A new study finds that chemotherapy during mesothelioma surgery does not raise the risk for complications. That could be good news for pleural mesothelioma patients who want to keep cancer at bay as long as possible. A group of Indian doctors compared the cases of thoracic cancer patients who had surgery with or without intraoperative chemotherapy. Only one of the “surgery + chemotherapy” patients developed a serious complication. Patients in this group also lived longer than those who did not receive intraoperative chemotherapy. When Do Doctors Use Chemotherapy During Mesothelioma Surgery? The two primary types of mesothelioma surgery are extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). Patients often have chemotherapy prior to surgery to shrink their mesothelioma tumor. Many have … Continue reading Chemotherapy During Mesothelioma Surgery: Is it Dangerous?
There is a new mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment in the works. This one is based on reducing the number of Tregs or regulatory T-cells around a mesothelioma tumor. Tregs are an important part of maintaining balance in the immune system. They help protect people against autoimmune diseases like MS and lupus. But in people with malignant mesothelioma and other types of cancer, too many Tregs can be a problem. Tregs respond to distress signals sent out by a tumor. They surround the tumor and protect it against attack from the immune system. The goal of mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment is to reactivate the immune system to fight the cancer. Developing a Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Molecular biologists at the National Cancer Institute and … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Reduces Tregs with Immunotoxin
A new study suggests that some patients are missing out on chemotherapy for mesothelioma because their doctors do not believe it will work. Doctor “nihilism” – the idea that life is meaningless anyway – was the top reason that 20+ percent of pleural mesothelioma patients did not get the care that might have helped them. In other cases, patients were simply never referred to a cancer doctor who could prescribe chemotherapy for mesothelioma. Doctor Attitudes and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma The Australian study is based on surveys with 107 doctors and 19 nurses. Most respondents were either lung specialists or cancer doctors. They completed the surveys in 2014. The surveys show that most of the doctors (90%) think at least one … Continue reading Doctor Attitude Keeps Some Patient from Mesothelioma Chemotherapy
A large new study now underway may eventually make it possible to create a mesothelioma breath test. Cancer Research UK has launched a two-year clinical trial of the Breath Biopsy. The Breath Biopsy is a device that detects molecules exhaled by people with cancer. The Need for Early Mesothelioma Detection Malignant mesothelioma is one of the deadliest types of cancer. Most people who get mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos. By the time they receive a diagnosis, many mesothelioma patients have advanced disease. Late diagnosis is one of the main reasons people with mesothelioma often die within a year. When mesothelioma cancer is in an advanced stage, it is less likely to respond to treatment. Scientists around the world are … Continue reading New Study Could Lead to a Mesothelioma Breath Test
Hypofractionated radiation for mesothelioma could change how doctors treat this rare cancer. Researchers in Toronto, Canada have been testing hypofractionated radiation in mesothelioma surgery patients. They have used it to shrink tumors before lung-removing EPP surgery. Hypofractionated radiation is faster than than standard radiation. It may also cause fewer side effects. Now, doctors want to know what else this type of radiation might be good for. They plan to test how well hypofractionated radiation works with less radical mesothelioma surgery. There is also evidence that hypofractionated radiation may strengthen mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment. Radiation Before Mesothelioma Surgery Doctors at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto ran a clinical trial called SMART. SMART stands for Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy. … Continue reading Radiation May Help Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Work Better
A new Belgian mesothelioma survival study contains important insights for patients and doctors. Cancer center researchers did the study with data from the Belgian Cancer Registry. It includes more than 1400 patients. They received mesothelioma diagnosis between 2004 and 2012. The analysis is similar to past mesothelioma research. It shows the longest-surviving patients are the ones who have chemotherapy. Surgery patients also live longer. The third longer-living group are patients treated at experienced cancer centers. Mesothelioma Survival and Treatment The mesothelioma survival study asks what kinds of patients live longest and why. Researchers had to first see what treatments most patients receive. They found that most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy. Chemotherapy usually includes pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin. This is the … Continue reading Belgian Mesothelioma Survival Study
If you are going to consider complementary therapies for malignant mesothelioma, it may not be wise to do it at the exclusion of conventional cancer treatment. That is the message from a new study of nearly 2 million cancer patients published in JAMA Oncology. The study included patients with breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer who were diagnosed between 2004 and 2013 at 1,500 Commission on Cancer-accredited centers across the US. Researchers found that the 258 patients who chose to use complementary medicine for their condition had a higher risk of death than those who didn’t. But the reason may have less to do with the complementary therapies themselves than the fact that many of these same patients also refused … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patients Should Use Caution When Considering Complementary Treatments
New research is calling into question the need for an oral course of a corticosteroid that is often given to mesothelioma patients before chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed). Dexamethasone pills are supposed to help keep mesothelioma and lung cancer patients on Alimta from developing skin rashes. But a new article in the Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice suggests that the pills may not be needed if patients are already getting the drug by infusion. Alimta (Pemetrexed) and Mesothelioma Treatment Alimta is an antifolate approved by the FDA for treating some kinds of advanced lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma, also known as asbestos cancer. Helping mesothelioma patients tolerate Alimta is important. Mesothelioma claims the lives of more than 2,500 Americans each … Continue reading Chemotherapy-Related Skin Rashes in Mesothelioma Patients
There is new evidence that low doses of the drug Opdivo (nivolumab) may extend lung cancer survival as well as the standard dose—at a much lower cost. The news may have implications for people with the lung-related asbestos cancer, malignant mesothelioma, who are also sometimes treated with Opdivo. Pleural mesothelioma is a hard-to-treat cancer that grows on the lining around the lungs and causes many of the same symptoms as lung cancer. Some evidence has suggested that Opdivo, an immunotherapy drug already approved for the treatment of recurrent lung cancer, may soon become the first drug approved for recurrent mesothelioma, too. Now, a newly-published Korean study finds that patients may not need as much of the drug as originally thought … Continue reading Opdivo for Malignant Mesothelioma: Could a Lower Dose Work?