Empyema After Mesothelioma Surgery: Avoiding a Serious Complication

empyema after mesothelioma surgery

A new study of a rare condition called empyema after mesothelioma surgery shows it can dramatically lengthen hospital stay and shorten survival.  Empyema refers to pockets of pus in the pleural space around the lungs. It is the result of a lingering bacterial infection. Empyema is a serious complication in people who have surgery for pleural mesothelioma.  The new study comes from the International Mesothelioma Program at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital. It finds that patients with empyema after mesothelioma surgery live half as long as those without it. They also spend a lot more time in the hospital.  The researchers say air leaking from the lungs can raise the risk for this complication. In their new report, they offer … Continue reading Empyema After Mesothelioma Surgery: Avoiding a Serious Complication »

Access to Multi-Modality Mesothelioma Treatment Limited for Uninsured & Rural Residents

access to multi-modality mesothelioma treatment

A new study shows a person’s insurance status and where they live often impact their access to multi-modality mesothelioma treatment. This can have an impact on their survival.  Researchers at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center conducted the new study. They shared their findings at the recent virtual world conference of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.  The study found that access to multi-modality mesothelioma treatment was more common in patients with private insurance or Medicare. It was also more common among those who lived closer to larger medical centers.  People who lived further out or who did not have insurance often did not receive the treatments that offer the best odds of mesothelioma survival. … Continue reading Access to Multi-Modality Mesothelioma Treatment Limited for Uninsured & Rural Residents »

HITOC for Mesothelioma: Benefits May Outweigh the Risk

HITOC for mesothelioma

The benefits of a localized chemotherapy regimen known as HITOC for mesothelioma outweigh the small risk of kidney failure for most patients.  That is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Cancers. German researchers conducted a retrospective review of the medical literature on HITOC (also called HITHOC) in pleural mesothelioma patients.  They were most interested in patients who developed kidney problems after the procedure. This is a known risk with HITOC for mesothelioma. But the study suggests that most patients benefit from this type of chemotherapy in spite of the risk. Localized Treatment Versus Systemic Treatment Pleural mesothelioma tumors start on the membrane around the lungs and are hard to treat. Once this cancer takes hold, most … Continue reading HITOC for Mesothelioma: Benefits May Outweigh the Risk »

Cancer-Fighting Gel Could “Change the Treatment Paradigm” for Mesothelioma

cancer-fighting gel

New National Cancer Institute research shows a cancer-fighting gel applied directly to the surface of a mesothelioma tumor could “change the treatment paradigm” for this troublesome cancer.  NCI researchers in Maryland developed the treatment and tested it in animals with mesothelioma tumors.  Their tests show mesothelioma tumors respond after just one application of the medication.  The authors of a new report on the treatment say surgeons could use it to enhance mesothelioma surgery. They could even use the cancer-fighting gel on its own as a stand-alone therapy.  The Challenge of Mesothelioma Tumor Shape Malignant mesothelioma is a surface malignancy. Surface malignancies are tumors that grow on the surface of other organs or tissues. In the case of mesothelioma, tumors occur … Continue reading Cancer-Fighting Gel Could “Change the Treatment Paradigm” for Mesothelioma »

New Surgical Technique May Support Long-Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

long-term peritoneal mesothelioma survival

One of the nation’s top mesothelioma doctors says long-term peritoneal mesothelioma survival is possible with a far-reaching new surgical technique. Dr. Paul Sugarbaker is a surgeon with the Washington Cancer Institute in Washington, DC. He has studied peritoneal mesothelioma for decades.  In a new report, he outlines a case of long-term peritoneal mesothelioma survival in a female patient. The patient had cytoreductive surgery. The surgery included resection of the colonic mesentery. This is tissue that is not normally part of peritoneal mesothelioma surgery.  The case report shows the patient is still cancer-free four years after surgery with an “excellent” quality of life.  The Challenge of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Every year, about 2,500 Americans receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts … Continue reading New Surgical Technique May Support Long-Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma: “Safe, Feasible and Effective”

HITHOC for pleural mesothelioma

A newly published study says a localized form of chemotherapy called HITHOC for pleural mesothelioma is “safe, feasible, and effective.” Researchers from Italy’s University of Pisa conducted the study. They did a thorough review of the medical literature on the procedure since 1994.  They conclude that HITHOC for pleural mesothelioma after surgery keeps tumors in check and improves survival. The downside is that there is not enough standardization in how doctors use the procedure.  How HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma Works HITHOC stands for hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy. Standard mesothelioma chemotherapy enters the whole body at once through the bloodstream. That is one reason that many mesothelioma patients on chemotherapy have side effects like nausea and low white blood cell counts.  HITHOC … Continue reading HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma: “Safe, Feasible and Effective” »

Pleural Mesothelioma Patients are Stronger a Year After Surgery

pleural mesothelioma patients

Pleural mesothelioma patients can be stronger and have better lung function a year after surgery than in the days and weeks immediately following their operation. That’s the finding of Japanese researchers who just published a new study in Integrative Cancer Therapies.  They tested 24 male pleural mesothelioma patients in their 60s and 70s. They measured things like the mens’ grip strength, knee extension strength, and how far they could walk in six minutes. They also ran several tests on their lung function. They compared these test results with the patients’ own assessment of their outcomes.  The study suggests that patients who undergo P/D surgery can continue to improve beyond the postoperative phase. It is a hopeful message for patients and … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Patients are Stronger a Year After Surgery »

Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes

physical function

A patient’s level of physical function prior to mesothelioma surgery is a strong predictor of how well they will do after surgery. That is the conclusion of a new University of Maryland study. Researchers analyzed the cases of 54 pleural mesothelioma patients before and after lung-sparing P/D surgery.  The goal was to see what factors had the biggest impact on their post-surgical outcomes. Patients underwent lung function and physical function tests both before and after their operations.  It turns out that a mesothelioma patient’s ability to be physically active is even more important than their lung function in predicting their recovery. Lung-Sparing Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the multi-layer membrane (pleura) that surrounds the lungs. As … Continue reading Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes »

Academic Medical Centers Extend Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

academic medical centers

A new published study suggests that peritoneal mesothelioma patients treated at academic medical centers survive much longer than those who get their care at community hospitals. The study was conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer of abdominal membranes. There is no known cure. The new study compared outcomes and survival among more than 2,600 mesothelioma patients. Patients were treated at high-volume academic hospitals or community cancer centers.  The results suggest that academic medical centers consistently provide more advanced and potentially life-extending care for this complex cancer.  Experience is Critical for Mesothelioma Care Malignant mesothelioma is the name for cancers that occur on internal membranes. It … Continue reading Academic Medical Centers Extend Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

New Study: PD Surgery and HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma

PD surgery and HITHOC

German doctors say a combination of extended PD surgery and HITHOC has produced some ‘remarkable’ results for patients with pleural mesothelioma.  Extended PD (pleurectomy with decortication) is a lung-sparing surgical procedure for people with cancer on the pleural membrane around the lungs. HITHOC is a method for infusing the area with heated chemotherapy drugs without sending those drugs through the whole body.  Together, extended PD surgery and HITHOC produced median progression-free survival of more than a year and a half for mesothelioma patients in a new German study. Their experience is the focus of a new article in the journal Respiration.  Removing and Killing Cancer Cells: The One-Two Punch Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that starts on the … Continue reading New Study: PD Surgery and HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma »

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