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 »

Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they have come up with better way to measure the effects of surgery-related inflammation on subsequent mesothelioma therapies. Their results could help other scientists predict the effectiveness of new and existing adjuvant mesothelioma treatments. Combination Therapy for Mesothelioma Because malignant mesothelioma is so difficult to treat, most patients are treated with a combination of different therapies.   While not all patients are candidates for surgery, a number of studies have suggested that mesothelioma patients who do have surgery as one of their treatments tend to live longer than those who only have other types of treatments. The challenge is that surgery itself can be so disruptive to the body that … Continue reading Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes »

CT Discovery May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Detecting Mesothelioma with New CT Algorithm

Researchers in Western Australia believe they may have found a way to overcome one of the biggest challenges in the management of malignant pleural mesothelioma—making the diagnosis earlier. Malignant mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer that starts on the membrane, or pleura, that surrounds the lungs. Because the seeds for this disease can exist for decades before symptoms develop, and because the early symptoms of mesothelioma tend to be vague and similar to those of other conditions, the so-called “asbestos cancer” often goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage. As a result, the survivability of this disease is typically very low. But scientists at the University of Western Australia in Perth say there may be a simple way to … Continue reading CT Discovery May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

There is some good news and some bad news this week for patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that occurs on the lining of the abdomen. Both come from a new article on peritoneal cancer published in the International Journal of Clinical Oncology. The good news is that most patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and other forms of cancer on the peritoneal membrane respond well to the multi-modal treatment regimen that has become the standard-of-care for this form of the asbestos cancer. A combination of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) allows most peritoneal cancer patients to “achieve long-term disease-free survival”, according to the study from the National Cancer Centre Singapore. But the more disturbing … Continue reading New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery »

Extending Mesothelioma Survival with Chemotherapy

In the continued quest to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, two new studies have been published this week on the effectiveness of adding additional drugs to the standard combination. The majority of patients who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis will have treatment that includes chemotherapy. According to data from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database, the chemotherapy regimen prescribed most often for mesothelioma is a combination of pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin or carboplatin. Approximately 67 percent of mesothelioma patients who receive chemotherapy have this combination. Unfortunately, even the standard chemotherapy combination has not been shown to extend mesothelioma survival by more that a few months. Scientists are continually looking for ways to make it more effective. … Continue reading Extending Mesothelioma Survival with Chemotherapy »

Mesothelioma Outcomes Better at High Volume Facilities

mesothelioma survivor

A new study provides more evidence that malignant pleural mesothelioma patients considering surgery would do well to seek out a facility that does a lot of them. Researchers found that mesothelioma patients tend to have fewer complications and shorter hospital stays when they are treated at high volume facilities. The new study is based on data from the National Cancer Database and is published in the latest issue of the journal Lung Cancer. It defines a “high volume facility” as a medical facility that falls into the 90th percentile in terms of the number of pleural mesothelioma surgeries done there. All other facilities were classified as lower volume facilities (LVFs). HVFs vs LVFs for Mesothelioma Treatment Of the 1307 mesothelioma … Continue reading Mesothelioma Outcomes Better at High Volume Facilities »

Minimally-Invasive CRS/HIPEC: Could it Revolutionize Mesothelioma Surgery?

A new study out of Spain suggests that it might be possible to perform the surgery that has become the standard of care for peritoneal mesothelioma in a much less invasive way. Cytoreductive surgery with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (CRS/HIPEC) has dramatically changed the survival odds for people with the abdominal form of malignant mesothelioma, also known as asbestos cancer. Now, researchers at the University Hospital Reina Sofia in Cordoba, Spain say they have successfully performed this extensive multi-part procedure through tiny incisions using an internal camera for guidance. After treating eight abdominal cancer patients this way—including two with a benign form of peritoneal mesothelioma—the research team concludes that this minimally invasive mesothelioma surgery approach is “feasible and safe” in the … Continue reading Minimally-Invasive CRS/HIPEC: Could it Revolutionize Mesothelioma Surgery? »

Plasma-Based Surgery May Be Safer Alternative for Some Mesothelioma Patients

A minimally-invasive surgical technique that uses plasma energy to destroy diseased pleural tissue may be a safer alternative for mesothelioma patients who would not otherwise be candidates for surgery. Doctors at Harefield Hospital in the UK are reporting good results and no serious side effects from using the PlasmaJet Surgical System to operate on a patient with malignant pleural mesothelioma. PlasmaJet uses the energy of ionized gas, called plasma, to dissect, vaporize, and seal fragile tissues through small incisions with no cutting. The UK team believes it may be a viable option for patients with advanced mesothelioma or those with other health problems that would make conventional surgery too risky. Mesothelioma Surgery Not for Every Patient Pleural mesothelioma grows on … Continue reading Plasma-Based Surgery May Be Safer Alternative for Some Mesothelioma Patients »

Study Finds Chemotherapy Unlikely to Improve Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

A new study from the University of Illinois suggests that patients with peritoneal mesothelioma who undergo  surgery may not get any benefit from having chemotherapy, too. Mesothelioma patients who have cytoreductive surgery, which is also called debulking surgery, tend to live more than four times as long as those who do not have the surgery. Rinsing the abdominal cavity with a heated solution of cancer-killing drugs may improve survival even more. But, according to the new study, the same cannot be said of chemotherapy drugs that are delivered orally or by injection or infusion so that they circulate through the whole body (systemic chemotherapy). Peritoneal Mesothelioma and Cytoreductive Surgery Peritoneal mesothelioma is a fast-growing malignancy that occurs on the membrane … Continue reading Study Finds Chemotherapy Unlikely to Improve Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

New Surgical Technique May Improve Mesothelioma Survival

A new study is asking the question, is it possible to remove a malignant mesothelioma tumor with pleurectomy-decortication (P/D) without risking the spread of new tumors? P/D, the lung-sparing pleural mesothelioma surgery, has become the preferred approach in many cases where mesothelioma has not spread to the lung tissue. Most studies have found that P/D has a lower complication rate, produces less pain, and allows for faster recovery than the more radical extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), in which surgeons remove a lung along with the diseased pleural membrane. But as a group of Japanese researchers note in a new article in the journal Surgery Today, the current method of performing P/D also poses significant risks for mesothelioma patients. One of these is the … Continue reading New Surgical Technique May Improve Mesothelioma Survival »

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