Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis

medical thoracoscopy

UK researchers say a minimally invasive procedure called medical thoracoscopy is safe and effective for diagnosing mesothelioma and treating its symptoms.  The word comes from a large medical center in Northumberland. The UK has one of the highest rates of pleural mesothelioma in the world. Rates of pleural mesothelioma in Northumberland are especially high.  Mesothelioma diagnosis usually requires a biopsy. The new study finds that medical thoracoscopy enabled “high diagnostic sensitivity” with few serious complications.   Understanding Medical Thoracoscopy Medical thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the pleura. The pleura is a membrane that surrounds the lung. People with mesothelioma and some other diseases can develop fluid between the pleura and the lungs. The fluid is … Continue reading Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment

Fast Track designation

An immunotherapy treatment called ONCOS-102 has received fast track designation from the FDA as a pleural mesothelioma therapy. Targovax is a Norweigian company that makes ONCOS-102. The company made the announcement today. It means that ONCOS-102 could be available to help people with pleural mesothelioma sooner.  Fast-track designation is for therapies with the potential to address serious medical conditions that have no good treatments. Right now, there is no cure for pleural mesothelioma and very few viable treatment options. The FDA based its decision on encouraging animal studies and early human trials of ONCOS-102.   Importance of Fast Track Designation ONCOS-102 is an experimental treatment made from a modified virus. The virus allows ONCOS-102 to overcome one of the biggest challenges … Continue reading ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment »

Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics

chemoresistance in mesothelioma

A team of Swiss and German researchers have a theory about why so many mesothelioma patients experience chemoresistance.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for asbestos cancer. But fewer than half of patients respond to it.  The new study suggests that this may have to do with an alteration on the BAP1 gene. Medicine cannot change a person’s underlying genetics. But knowing who is likely to experience chemoresistance could help patients and doctors choose the most effective treatments.  BAP1 Expression and Mesothelioma BAP1 stands for BRCA1 associated protein-1. People who have an inherited mutation of this gene produce less of the BAP1 protein. This seems to increase their risk for malignant mesothelioma and several other conditions. People with BAP1 loss … Continue reading Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics »

Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study

diabetes drug

A new study suggests that the diabetes drug metformin may help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading.  The study is not the first study of metformin for mesothelioma. But this one dives deeper into how the diabetes drug may actually work against asbestos cancer.  Drugs to treat mesothelioma can be expensive. But metformin pills are common and relatively cheap. If the drug proves to be helpful against mesothelioma, it could offer hope to thousands of patients fighting this rare cancer.  Mesothelioma Treatment with a Diabetes Drug? Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos. It affects the thin tissue surrounding the lungs.  As cancer grows on this membrane, it prevents the natural movement of the … Continue reading Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study »

Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study

maintenance therapy

Dutch researchers say administering maintenance therapy with gemcitabine after chemotherapy may help mesothelioma patients live longer than supportive care alone.  Gemcitabine is an antimetabolite sold under the brand name Gemzar. Oncologists use it to treat several other types of cancer. When cancer cells absorb gemcitabine, they can no longer divide into new cancer cells.  Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy as their first-line treatment. If they are healthy enough, they may also have mesothelioma surgery. A maintenance therapy is a treatment that follows the main treatment. It is an effort to maintain the effects of the treatment.  The new Dutch study shows gemcitabine may be a safe and effective choice for maintenance therapy. What Does Maintenance Therapy Mean? Right now, there … Continue reading Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study »

Still No Clear Answer on SMART Protocol for Pleural Mesothelioma

SMART protocol for mesothelioma

Another study is out and there is still no clear answer about the value of the SMART protocol for mesothelioma.  SMART stands for surgery for mesothelioma after radiotherapy. After studying nearly a hundred patients, doctors in Toronto say radical surgery after RT can be effective. But they also say it is still very hard to prevent serious complications, even in an experienced center like theirs.  The team at Princess Margaret Cancer Center tested the SMART protocol on previously-untreated pleural mesothelioma patients.  As with previous studies of the SMART protocol for mesothelioma, some of the patients did very well. Many lived longer than they would normally expect to live. But there was also a high incidence of serious surgery-related complications.  The … Continue reading Still No Clear Answer on SMART Protocol for Pleural Mesothelioma »

Immunotherapy with Keytruda for Mesothelioma: A New Case Report

immunotherapy with Keytruda

  There’s more encouraging news about immunotherapy with Keytruda for people with pleural mesothelioma. The latest report comes from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.  A doctor in the orthopaedic department at the school has malignant pleural mesothelioma. He and three colleagues recently published news of his “prompt and exceptionally favorable” response to firstline treatment with pembrolizumab.  Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Several studies suggest that adding immunotherapy with Keytruda to other mesothelioma treatments may improve outcomes.  But the new case report indicates that Keytruda could also be a good firstline option for some mesothelioma patients.  How Immunotherapy with Keytruda Works Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system against the cancer. … Continue reading Immunotherapy with Keytruda for Mesothelioma: A New Case Report »

Chemotherapy Resistance in Mesothelioma Patients: New Insights

chemotherapy resistance

Canadian cancer researchers have discovered what may be a key cause of chemotherapy resistance in mesothelioma and other types of cancer. The news could lead to more effective ways of treating malignant mesothelioma.  Chemotherapy resistance is a major problem for mesothelioma patients. The FDA has approved two different drug therapies for mesothelioma. But neither approach seems to hold asbestos cancer at bay long term.  Scientists at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto say it may be because cancer cells “hibernate” to escape attack. If doctors can understand this cancer cell defense mechanism, they might be able to undermine it.  The Problem of Chemotherapy Resistance Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of several illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos fibers … Continue reading Chemotherapy Resistance in Mesothelioma Patients: New Insights »

Malignant Pleural Effusions: Comparing Treatment Costs

malignant pleural effusions

An indwelling pleural catheter may be the most effective way to deal with malignant pleural effusions in mesothelioma patients, but it can also be very costly.  Spanish researchers reached that conclusion after evaluating four different studies including 152 patients.  Their analysis shows that IPCs do help people with malignant pleural effusions feel better. But the procedure tends to be more complicated in people with pleural mesothelioma. This can make it much more expensive for them.   The Problem of Malignant Pleural Effusions Malignant pleural effusions occur when fluid builds up between the layers of the pleural membrane surrounding the lungs. It is a common problem in people with advanced mesothelioma and several other types of cancer.  The fluid is a byproduct … Continue reading Malignant Pleural Effusions: Comparing Treatment Costs »

Ascites in Mesothelioma: Shunt Improves Quality of Life

ascites in mesothelioma

A shunt that drains excess fluid out of the abdomen is a safe and effective way to relieve the symptoms of ascites in mesothelioma patients. That’s according to a new report published in Cancer Research and Therapeutics.  Ascites is a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. It is a common side effect of peritoneal mesothelioma that can negatively impact quality of life.  But a team of Japanese researchers say an intervention called the Denver shunt can alleviate ascites in mesothelioma and other cancers. It can do so without some of the downsides of other methods. In the right people, the shunt does not tend to cause serious complications. The researchers say the key to success is careful patient selection.  What … Continue reading Ascites in Mesothelioma: Shunt Improves Quality of Life »

Get your free copy of
“Surviving Mesothelioma” Today!