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
Europe’s top mesothelioma experts have released new best practices for pleural mesothelioma. They include the latest recommendations on diagnosis, staging, monitoring, and treatment. The task force was made up of members from: European Respiratory Society (ERS) European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) This is the first time the best practices for pleural mesothelioma were updated since 2009. The group based the new recommendations on mesothelioma data gathered in the last decade. Mesothelioma Remains a Global Challenge Malignant mesothelioma is one of the world’s most challenging cancers. Doctors know that asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. But many other things about this disease are a mystery. Some people with a … Continue reading Best Practices for Pleural Mesothelioma: Updated Recommendations from Europe’s Top Doctors
Swiss doctors have used a combination of photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy to dramatically shrink mesothelioma tumors in mice. More than a third of mice treated with an immune checkpoint inhibitor and low-dose light therapy experienced complete regression of their cancer. The new study explores how photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy can work together. The answers could have important implications for tens of thousands of people suffering from asbestos cancer. Two Different Approaches to Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Pleural mesothelioma occurs on the membrane around the lungs. It is the most common type of mesothelioma. Around 2,500 Americans receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year. There is no cure. Photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy both show … Continue reading Photodynamic Therapy and Immunotherapy: A Powerful Mesothelioma Combo?
Cancer doctors at Mayo Clinic say they do not plan to start routinely performing radiotherapy before mesothelioma surgery. The idea is based on a radiation protocol called SMART. The team monitored how well the SMART protocol worked among their pleural mesothelioma patients over a one year period. The Mayo doctors acknowledged that radiotherapy before mesothelioma surgery can sometimes improve outcomes. But too many of their patients developed serious complications. In a recently-published article, the team concludes that SMART may not be worth the risk for most patients. The SMART Way to Treat Mesothelioma? Pleural mesothelioma grows on the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Mesothelioma tumors lie close to the lungs and heart and may spread to one or both lungs. … Continue reading Radiotherapy Before Mesothelioma Surgery May Not Be Worth the Risk
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
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 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
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
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?
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?