Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: New Consensus Statement

proton therapy for mesothelioma

A group of international experts in radiation oncology say proton therapy for mesothelioma may be a safer alternative to standard radiotherapy.  Proton therapy uses protons instead of photons to destroy mesothelioma tumor cells.  The group evaluated both types of radiation therapy. They conclude that proton therapy for mesothelioma is less likely to damage the opposite lung and other organs.  What is Proton Therapy? Conventional radiation therapy for mesothelioma uses photons. A radiation oncologist delivers photons into the tumor with a linear accelerator. The photons or X-rays permanently damage the DNA. Damaged mesothelioma cells cannot grow and divide normally and the cells die.  The downside of standard radiation therapy is that normal tissue absorbs some of the damaging photons, too. This … Continue reading Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: New Consensus Statement »

Radiotherapy Before Mesothelioma Surgery May Not Be Worth the Risk

Radiotherapy before mesothelioma surgery

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 »

Targeted Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma May Extend Survival in the Right Patients

targeted radiotherapy 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 »

Study Supports Curative Radiation Therapy for Pleural Mesothelioma

radiation therapy for pleural mesothelioma

A new study out of Turkey supports the idea of using highly targeted radiation therapy for pleural mesothelioma that can’t be treated surgically. Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer that grows on the membrane around the lungs. The membrane is called the pleura. Like all forms of mesothelioma, it carries a grim prognosis. But the Turkish researchers say new radiotherapy techniques offer the promise of better outcomes. They compared two types of radiation therapy for pleural mesothelioma. They found that both could be delivered safely and with limited damage to nearby organs.  Unrectable Pleural Mesothelioma The first-line treatment for pleural mesothelioma is chemotherapy. Ideally, chemotherapy will help to shrink the pleural mesothelioma. Then doctors can remove most of it surgically. They … Continue reading Study Supports Curative Radiation Therapy for Pleural Mesothelioma »

Antibiotic May Boost Response to Radiation Therapy for Mesothelioma

response to radiation therapy

A common antibiotic may improve mesothelioma patients’ response to radiation therapy.  The concept is based on new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Doctors there gave the antibiotic vancomycin to genetically modified mice. The mice had been modified to develop cancer. Mice that got the antibiotic had a better response to radiation therapy than untreated mice.  The effect applied not only to the treated tumor but also to tumors outside the treatment area. A heightened response to radiation therapy could be good news for patients with metastatic mesothelioma.  Understanding Cancer Response to Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy combats malignant mesothelioma by disrupting the DNA inside cancer cells. Mesothelioma tumors are irregularly-shaped which can make them … Continue reading Antibiotic May Boost Response to Radiation Therapy for Mesothelioma »

Drug May Make Mesothelioma Cells More Sensitive to Radiation

sensitive to radiation

Scottish cancer researchers say they have found a way to make mesothelioma cells more sensitive to radiation.  Radiotherapy is one of the tools doctors can use to help slow progression of the asbestos cancer. It can also help alleviate mesothelioma symptoms.  But proteins expressed by mesothelioma cells can make them less sensitive to radiation. The Glasgow-based research team is getting around this protection with a sensitizing drug. The drug mimics a process that already happens in healthy people. Radiotherapy in the Treatment of Mesothelioma Radiotherapy is not usually the primary treatment for malignant mesothelioma. Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy as their first-line treatment.  But newer technology means that radiation can be more targeted than it used to be. This means … Continue reading Drug May Make Mesothelioma Cells More Sensitive to Radiation »

Signs of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Radiotherapy

signs of peritoneal mesothelioma after radiotherapy

Japanese researchers are reminding doctors to watch for signs of peritoneal mesothelioma in people who have undergone past radiotherapy.  Many cancer patients undergo radiotherapy. Radiation disrupts the DNA inside cancer cells. This can help keep these malignant cells from replicating and spreading.  But radiation treatment also has a downside. It can cause cellular changes in healthy cells, too. This can cause side effects right away, or decades later.  As more people have radiation and survive, scientists at the Shinshu University School of Medicine say more of them could develop radiation-related mesothelioma later in life. But the signs of peritoneal mesothelioma years after radiation are easy to miss. Peritoneal Mesothelioma Case Study The new report is based on the case of … Continue reading Signs of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Radiotherapy »

IMRT for Mesothelioma: Barriers to Completing Treatment

PD-L1 inhibitor nivolumab

MD Anderson researchers say too many patients who might benefit from IMRT for mesothelioma never complete the treatment. The problem could be impacting their survival. Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) is a type of targeted radiation. It is designed to direct as much radiation as possible into the mesothelioma tumor without harming the surrounding tissue.  Patients who have a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and IMRT for mesothelioma have the best odds of survival. But at MD Anderson Cancer Center, only two thirds of eligible patients completed IMRT after mesothelioma surgery. The new study aimed to find out why. Trimodal Therapy and Mesothelioma Survival Malignant mesothelioma rarely responds to a single cancer therapy. Trimodal therapy combines several different treatments to maximize success.  … Continue reading IMRT for Mesothelioma: Barriers to Completing Treatment »

Adjuvant Radiotherapy Most Effective for Pleural Mesothelioma in Early Stages

adjuvant radiotherapy for esothelioma

New research shows adjuvant radiotherapy is most likely to help pleural mesothelioma patients in the early stages of the disease. By the time mesothelioma is at Stage III or Stage IV, adjuvant radiotherapy is unlikely to improve survival. Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas conducted the study on more than 2,500 pleural mesothelioma patients. Their results appear in the most recent issue of the Journal of Thoracic Disease. The study could help mesothelioma patients and doctors make more informed choices about their care. Defining the Stages of Pleural Mesothelioma The four stages of mesothelioma relate to the severity of the cancer and how far it has spread. In Stage I mesothelioma, the tumor is confined to the pleural … Continue reading Adjuvant Radiotherapy Most Effective for Pleural Mesothelioma in Early Stages »

Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Produces “Substantial Treatment Response”

palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma

Doctors in Pennsylvania may have found a way to boost the effectiveness of palliative radiotherapy for pleural mesothelioma. Palliative radiotherapy is used to help with mesothelioma symptoms. It uses lower doses of radiation. Doctors do not expect to treat mesothelioma with palliative radiotherapy. But researchers at the University of Pennsylvania think it could also be a treatment. They combined palliative radiotherapy with a special kind of gene therapy. The gene therapy affects the immune system. They say the combination produced a “substantial treatment response” in a man with mesothelioma. Immuno-gene Therapy and Palliative Radiotherapy Immuno-gene therapy uses genes to stimulate the immune system against cancer. In the new Pennsylvania case study, a 67-year-old man with mesothelioma received immuno-gene therapy. Doctors … Continue reading Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Produces “Substantial Treatment Response” »

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