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 »

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 »

High PD-L1 Levels Could Be Bad News for Mesothelioma Surgery Candidates

Yet another new study has found a link between PD-L1 levels and mesothelioma survival – this time in people slated to have surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma.  PD-L1 stands for programmed cell death ligand 1. It is a protein expressed by some cancer cells that helps them avoid immune system attack.  Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine are the latest to show that higher PD-L1 levels may lead to a worse mesothelioma prognosis. Their study focused specifically on mesothelioma surgery candidates.  The results were published recently in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.  PD-L1 Levels and Mesothelioma Prognosis Even healthy people express some amount of PD-L1. Its job is to suppress the part of the immune system that attacks foreign tissues. … Continue reading High PD-L1 Levels Could Be Bad News for Mesothelioma Surgery Candidates »

Age is a Factor in Mesothelioma Survival After Surgery

mesothelioma survival after surgery

Age appears to be one of the biggest predictors of mesothelioma survival after surgery. This holds true no matter which kind of surgery a patient has.  A new study from the University of Pennsylvania compared the outcomes of more than 2,000 mesothelioma surgery patients. They compared them by surgical type. They also compared their survival with that of people who did not have surgery. Mesothelioma survival after surgery was consistently longer for younger patients. The risk of death within a few months went up a little bit with each year of age. The news could help patients and doctors make better treatment decisions. Surgical Procedures for Mesothelioma Operating on mesothelioma patients is controversial. Mesothelioma tumors are irregularly shaped and difficult to … Continue reading Age is a Factor in Mesothelioma Survival After Surgery »

Mesothelioma Staging: Laparoscopy May Find Tumors PET-CT Misses

mesothelioma staging

Cancer researchers at Baylor College of Medicine say diagnostic laparoscopy (DL) improves the accuracy of pleural mesothelioma staging prior to surgery. It is especially valuable for patients with cancer in both the chest and abdomen. Staging is a way for doctors to determine how widespread cancer is. Accurate staging is critical for the best surgical outcomes. For the right patients, mesothelioma surgery can be a life saver.  Many mesothelioma patients undergo PET/CT as part of the staging process. But the Baylor study suggests that adding a tool called a laparoscope to the process may find tumors that PET-CT misses. What is Mesothelioma Staging? Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that grows on internal membranes. It usually occurs on the … Continue reading Mesothelioma Staging: Laparoscopy May Find Tumors PET-CT Misses »

Complications After PD Surgery for Mesothelioma

Complications After PD Surgery

Durable air leak is one of the most common complications after PD surgery for pleural mesothelioma, according to the authors of a new study. People with overall better health are less likely than others to experience the problem.  Air leaks happen when inhaled air does not stay in the alveoli in the lungs. Instead, it leaks into the area around the lungs. This can cause breathing problems and put pressure on the heart. Too much leaked air can even collapse a lung. A new Japanese study found that more than half of mesothelioma patients analyzed experienced serious complications after PD surgery. One in three patients suffered from air leak for more than ten days.  Pleurectomy/Decortication for Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is … Continue reading Complications After PD Surgery for Mesothelioma »

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival Not Shortened by Organ Resection

peritoneal mesothelioma survival

A new study finds that organ resection during CRS/HIPEC surgery does not shorten peritoneal mesothelioma survival and may even help prolong it.  The new research included 174 peritoneal mesothelioma patients from cancer centers across the country. These patients had cytoreductive surgery followed by heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (CRS/HIPEC).  About half of the patients also had at least one organ removed to help prevent mesothelioma recurrence. The goal of the new study was to determine what impact, if any, this practice has on peritoneal mesothelioma survival. The answer appears to be, not much.  CRS/HIPEC and Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival About 20 percent of mesothelioma patients have the peritoneal variety. This type of mesothelioma occurs on the lining of the abdomen and can easily … Continue reading Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival Not Shortened by Organ Resection »

Lung-Sparing Surgery for Mesothelioma Superior to EPP, Study Says

Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery

A team of Japanese researchers have added their voices to the ongoing debate over lung-sparing surgery for mesothelioma. The researchers analyzed multiple studies on the different kinds of surgery for mesothelioma. The studies included more than 2,600 mesothelioma patients.  After a careful review of the data, the Japanese team concluded that lung-sparing surgery for mesothelioma is almost always better than removing a lung. Mesothelioma patients who had this type of surgery had much fewer complications. They lived just as long as those who had more radical mesothelioma surgery.  Radical and Conservative Mesothelioma Surgery Malignant mesothelioma is a membrane cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It usually occurs in the membrane around the lungs. About 20 percent of cases occur on the … Continue reading Lung-Sparing Surgery for Mesothelioma Superior to EPP, Study Says »

Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival with NIPEC

Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

A new report suggests that long term peritoneal mesothelioma survival may be possible with a treatment called NIPEC and the drug paclitaxel.  NIPEC stands for normothermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. It is similar to the heated chemotherapy that many peritoneal mesothelioma patients now get. But NIPEC is delivered through a catheter over time and at room temperature.  The new article details the long term peritoneal mesothelioma survival of six patients on NIPEC with paclitaxel. It comes from one the nation’s leading experts in this form of mesothelioma, Paul Sugarbaker, MD.  Even though the sample size is small, Dr. Sugarbaker says the results are impressive enough to warrant further study.  HIPEC and Mesothelioma Treatment Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for about 20 percent of mesothelioma … Continue reading Long Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival with NIPEC »

Black Mesothelioma Patients Less Likely to Receive Surgery

black mesothelioma patients

Black mesothelioma patients are less likely to receive potentially-life saving surgery than white patients, even though they have worse short-term mortality.   That is the finding of a new study published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.  Mount Sinai researchers used data from the National Cancer Institute to compare mesothelioma treatment trends among 2550 patients.  They concluded that both white and black mesothelioma patients live longer with surgery, but white patients tend to get the most benefit. Surgical Options for Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma is a membrane cancer. It can occur in different places in the body. The type of treatment varies depending on where the cancer occurs. For mesothelioma in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), surgery with a rinse … Continue reading Black Mesothelioma Patients Less Likely to Receive Surgery »

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