oncologist delivers photons into the tumor with a linear accelerator. The photons or X-rays permanently damage the DNA. Damaged mesothelioma cells cannot grow and divide normally and the cells die.  The downside of standard radiation therapy is that normal tissue absorbs some of the damaging photons, too. This … Continue reading Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: New Consensus Statement »

Opdivo for Mesothelioma Recurrence is Safe and Effective, Study Finds

Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence

A new Japanese study appears to show that Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence after surgery is safe and effective.  Opdivo (nivolumab) is an immunotherapy drug similar to Keytruda (pembrolizumab). It blocks a protein called PD-L1. PD-L1 helps mesothelioma cells avoid detection by the immune system.  In the latest study, 35 patients received Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence. More than three quarters of them experienced either stable or decreased disease. Understanding How Nivolumab Works Nivolumab is most often used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. It makes tumors more vulnerable to immune system attack. Pleural mesothelioma has many of the same characteristics as lung cancer. This is one reason researchers are hopeful about Opdivo for mesothelioma recurrence.  The primary treatment for mesothelioma is … Continue reading Opdivo for Mesothelioma Recurrence is Safe and Effective, Study Finds »

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