New Study Could Lead to a Mesothelioma Breath Test

breath test for mesothelioma

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 »

Radiation May Help Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Work Better

mesothelioma radiation treatment

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 »

Belgian Mesothelioma Survival Study

mesothelioma survival study

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 »

Mesothelioma Patients Should Use Caution When Considering Complementary Treatments

Mesothelioma Complementary Treatments

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 »

Chemotherapy-Related Skin Rashes in Mesothelioma Patients

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 »

Opdivo for Malignant Mesothelioma: Could a Lower Dose Work?

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? »

Nurse Compassion May Improve Mesothelioma Outcomes


Recent research suggests that how people with lung cancers like pleural mesothelioma are treated by their oncology nurses can have a direct bearing on their treatment outcomes. The news is based on a groundbreaking study conducted at two Chinese universities and published in Psychology Research and Behavior Management. Empathy and Lung Cancer Survival The study focused on 365 lung cancer patients who were cared for by 30 different nurses at a Beijing hospital between October 2016 and May 2017. Researchers used a test called flow cytometry to measure the activity of cancer fighting immune system cells including T-cells, B-cells and natural killer (NK) cells. These cells are also activated in patients battling malignant mesothelioma and other cancers. This “cellular immunity” … Continue reading Nurse Compassion May Improve Mesothelioma Outcomes »

Penn Surgeons “Light Up” Tumors to Boost Mesothelioma Survival

University of Pennsylvania surgeons are experimenting with a new technology that could vastly improve survival for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma by ensuring that more of their cancer can be  removed. Complete resection of mesothelioma tumors can be the difference between life and death; even a few cancer cells left behind can quickly grow into new tumors. But macroscopic complete resection, as it is called, is not easy. Not only are mesothelioma tumors irregularly-shaped and located close to critical organs like the lungs and heart, but surgeons say it is often hard to distinguish tiny metastatic tumors from inflammation or scar tissue. In addition, traditional scanning techniques like PET can’t usually show nodules smaller than a centimeter and can’t distinguish … Continue reading Penn Surgeons “Light Up” Tumors to Boost Mesothelioma Survival »

Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Multi-Drug HIPEC Combo Leads to Better Outcomes

A new French study suggests that peritoneal mesothelioma patients who undergo CRS/HIPEC treatment  have better outcomes when two chemotherapeutic agents are used instead of just one. The introduction of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) in combination with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has dramatically improved the prognosis for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare form of the asbestos cancer that occurs in the abdomen. But a team of researchers from cancer hospitals across France wanted to know if outcomes are better with some HIPEC drugs than they are with others. Their results seem to show a clear mesothelioma survival advantage to platinum-based regimens (those including cisplatin) that include at least one other agent. Treating a Rare Type of Mesothelioma During CRS, surgeons remove … Continue reading Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Multi-Drug HIPEC Combo Leads to Better Outcomes »

New Staging Method May Improve Accuracy of Mesothelioma Prognosis

Pleural mesothelioma patients may be less likely to get a true picture of their prognosis when their cancer is “staged” using the standard TNM method. Harvard researchers came to that conclusion after comparing the actual clinical status of 472 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients (their cTNM stage) with their TNM stage as determined by pathological analysis (pTNM). They found a significant discrepancy between clinical and pathological mesothelioma stage – and, as a result, in mesothelioma prognosis – in 6 out of 10 patients.   TNM Staging for Malignant Mesothelioma The TNM staging criteria is a method for determining how extensive a patient’s cancer is by evaluating three parameters: tumor size (T), involvement of the lymph nodes (N), and the extent of … Continue reading New Staging Method May Improve Accuracy of Mesothelioma Prognosis »

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