Experimental Mesothelioma Drugs and the New Right-to-Try Law

Legislation signed this week by President Trump could pave the way for mesothelioma patients to access promising experimental treatments—even years before they are approved by the FDA. But not everyone thinks it is a good idea. The “Right to Try” legislation gives patients with terminal illnesses like malignant mesothelioma the right to receive new treatments they would not normally be able to get because they haven’t gone through the FDA’s three-phase testing requirement. Controversy Over New Legislation Although the legislation could make it easier for some patients to access potentially life-saving mesothelioma treatments, it is also not without controversy. Some argue it could even be dangerous. Typically, the FDA requires that all proposed mesothelioma therapies go through three-phases of studies … Continue reading Experimental Mesothelioma Drugs and the New Right-to-Try Law »

Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma

AstraZeneca’s immunotherapy drug tremelimumab may still have a chance as a novel mesothelioma treatment, even though an international clinical trial completed last year found that it did not extend mesothelioma survival. In a new study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Italian researchers report that combining the monoclonal antibody with another drug called durvalumab “appeared active” as a second-line mesothelioma treatment with “a good safety profile”. Tremelimumab’s Rocky Start as a Mesothelioma Treatment Hopes were initially high for tremelimumab, a monoclonal antibody that works by binding to the protein CTLA-4 on the surface of white blood cells and preventing it from inhibiting the cells’ cancer-fighting power. The US even granted tremelimumab “orphan drug” status in 2015, a designation designed to … Continue reading Immunotherapy Combo Shows Early Efficacy for Malignant Mesothelioma »

Tea Leaf Cancer Treatment May Have Implications for Mesothelioma Patients

A new type of nanoparticle derived from green tea leaves has been shown to kill lung cancer cells and may one day do the same for pleural mesothelioma. Scientists at Swansea University in Wales in collaboration with researchers at Bharathiar University in India discovered the power of the tea-based nanoparticles—called quantum dots—when attempting to create a less expensive tool for lung cancer imaging. “The main reason we started looking at tea leaves is that chemically synthesised quantum dots cost between £250 and £500 per microgram,” lead researcher Dr. Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu told the BBC. “Whereas organically-derived ones can be manufactured for £10 per microgram, and at the same time they don’t poison healthy cells surrounding the cancer.” Fluorescent Cancer Fighters Nanoparticles … Continue reading Tea Leaf Cancer Treatment May Have Implications for Mesothelioma Patients »

Mesothelioma Patients Recruited to Test Promising New Combo Drug

Patients with malignant mesothelioma who have not gotten better after chemotherapy are being invited to enroll in a clinical trial of a combination drug that could be the future of mesothelioma treatment. The drug is called SEL-403. Developed by Selecta Biosciences, the drug seeks to get around the problem of the body producing antibodies that decrease the effectiveness of certain mesothelioma drugs. What is SLE-403 and How Could it Improve Mesothelioma Treatment? SEL-403 is a combination of two agents, The first is LMB-100, an immunotoxin that targets the  protein mesothelin, which is overproduced by most mesothelioma tumors as well as by several other types of cancer cells. Since LMB-100 targets this particular protein, it is less likely to attack healthy … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patients Recruited to Test Promising New Combo Drug »

Could Drug “Repurposing” Be the Cure for Mesothelioma?

An exciting new use for an old drug is shining a spotlight on the potential for repurposing previously approved drugs to treat malignant mesothelioma faster and more effectively. Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most closely associated with the mineral asbestos. Although it’s incidence is slowly declining in some parts of the world, mesothelioma continues to rise in many poor countries where asbestos regulation is lax or nonexistent. While there are some exciting new therapies on the horizon there is still no cure for mesothelioma. But some scientists say using existing drugs to treat the asbestos cancer might be the key to curing it sooner rather than later. Parasite Drug the Latest to Show Promise for Mesothelioma The latest repurposed drug … Continue reading Could Drug “Repurposing” Be the Cure for Mesothelioma? »

Experimental Mesothelioma Treatment Produces “Strong Antitumor Activity”

Italian scientists have released some potentially exciting news detailing their experiments with a new kind of treatment for malignant mesothelioma. The combination treatment uses elements of traditional Chinese medicine as well as a natural compound isolated from a marine sponge. Led by chemists from the University of Milan, the experiments involved giving the combination to mice carrying human mesothelioma tumors. While standard chemotherapy has only a moderate impact on most mesothelioma tumors and can trigger a range of potentially serious side effects, the Italian team reports “strong antitumor activity” and “very high tolerability” with the experimental treatment. Fighting Mesothelioma with Natural Compounds Two primary compounds were used to create the new mesothelioma treatment combination. The first is a derivative of … Continue reading Experimental Mesothelioma Treatment Produces “Strong Antitumor Activity” »

Mesothelioma Treatment May Be More Effective Without This Enzyme

An international team of researchers has published data they believe could dramatically boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy for malignant mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is a highly lethal, asbestos-linked cancer. One of the reasons it is so difficult to cure is that it is resistant to all of the standard cancer drugs. Now, scientists with the University of New Mexico, the University of Kansas, and Semmelweis University in Hungary say they managed to make mesothelioma cells much more susceptible to chemotherapy drugs in the lab by also administering a drug designed to inhibit cellular expression of an enzyme called AXL. Enzyme “Protects” Mesothelioma Cells from Chemotherapy AXL is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor expressed on the surface of cells. It is one of … Continue reading Mesothelioma Treatment May Be More Effective Without This Enzyme »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with Mistletoe Extract

Mesothelioma researchers are calling for more study of compounds extracted from European mistletoe after a German pleural mesothelioma patient survived for more than four years with no other treatment. Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Although many different types of new mesothelioma treatments are under investigation, there is no cure. An Alternative Mesothelioma Treatment? Most mesothelioma patients receive some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation. But a new report in the Journal of Thoracic Disease suggests that long-term mesothelioma survival might be possible with an alternative treatment modality called viscum album extracts (VAE). VAE is extracted from the European mistletoe plant and is known to stimulate the immune system, downregulate cancer genes, and inhibit the … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with Mistletoe Extract »

Bullfrog Eggs May Hold the Secret to Mesothelioma Survival

Researchers in Japan believe they may have discovered a new and more effective drug for the intractable asbestos cancer, malignant pleural mesothelioma – and it comes from an unlikely source. Sialic acid-binding lectin (cSBL) is a protein derived from the eggs of bullfrogs. It has the ability to bind to cell membranes and appears to exhibit antitumor activity through the degradation of RNA. Previous studies have shown cSBL to be involved in a variety of important biological processes. A New Kind of Mesothelioma Treatment? In a new report published in the open-access online medical journal PLoS One, researchers from the Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Sendai, Japan say cSBL has the potential to extend mesothelioma survival. The team first tested … Continue reading Bullfrog Eggs May Hold the Secret to Mesothelioma Survival »

Blocking This Cellular Process Could Help Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Work Better

Researchers in California and Boston say blocking a process by which cells break down and recycle their components into new cells could make mesothelioma tumors more susceptible to chemotherapy. Although the process, known as autophagy, is a natural part of the lives of cells, it can also be induced by certain drugs. Emerging research suggests that the multi-stage process is not only more complex than once thought but may also play a critical role in the growth and development of cancer. Autophagy and Malignant Mesothelioma In a new study conducted at the University of California and Harvard Medical School, researchers used medications to inhibit autophagy in 3-dimensional fragments of pleural mesothelioma tumors before treating them with chemotherapeutic drugs. The team … Continue reading Blocking This Cellular Process Could Help Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Work Better »

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