Adjuvant Radiotherapy May Not Lengthen Mesothelioma Survival, Study Shows

adjuvant radiotherapy

Having adjuvant radiotherapy after surgery may not help mesothelioma patients live any longer according to researchers at Duke and Stanford Universities. Researchers used a database of pleural mesothelioma patients from Duke and a national registry to conduct the analysis.  They compared the outcomes of patients who had radiation after surgery (adjuvant radiotherapy) with the outcomes of those who did not.  While radiotherapy may help reduce mesothelioma symptoms for some patients, the results of the study suggest that it is unlikely to extend survival. Radiation for Mesothelioma and Its Symptoms Radiotherapy is a mainstay of cancer therapy for certain kinds of cancer. But the irregular shape and aggressive nature of mesothelioma tumors makes them less than ideal for radiation treatment.  Pleural … Continue reading Adjuvant Radiotherapy May Not Lengthen Mesothelioma Survival, Study Shows »

Triple-Modality Therapy May Improve Mesothelioma Outcomes, Study Suggests

triple-modality therapy

A Canadian study suggests that triple-modality therapy with radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery may extend the lives of people with malignant pleural mesothelioma.  Pleural mesothelioma is an intractable cancer with a poor prognosis. It mainly affects people who have lived or worked around asbestos.  There is no cure for mesothelioma. People who have the best mesothelioma outcomes usually have a combination of treatments.  Now, scientists at Toronto General Hospital’s Research Institute say a triple-modality therapy they tested in mice might have the power to extend human lives, too. Multi-modal Mesothelioma Treatment Pleural mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer that starts on the membrane around the lungs. Many mesothelioma patients die less than a year after diagnosis.  There is no single accepted treatment … Continue reading Triple-Modality Therapy May Improve Mesothelioma Outcomes, Study Suggests »

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 »

Focused Radiation After Chemotherapy May Improve Mesothelioma Survival

focused radiation after chemotherapy

New research suggests that mesothelioma patients who have focused radiation after chemotherapy may live longer with slower disease progression than those who have other therapy combinations. Researchers used two kinds of focused radiotherapy (FRT) in the study. One was stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and the other was hypo-fractionated radiotherapy. Both treatments deliver a deadly dose of radiation into tumors while sparing normal tissue.  Italian researchers say giving focused radiation after chemotherapy makes it even more effective against mesothelioma that is not yet widespread.  Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Radiotherapy is one of several possible treatments for mesothelioma. Most patients start with chemotherapy. But chemotherapy has limited effectiveness. Increasingly, researchers are looking for other approaches to combat mesothelioma.  Most patients get the … Continue reading Focused Radiation After Chemotherapy May Improve Mesothelioma Survival »

Novel Strategy May Improve Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

Canadian scientists say suppressing certain kinds of immune system cells could improve the effectiveness of immuno-radiotherapy for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a fast-growing membrane cancer caused by asbestos. Doctors have not found a single therapy that can beat it. For most patients, a combination of treatments offer the best survival odds. Immuno-radiotherapy for mesothelioma combines two types of treatments. Immunotherapy drugs activate the immune system while radiation attacks the tumor directly.  Mesothelioma tumors fight back against both kinds of treatments. But researchers testing a combination of the two may have found a way to make it even more powerful. How Immuno-Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Works Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most treatment-resistant cancers. Doctors have to attack it from many different … Continue reading Novel Strategy May Improve Immuno-radiotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Faster with New Technology

Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma

A new type of linear accelerator could make palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma faster and safer.  That news comes from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Perelman is the site of some of the world’s foremost mesothelioma research.  Their new report on palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma focuses on the Halcyon multileaf collimator. This machine delivers radiotherapy to relieve mesothelioma symptoms.  The report shows patients were in and out of treatment within minutes. This could make Halcyon an option for fragile mesothelioma patients who could not tolerate a longer treatment. What is Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma? Palliative medicine is a branch of medicine focused on symptom management. Many mesothelioma patients have no symptoms for many years. … Continue reading Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Faster with New Technology »

Artificial Intelligence in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment Planning

Artificial Intelligence

Two newly-published studies highlight some of the ways that artificial intelligence may help with the diagnosis and treatment of malignant mesothelioma.  The first study focuses on machine learning algorithms for mesothelioma diagnosis. Researchers used data from Turkey, which has a high rate of mesothelioma among families.  A separate study from New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center demonstrates the role that artificial intelligence can play in planning mesothelioma radiotherapy. Both studies suggest that machine learning may be a valuable tool to help doctors tackle asbestos cancer.  How Does Machine Learning Work? Artificial intelligence refers to intelligence generated by a computer. Like people, computers have to “learn” before they can provide intelligent answers to medical questions.  In both of the new studies, … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment Planning »

Chemoperfusion Treatment for Mesothelioma: Chemo Without the Side Effects?

Chemoperfusion Treatment for Mesothelioma

New research suggests that chemoperfusion treatment for mesothelioma may buy patients more time without the side effects of traditional chemotherapy.  Chemoperfusion treatment involves injecting cancer-killing drugs directly into the vessels that feed a pleural mesothelioma tumor.  The research was presented during a virtual session of the Society of Interventional Radiology’s annual meeting. Researchers showed how this novel approach could improve quality of life for mesothelioma patients.  Limitations of Chemotherapy Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer with few treatment options. Most mesothelioma patients start with chemotherapy. Alimta (pemetrexed) is the primary chemotherapy drug for mesothelioma.  But chemotherapy has drawbacks that chemoperfusion treatment for mesothelioma might avoid.  Conventional chemotherapy circulates drugs throughout the body. That means that normal cells can absorb them … Continue reading Chemoperfusion Treatment for Mesothelioma: Chemo Without the Side Effects? »

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 »

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