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 »

Spread of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Slows with Apatinib

spread of peritoneal mesothelioma

An investigational drug called apatinib may help stop the growth and spread of peritoneal mesothelioma. Chinese researchers recently tested the VEGF inhibitor on mice infected with human mesothelioma.  They found that the spread of peritoneal mesothelioma slowed way down in the presence of apatinib. The drug worked in the lab and in live mice with few serious side effects. If larger experiments confirm apatinib’s effectiveness, the next step could be trials in human mesothelioma patients.  Apatinib Blocks Blood Vessel Formation Apatinib is also known as Rivoceranib. It keeps cancer cells from using the protein VEGF. VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) allows tumors to spawn new blood vessels. A rich supply of fresh blood fuels the growth and spread of peritoneal … Continue reading Spread of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Slows with Apatinib »

CT Scans Fail To Identify Metastatic Mesothelioma Prior to Surgery

CT scans

CT scans are not a reliable way to detect the spread of mesothelioma into certain lymph nodes between the ribs. This is important because people with mesothelioma cells in their posterior intercostal lymph nodes (PILN) do not tend to get good results from P/D surgery. Surgeons need a good way to find mesothelioma cells in these lymph nodes before they decide to perform this risky operation. But University of Pennsylvania researchers say CT scans are not the best method.  CT Scans in Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Prognosis CT stands for computerized tomography. A CT machine uses a series of X-ray images from different angles to create a 3D picture of a mesothelioma tumor. Most hospitals have a CT scanner. They are … Continue reading CT Scans Fail To Identify Metastatic Mesothelioma Prior to Surgery »

Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020

breakthroughs in mesothelioma

In spite of a global pandemic, there were some major breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020 that made the year a hopeful one for people fighting asbestos cancer. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious illness caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.  Mesothelioma is still not curable. But researchers have made major breakthroughs in mesothelioma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment this year.  Mesothelioma Treatment Advances Mesothelioma treatment saw the biggest breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020. The FDA approved the first systemic treatment for mesothelioma since 2004. That was the year that Alimta (pemetrexed) received approval.  They approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy. Yervoy helps activate and proliferate T-cells. Opdivo helps existing T-cells discover the mesothelioma  tumor. The patients who … Continue reading Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020 »

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