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 »

Life After Mesothelioma Can Still Be a Challenge

A new Japanese study has some sobering news for people hoping to survive malignant mesothelioma: Life after mesothelioma can still be challenging. The study was conducted by multiple centers across Japan. A total of 133 mesothelioma patients who had been free of disease for at least five years completed questionnaires about their experiences and their quality of life. Assessing the Lives of Mesothelioma Survivors To get a picture of what life is like for mesothelioma survivors, the study group sent a 64-question survey to hospitals and patient advocacy groups. Patients completed the questionnaire themselves and then returned it to the researchers by mail. The questions specifically about quality-of-life came from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer and the … Continue reading Life After Mesothelioma Can Still Be a Challenge »

National Nutrition Month: The Role of Food in Mesothelioma Survival

Given the aggressive and treatment-resistant nature of malignant mesothelioma, it can be frustrating for patients to hear news about experimental therapies that may be decades away from clinical use. But patients are far from powerless, as the stories of mesothelioma survivors like Paul Kraus prove. At 20+ years post-diagnosis, Kraus is the longest-living mesothelioma survivor in the world and credits his longevity, in large measure, to dietary and lifestyle changes. During this year’s National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and DIetetics is reminding everyone of the power of nutrition to impact health and wellbeing. This year’s theme, “Go Further with Food”, is a fitting slogan for mesothelioma patients and those with other cancers. Nutrition and Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma … Continue reading National Nutrition Month: The Role of Food in Mesothelioma Survival »

Home-Based Rehab Helps Mesothelioma Patients Bounce Back After Chemotherapy

New evidence suggests that a pulmonary rehabilitation program that comes to them might help patients recover after pleural mesothelioma treatment. Experts in pulmonary cancers at several French institutions recently published what they called a “real-life feasibility study” of home-based rehab in patients who had received chemotherapy for either lung cancer or malignant pleural mesothelioma. Previous research has shown that these patients are typically less physically active and experience a lower quality of life as a result of the cancer and/or the treatment. Managing Mesothelioma Rehabilitation at Home In the new French study, patients who had undergone chemotherapy for lung cancer or pleural mesothelioma were screened to see if they would be good candidates for a rehabilitation program offered in their … Continue reading Home-Based Rehab Helps Mesothelioma Patients Bounce Back After Chemotherapy »

Measuring the Emotional Toll of Mesothelioma

federal support for mesothelioma victims

A new report suggests that too many mesothelioma patients and their families may not be coping as well as they could be with the implications of their diagnosis. Italian researchers in environmental health, occupational disease, and psychology conducted extensive interviews with 10 mesothelioma patients and 9 of their caregivers. In a report in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the team concluded that families with malignant mesothelioma are often more focused on their symptoms than on how their illness will impact their lives and that of their loved ones. The Subjective Experience of Mesothelioma Although several national and international reports have emphasized the importance of managing the psychological and social implications of a mesothelioma diagnosis, the Italian researchers say not enough … Continue reading Measuring the Emotional Toll of Mesothelioma »

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? »

Mesothelioma Survival After Talc Pleurodesis

Pleural mesothelioma patients considering pleurodesis for excess lung fluid should know that there is very little data on how this procedure may affect survival or even quality of life. That is the conclusion of researchers at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. Scientists with the Institute for Translational Epidemiology combed the medical literature for studies demonstrating mesothelioma survival after talc pleurodesis for lung fluid buildup. They did not find much useful information. Given how often the procedure is used to treat lung fluid accumulation in mesothelioma patients, they say more study is needed to help patients and doctors to make more informed decisions. Talc Pleurodesis in Pleural Mesothelioma Talc pleurodesis is one of the methods used to alleviate pleural … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival After Talc Pleurodesis »

A New Approach to Reducing Mesothelioma Risk in Asbestos-Exposed People

The Japanese researchers who first suggested that removing iron from the body could help prevent malignant mesothelioma have come up with a way to make the process even easier and safer. In their original 2016 study, scientists at Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine induced a pre-mesothelioma state in lab rats by injecting their abdomens with deadly crocidolite asbestos. As predicted, the rats exhibited all the precursors to the development of peritoneal mesothelioma – inflammation, higher iron levels, and oxidative stress. The team then attempted to lower the risk and stave off mesothelioma by giving the rats an iron-removing agent called desferal. Excess Iron Can Lead to a Mesothelioma Diagnosis The good news from the original study is that removing … Continue reading A New Approach to Reducing Mesothelioma Risk in Asbestos-Exposed People »

Pleural Catheters May Shorten Hospital Time for Mesothelioma Patients

Mesothelioma patients with a buildup of lung fluid may spend less time in the hospital if they are treated with an indwelling pleural catheter than if they undergo talc pleurodesis. An international team of researchers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong have just published the results of a two-year clinical trial of 146 pleural mesothelioma patients who were suffering from the symptoms of malignant pleural effusion. Patients were randomly selected to receive either an indwelling pleural catheter to continually drain off the pleural fluid or talc pleurodesis, a procedure designed to close up the pleural space and prevent fluid from collecting there. Their findings suggest that indwelling pleural catheters may have advantages over talc pleurodesis in the treatment … Continue reading Pleural Catheters May Shorten Hospital Time for Mesothelioma Patients »

New Chemotherapy Technique Carries Risks for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patients

A new way of delivering chemotherapy drugs to the site of a peritoneal mesothelioma tumor has some unique benefits, but can also be risky. The technique, called pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy (PIPAC) allows doctors to “spray” a solution of chemotherapy drugs directly onto peritoneal tumors through small ports in the abdomen. The intention is to uniformly coat the tumor and help keep chemotherapy drugs in contact with malignant mesothelioma or other peritoneal cancer cells for as long as possible. Testing PIPAC for Unresectable Mesothelioma The PIPAC technique is being pioneered in Europe. In a new French study, doctors tested it in 73 patients who had peritoneal mesothelioma or metastatic colorectal, gastric, or ovarian cancer on the peritoneal membrane lining the … Continue reading New Chemotherapy Technique Carries Risks for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patients »

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