Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma

TTFields and chemotherapy

TTFields and chemotherapy offer one of the most potent combinations against malignant mesothelioma tumors. Now a new study reveals why they work so well together.  Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) are low intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields. They are delivered into the chest of mesothelioma patients with a vest-like device marketed under the brand name Optune Lua.  In 2019, a combination of TTFields and chemotherapy became the first new FDA-approved treatment for mesothelioma in 15 years.  Now, a new report in the journal Lung Cancer sheds light on the synergy between the two modes of mesothelioma treatment.  Combating Cancer with Electrical Currents The Tumor Treating Fields approach was created by Jersey-based Novocure. The technology uses electrical fields to destabilize critical … Continue reading Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma »

Pleural Mesothelioma Patients are Stronger a Year After Surgery

pleural mesothelioma patients

Pleural mesothelioma patients can be stronger and have better lung function a year after surgery than in the days and weeks immediately following their operation. That’s the finding of Japanese researchers who just published a new study in Integrative Cancer Therapies.  They tested 24 male pleural mesothelioma patients in their 60s and 70s. They measured things like the mens’ grip strength, knee extension strength, and how far they could walk in six minutes. They also ran several tests on their lung function. They compared these test results with the patients’ own assessment of their outcomes.  The study suggests that patients who undergo P/D surgery can continue to improve beyond the postoperative phase. It is a hopeful message for patients and … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Patients are Stronger a Year After Surgery »

Mesothelioma Update: Could New Form of Immunotherapy Help?

new form of immunotherapy

A new form of immunotherapy using a patient’s own cells is making headlines this month after a new study shows it may help some people with advanced lung cancer.  Like pleural mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer is a virulent form of cancer that is hard to treat. Even the newest immunotherapy drugs have had only moderate success.  The new form of immunotherapy is the subject of an article in the journal Nature Medicine. It details the hopeful results of patients in a small Phase I pilot trial of the treatment. If it is proven to work for lung cancer, it could be good news for mesothelioma patients, too.  Giving Immune Cells a Boost Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are immune cells. They … Continue reading Mesothelioma Update: Could New Form of Immunotherapy Help? »

Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes

physical function

A patient’s level of physical function prior to mesothelioma surgery is a strong predictor of how well they will do after surgery. That is the conclusion of a new University of Maryland study. Researchers analyzed the cases of 54 pleural mesothelioma patients before and after lung-sparing P/D surgery.  The goal was to see what factors had the biggest impact on their post-surgical outcomes. Patients underwent lung function and physical function tests both before and after their operations.  It turns out that a mesothelioma patient’s ability to be physically active is even more important than their lung function in predicting their recovery. Lung-Sparing Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the multi-layer membrane (pleura) that surrounds the lungs. As … Continue reading Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes »

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study

neoadjuvant chemotherapy

A new prospective Japanese mesothelioma study shows the potentially life-saving benefits of undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery. This has been the preferred way to treat pleural mesothelioma for many years. But most of the studies on it are retrospective. This means that researchers analyze data on mesothelioma patients who already had treatment. In many cases, they are patients who have died.  The new study is one of the few prospective studies on neoadjuvant chemotherapy and mesothelioma surgery.  In a prospective study, researchers enroll patients and follow their progress through treatment.  Pleural mesothelioma is often fatal within a few months. But ninety-five percent of the study subjects who had presurgical chemotherapy followed by an operation were still alive a year … Continue reading Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study »

Academic Medical Centers Extend Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

academic medical centers

A new published study suggests that peritoneal mesothelioma patients treated at academic medical centers survive much longer than those who get their care at community hospitals. The study was conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer of abdominal membranes. There is no known cure. The new study compared outcomes and survival among more than 2,600 mesothelioma patients. Patients were treated at high-volume academic hospitals or community cancer centers.  The results suggest that academic medical centers consistently provide more advanced and potentially life-extending care for this complex cancer.  Experience is Critical for Mesothelioma Care Malignant mesothelioma is the name for cancers that occur on internal membranes. It … Continue reading Academic Medical Centers Extend Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

New Study: PD Surgery and HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma

PD surgery and HITHOC

German doctors say a combination of extended PD surgery and HITHOC has produced some ‘remarkable’ results for patients with pleural mesothelioma.  Extended PD (pleurectomy with decortication) is a lung-sparing surgical procedure for people with cancer on the pleural membrane around the lungs. HITHOC is a method for infusing the area with heated chemotherapy drugs without sending those drugs through the whole body.  Together, extended PD surgery and HITHOC produced median progression-free survival of more than a year and a half for mesothelioma patients in a new German study. Their experience is the focus of a new article in the journal Respiration.  Removing and Killing Cancer Cells: The One-Two Punch Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that starts on the … Continue reading New Study: PD Surgery and HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma »

New “Real World” Study of Immunotherapy for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

immunotherapy for peritoneal meosthelioma

A new study from one of the nation’s top cancer centers supports the role of immunotherapy in peritoneal mesothelioma treatment. Immunotherapy is a treatment approach that aims to harness the body’s natural defense system to fight cancer.  Several immunotherapy drugs have been tested for pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma affects the lungs. Last year, the FDA approved a new combination of immunotherapy drugs for the pleural form of asbestos cancer.  But there is less data on immunotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma. Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center just released their findings on a class of immunotherapy drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). They say it is the first “real-world evidence” of clinical outcomes with ICIs in peritoneal mesothelioma patients. Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors … Continue reading New “Real World” Study of Immunotherapy for Peritoneal Mesothelioma »

Comparing Second-Line Therapies for Recurrent Mesothelioma

recurrent mesothelioma

University of Pennsylvania researchers have some hopeful news for people with recurrent mesothelioma after chemotherapy: Second-line immunotherapy might increase their odds of survival. Previous studies show that recurrent mesothelioma patients who had immunotherapy lived longer than those on placebo. But doctors were not sure how second-line immunotherapy compared to second-line chemotherapy in these patients. The new study showed a clear survival advantage for those who had immunotherapy.  Coping with Recurrent Mesothelioma Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer with a grim prognosis. Most people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis start treatment with chemotherapy. A combination of Alimta (pemetrexed) and a platinum drug is the most common first-line treatment.  But even the standard-of-care rarely keeps this virulent cancer at bay for … Continue reading Comparing Second-Line Therapies for Recurrent Mesothelioma »

New PD-L1 Inhibitor Could Make Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Safer

PD-L1 Inhibitor

A new PD-L1 inhibitor may be on the horizon for people with malignant mesothelioma. A Phase I trial suggests it may be safer than some previous immunotherapy drugs.  PD-L1 is a protein that helps mesothelioma cancer cells hide from the immune system. Several of the most promising immunotherapy drugs for mesothelioma block PD-L1. But the new PD-L1 inhibitor is different. CX-072 (pacmilimab) has the ability to specifically target the tumor. This could reduce the risk for dangerous side effects since normal cells are less likely to be affected.  San Francisco-based CytomX Therapeutics developed CX-072 and a team of international researchers has been studying it. This week, they released the findings of their Phase I trial. The trial included patients with … Continue reading New PD-L1 Inhibitor Could Make Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Safer »

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