Asbestos and Lung Cancer: Study Highlights the Link

asbestos and lung cancer

A new report on asbestos and lung cancer says asbestos could be to blame for the cancer, even if the patient is a heavy smoker.  In smokers, lung cancer is usually attributed to tobacco use. But cancer researchers in Australia and Finland say that is not always right, especially if the patient has been exposed to asbestos. They propose new criteria for establishing the cause of lung cancer in asbestos-exposed people. The criteria would apply to both smokers and non-smokers. Mesothelioma is Not the Only Cancer Linked to Exposure Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most often associated with asbestos exposure.  Mesothelioma is a rare but fast-growing and treatment-resistant cancer. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Smoking increases … Continue reading Asbestos and Lung Cancer: Study Highlights the Link »

Anti-Inflammatory Treatment for Mesothelioma Shows Long-Term Benefit

anti-inflammatory treatment for mesothelioma

Doctors in London are reporting a case of long-term mesothelioma survival with anti-inflammatory treatment for mesothelioma. The 64-year-old pleural mesothelioma patient had been a heating engineer. When he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, he elected not to have standard cancer treatments.  His doctors advised him to start on a regimen of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs. On just the anti-inflammatory treatment for mesothelioma, the man was still alive four years after his diagnosis.  Mesothelioma and Inflammation Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the membrane around the lungs. It is most common in people who have worked or lived around asbestos.  When asbestos fibers get into the lungs, they stay there permanently. Studies suggest that the inflammation caused by these … Continue reading Anti-Inflammatory Treatment for Mesothelioma Shows Long-Term Benefit »

Asbestos Ban Moves One Step Closer to Reality in Congress

asbestos ban

A congressional committee has granted bipartisan approval to a bill that would establish an asbestos ban in the US. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 47 to 1 to approve the bill. The vote took place on November 19th. Mesothelioma advocacy groups like the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization are praising the move. ADAO president Linda Reinstein is the widow of the mesothelioma patient for whom the bill is named. “This comprehensive bill will protect workers, consumers, and children from being exposed to the deadly threat of asbestos and stop hundreds of tons of asbestos from entering the United States,” said Reinstein.  Doesn’t the US Have an Asbestos Ban? Asbestos is a recognized toxin and carcinogen. It causes many serious … Continue reading Asbestos Ban Moves One Step Closer to Reality in Congress »

Mesothelioma Registry Could Improve Outcomes, Prevent Future Cases

mesothelioma registry

A distinguished team of scientists are calling for a national mesothelioma registry they say could improve outcomes. If the registry collects and provides the right information, they say it could even help prevent future mesothelioma cases. Experts from the CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and several top US cancer centers participated in a workshop on the topic. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation convened the workshop. The group says existing tumor registries at some cancer centers are not as useful as a national mesothelioma registry. But coordinating a national registry will require government support. What is a Mesothelioma Registry? Malignant mesothelioma is a rare cancer which makes it hard to study. A national mesothelioma registry is … Continue reading Mesothelioma Registry Could Improve Outcomes, Prevent Future Cases »

Response to Chemotherapy in Mesothelioma Patients: Could This Protein Predict It?

response to chemotherapy

There is new evidence that a protein called Activin A could help predict response to chemotherapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. It may also make it easier for doctors to distinguish mesothelioma from benign lung tumors. Activin A influences many cellular processes. Among other things, it plays a role in cell proliferation, immune response, metabolism, and natural cell death.  FInnish researchers say mesothelioma patients with higher levels of Activin A in their blood are more likely to suffer from cachexia. Cachexia is weakness and wasting of the body due to chronic illness. High expressors of Activin A are also less likely to have a good response to chemotherapy.  Activin A and Mesothelioma Activin A is a member of the … Continue reading Response to Chemotherapy in Mesothelioma Patients: Could This Protein Predict It? »

Screening for Mesothelioma: New French Tool May Help

screening for mesothelioma

Researchers in France say they have come up with a highly accurate way of screening for mesothelioma and lung cancer.  A new study shows their method, which includes a job history, a questionnaire, and an in-person interview, is 100 percent accurate at identifying people with asbestos cancer. If it can be confirmed in a larger group of patients, the tool may allow for easier and earlier diagnostic screening for mesothelioma. The Challenge of Screening for Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer with a dismal prognosis. Earlier diagnosis might help, but the disease produces few symptoms until it is very advanced. By the time mesothelioma symptoms like chest pain and coughing appear, it is often too late for treatment to … Continue reading Screening for Mesothelioma: New French Tool May Help »

Cediranib for Mesothelioma: VEGF Inhibitor Fails Another Trial

cediranib for mesothelioma

Cediranib for mesothelioma appears to be ruled out by another failed clinical trial.  A new study led by MD Anderson researchers concludes that the VEGF inhibitor causes too many side effects for not enough survival benefit.  It is a blow to researchers hoping to use cediranib for mesothelioma patients on chemotherapy.  Cutting Off Tumor Blood Supply Cediranib is an oral drug made by AstraZeneca. It is part of a class of drugs called VEGF inhibitors. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a signal protein that stimulates blood vessel formation in tumors. Research shows that mesothelioma patients who have higher serum levels of VEGF have a lower chance of survival.  VEGF inhibitors like cediranib latch onto VEGF receptors inside mesothelioma cells. … Continue reading Cediranib for Mesothelioma: VEGF Inhibitor Fails Another Trial »

Chemotherapy During Mesothelioma Surgery: Is it Dangerous?

chemotherapy during mesothelioma surgery

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? »

New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Reduces Tregs with Immunotoxin

mesothelioma immunotherapy response

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 »

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