Meta-Analysis Finds Lung-Sparing Surgery the Best Option for Most Mesothelioma Patients

There is now more evidence to support the growing number of experts who favor lung-sparing P/D surgery over radical extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. There has been an ongoing debate within the surgical community over which procedure carries the most benefit with the least risk. The late David Sugarbaker, MD, of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston was a pioneer of the EPP procedure, which involves removing not only the diseased pleural lining where mesothelioma tumors grow, but also the nearest lung, most of the diaphragm, the pericardium, and other at-risk tissues. But it turns out that, although Sugarbaker and his team were able to show a mesothelioma survival benefit with EPP, their results, … Continue reading Meta-Analysis Finds Lung-Sparing Surgery the Best Option for Most Mesothelioma Patients »

Mesothelioma Surgery and the Threat of Opioid Addiction

A new study of opioid addiction among lung cancer patients may have implications for pleural mesothelioma patients who are considering surgery. The study, published this month in JAMA Oncology, finds that patients treated with more invasive surgical techniques are more likely to become chronic opioid users than those who have less invasive surgery. Opioids Are ‘Standard of Care’ for Lung Surgery Patients Researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York studied the cases of nearly 4,000  people from the SEER Medicare database who had some type of surgery for non-small cell lung cancer, a type of cancer that shares many commonalities with the lung-related asbestos cancer, pleural mesothelioma. Some of the lung cancer patients studied underwent open thoracic surgery while others … Continue reading Mesothelioma Surgery and the Threat of Opioid Addiction »

Surgery May Offer Survival Advantage for Rare Mesothelioma Subtypes

People with the most dangerous subtypes of malignant pleural mesothelioma may live longer if they undergo surgery. In an article in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, University of Arizona researchers say cancer-directed surgery can lengthen survival in people with sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma, two of the hardest cancers to treat. Multiple studies have suggested that there is a survival benefit from surgery in people with epithelioid mesothelioma, the most common subtype. But, the evidence is much more scanty for people with either sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma, both of which are associated with a worse mesothelioma prognosis  and shorter overall survival. Now, the Tucson-based research team says surgery aimed at removing the cancer (rather than just alleviating symptoms) can help these mesothelioma … Continue reading Surgery May Offer Survival Advantage for Rare Mesothelioma Subtypes »

Short Term Mesothelioma Survival Better with Conservative Surgery

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have added their voices to the ongoing debate over the best type of surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma. After a meta-analysis of 30-day mortality among 500 mesothelioma patients, the group has come down on the side of pleurectomy decortication (PD), the more conservative — and less risky — of the two major types of mesothelioma surgery. Mesothelioma Surgery: EPP vs. P/D Pleural mesothelioma, also referred to as asbestos cancer, is notoriously difficult to treat. Successful mesothelioma treatment usually involves a combination of therapies, such as Alimta (pemetrexed), radiotherapy, and curative surgery in patients who are healthy enough to undergo it. (Surgery is currently only recommended for patients with epithelioid mesothelioma, … Continue reading Short Term Mesothelioma Survival Better with Conservative Surgery »

New Study Points to Benefits of IMRT for Mesothelioma Treatment

There is more evidence that mesothelioma patients who have lung sparing surgery can live longer if it’s followed up with highly targeted radiation therapy. In the first study to come out of Israel on the subject, a team of oncologists, pulmonologists, radiation oncologists, and thoracic surgeons at Rabin Medicine Center in Petah Tikva say intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is safe and effective for slowing down the growth of pleural mesothelioma tumors. The Challenge of Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma The irregularity of malignant mesothelioma tumors makes them difficult to treat with standard external beam radiotherapy without damaging healthy tissue and causing serious side effects. This is particularly problematic in patients who still have both lungs, either because they were not good … Continue reading New Study Points to Benefits of IMRT for Mesothelioma Treatment »

Muscle Loss May Predict Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

Age-related muscle loss appears to be an independent predictor of peritoneal mesothelioma survival after surgery. The news might help patients and doctors make better treatment decisions. Researchers at the Lyon-Sud Hospital Center in Lyon say they have found a connection between sarcopenia—muscle loss associated with aging—and how long people with peritoneal mesothelioma (or another abdominal condition called pseudomyxoma peritonei) survive after cytoreductive surgery. The bottom line: The less muscle loss, the longer a mesothelioma patient is likely to survive. CRS/HIPEC Surgery for Mesothelioma Cancer Both peritoneal mesothelioma and pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) are cancers that grow in the abdomen. Like other types of malignant mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma is associated with exposure to asbestos. It is typically a fast-growing cancer for which … Continue reading Muscle Loss May Predict Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

Study Predicts New Mesothelioma Therapies on the Horizon

mesothelioma survivor

A new article published by a pair of UK scientists predicts a brighter future for mesothelioma patients thanks to a growing understanding of the disease and how to treat it. Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most closely associated with asbestos. Although only a small percentage of asbestos-exposed people go on to develop mesothelioma, those who do face a grim prognosis. Doctors learned early on that standard cancer treatments rarely work for patients with mesothelioma. But Anna Bibby and Nick Maskell with Bristol Medical School and the North Bristol Lung Centre say the large amount of high-quality mesothelioma research conducted in the last decade has moved medicine closer to finding a cure for this intractable cancer. Important Mesothelioma Research Findings In … Continue reading Study Predicts New Mesothelioma Therapies on the Horizon »

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 »

Penn Surgeons “Light Up” Tumors to Boost Mesothelioma Survival

University of Pennsylvania surgeons are experimenting with a new technology that could vastly improve survival for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma by ensuring that more of their cancer can be  removed. Complete resection of mesothelioma tumors can be the difference between life and death; even a few cancer cells left behind can quickly grow into new tumors. But macroscopic complete resection, as it is called, is not easy. Not only are mesothelioma tumors irregularly-shaped and located close to critical organs like the lungs and heart, but surgeons say it is often hard to distinguish tiny metastatic tumors from inflammation or scar tissue. In addition, traditional scanning techniques like PET can’t usually show nodules smaller than a centimeter and can’t distinguish … Continue reading Penn Surgeons “Light Up” Tumors to Boost Mesothelioma Survival »

Study Confirms Feasibility and Safety of Minimally Invasive Mesothelioma Surgery

New research suggests that the future of surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma could be much less invasive than it is now—at least for select patients. The study focused on patients with tumors that had spread to the peritoneal membrane that lines the abdomen. This is the place where malignant mesothelioma starts. In a report published in the journal Surgical Endoscopy, an international team of experts concludes that minimally invasive surgery for peritoneal cancers like malignant mesothelioma is both feasible and safe and should be considered for certain patients. CRS/HIPEC Standard of Care for Malignant Mesothelioma Currently, the standard of care for peritoneal mesothelioma is cytoreductive surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible followed by a rinse of heated … Continue reading Study Confirms Feasibility and Safety of Minimally Invasive Mesothelioma Surgery »

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