Mesothelioma Survival Improves with Post-Surgery Radiation

Pleural mesothelioma patients who undergo radiotherapy after their surgery tend to live longer than those whose treatment plan does not include radiation. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of patients who could stand to benefit from this treatment actually get it. Researchers at Houston Methodist Hospital, Baylor, and The University of Texas have come to that conclusion after analyzing data from the National Cancer Database on nearly 25,000 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma from 2004 to 2013. It was the largest study of adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma ever conducted. Radiotherapy in Mesothelioma Treatment Although radiotherapy is not routinely used in mesothelioma treatment, when it is used, it is typically either palliative as a way to relieve symptoms, or as an add-on … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival Improves with Post-Surgery Radiation »

Radiation for Mesothelioma: Could Proton Therapy Be the Answer?

Researchers at the Maryland Proton Therapy Treatment Center say a highly-targeted version of proton beam radiation could be the future of radiotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. In a new journal article, doctors at the center detail the evolution of radiation treatment for pleural mesothelioma, from standard photon-based therapy to targeted proton therapy. “Radiation therapy has historically been used [for mesothelioma] only in the palliative setting or as adjuvant therapy after extrapleural pneumonectomy,” notes the report. But the researchers go on to say that radiotherapy advances such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and a more precise form of proton beam therapy called pencil-beam scanning, are changing the value of radiotherapy for mesothelioma patients. Radiation’s Role in Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Radiation works … Continue reading Radiation for Mesothelioma: Could Proton Therapy Be the Answer? »

Experimental Mesothelioma Therapy Shrinks Mouse Tumors by 80 Percent

An innovative approach to mesothelioma treatment being developed in Italy has produced results researchers call “very promising”. The treatment reduced the size of mesothelioma tumors in  mice by 80 to 85 percent in just over a month. Noninvasive image-guided Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) utilizes the unique properties of boron to destroy mesothelioma cells from the inside out. It has been used as an alternative to conventional radiation therapy for the treatment of malignant brain tumors and recurrent head and neck cancers. The new Italian study is the latest to evaluate this approach for patients with malignant mesothelioma, a hard-to-treat membrane cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Boron Neutron Capture Therapy for Mesothelioma BNCT is a two-step cancer treatment approach. … Continue reading Experimental Mesothelioma Therapy Shrinks Mouse Tumors by 80 Percent »

Hard-to-Find Therapy Fights Mesothelioma Tumors with Carbon Ions

Carbon ion therapy—a cancer treatment developed in California but currently only available outside the US—may have the ability to significantly slow down the growth and spread of pleural mesothelioma tumors. Researchers at one of the world’s most experienced carbon ion therapy centers in Chiba, Japan shared that conclusion in a new article in the journal Oncotarget. According to the new research, carbon ion beams directed at two lines of malignant mesothelioma cells in the lab “suppressed cell viability”. The addition of cisplatin, one of two primary chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of mesothelioma around the world, “significantly enhanced its action.” The news is likely to be both exciting and frustrating for American mesothelioma patients who do not yet have … Continue reading Hard-to-Find Therapy Fights Mesothelioma Tumors with Carbon Ions »

New Technology Could Change How Mesothelioma Treatment is Monitored

New technology could eventually make it easier, less painful, and less expensive to track the progress of patients undergoing treatment for malignant mesothelioma and other cancers. A research team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison pharmacy professor Seungpyo Hong has developed what they say is a more efficient method for capturing free-floating cancer cells in the blood. The developers say the system is far more effective than existing systems at capturing these hard-to-find circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and could be used to supplement other technologies for tracking cancer treatment. Mesothelioma Biopsy vs CTC Tracking Although mesothelioma therapies have advanced in recent years, there is still no cure for the asbestos-linked cancer. As scientists work to develop new kinds of treatments like … Continue reading New Technology Could Change How Mesothelioma Treatment is Monitored »

New Mesothelioma Treatment Combines Immunotherapy and Targeted Radiation

Researchers at one of the nation’s top cancer institutes are betting on a combination of radiation and immunotherapy in the continued pursuit of better treatments for malignant mesothelioma. Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York is now recruiting relapsed mesothelioma patients into a safety and efficacy study of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and the immunotherapy drug avelumab. The new trial is based on the idea that radiation may boost the immune system’s anti-mesothelioma response and that avelumab may enhance the effect. “The combination of radiation therapy and immunotherapy may be more effective against mesothelioma than either treatment alone,” writes lead researcher and radiation oncologist Andreas Rimner, MD, in a summary of the new study. SBRT in Mesothelioma Treatment The first … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Treatment Combines Immunotherapy and Targeted Radiation »

Prophylactic Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Is it Worth It?

Should mesothelioma patients consider having radiotherapy as a way to keep their symptoms from coming back after surgery? A new study suggests that the answer is probably “no”. In an article published in the online medical journal PLoS One, researchers concluded that radiotherapy aimed at stopping the spread of pleural mesothelioma and delaying the return of symptoms may not not have much of an impact on quality of life for patients. That recently-released finding comes from data collected during the Surgical and Large Bore Procedures in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma and Radiotherapy (SMART) trial, a multicenter trial based in the UK. Evaluating Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma The purpose of the SMART trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of prophylactic radiotherapy started within … Continue reading Prophylactic Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Is it Worth It? »

Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: A Safer Radiation Treatment?

The idea that proton therapy may be a safer alternative to radiotherapy for the asbestos-linked cancer malignant pleural mesothelioma is coming into question in light of recent research. A newly published study of proton therapy in patients with inoperable non-small cell lung cancer, a cancer with many similarities to mesothelioma, showed no difference between proton-based and standard photon-based radiotherapy in terms of lung toxicity or outcomes. The randomized trial was conducted at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas and involved 149 non-small cell lung cancer patients who received comparable doses of either proton therapy or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Proton Therapy and Pleural Mesothelioma Although the standard of care for pleural mesothelioma is chemotherapy, many mesothelioma patients also undergo radiotherapy, … Continue reading Proton Therapy for Mesothelioma: A Safer Radiation Treatment? »

Predicting Mesothelioma Survival: A New Model

mesothelioma diagnosis

Could a geometric diagram hold the key to predicting the treatment outcomes of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma? A team of thoracic surgery experts at China’s Fudan University believe the answer is yes. The team has developed such a diagram, called a nomogram, and used it to demonstrate the connection between a list of prognostic factors and actual mesothelioma survival. Predicting Mesothelioma Prognosis The new nomogram, recently published in the World Journal of Surgery, uses information on malignant mesothelioma treatments and outcomes from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database to offer a prediction model for overall mesothelioma survival. To build it, researchers analyzed the prognostic value of a long list of variables including age, gender, race, year of … Continue reading Predicting Mesothelioma Survival: A New Model »

Many Pleural Mesothelioma Patients May Be Missing Out on Life-Extending Treatments

Support for mesothelioma patients

Too many patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma are not getting the trimodality treatment protocol that could significantly change their outcomes. That is the finding of a newly-published study conducted at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Researchers reviewed the records of more than 20,000 patients in the National Cancer Database with a definitive diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma between 2004 and 2014. They discovered that, even though a combination of therapies has been shown to yield the best mesothelioma outcomes, too many patients were not being given the option of multi-modal treatment. Mesothelioma Treatment Patterns “Vary Widely” Among the 20,561 mesothelioma patients included in the study, only 4,028 underwent cancer-directed surgery. Of those, just 533 (2.6% of the total) received … Continue reading Many Pleural Mesothelioma Patients May Be Missing Out on Life-Extending Treatments »

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