The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos

dangers of asbestos

A pair of occupational medicine experts say the dangers of asbestos – particularly its ability to cause cancers like malignant mesothelioma – are still being downplayed by those who mine and sell it.  The report appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. The authors are experts in the field from Hamburg University in Germany and Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. Scientists around the world have warned about the dangers of asbestos for decades. Asbestos is responsible for tens of thousands of mesothelioma deaths every year. In the US, about 2,500 people die of mesothelioma annually because of asbestos exposure. Early Recognition of the Dangers of Asbestos Asbestos is a fibrous mineral … Continue reading The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos »

COVID-19 Vaccine May Help Mesothelioma Survivors Avoid Serious Side Effects

COVID-19 Vaccine

Several new studies illustrate the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine for malignant mesothelioma patients and survivors. They suggest that people with mesothelioma would do well to find out the rules for vaccination in their state.  In one study, cancer patients who contracted the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) infection developed serious neurologic symptoms. These symptoms are rarely seen in healthy people who get the illness.  Another study showed cancer survivors were more likely to get severely ill or die from SARS-CoV-2. The study says this is because they tend to have more underlying medical conditions.  An article published in Cancer Discovery found that people with cancer die of SARS-CoV-2 at a rate twice as high as those without cancer.  The COVID-19 vaccine may … Continue reading COVID-19 Vaccine May Help Mesothelioma Survivors Avoid Serious Side Effects »

Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis

medical thoracoscopy

UK researchers say a minimally invasive procedure called medical thoracoscopy is safe and effective for diagnosing mesothelioma and treating its symptoms.  The word comes from a large medical center in Northumberland. The UK has one of the highest rates of pleural mesothelioma in the world. Rates of pleural mesothelioma in Northumberland are especially high.  Mesothelioma diagnosis usually requires a biopsy. The new study finds that medical thoracoscopy enabled “high diagnostic sensitivity” with few serious complications.   Understanding Medical Thoracoscopy Medical thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the pleura. The pleura is a membrane that surrounds the lung. People with mesothelioma and some other diseases can develop fluid between the pleura and the lungs. The fluid is … Continue reading Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment

Fast Track designation

An immunotherapy treatment called ONCOS-102 has received fast track designation from the FDA as a pleural mesothelioma therapy. Targovax is a Norweigian company that makes ONCOS-102. The company made the announcement today. It means that ONCOS-102 could be available to help people with pleural mesothelioma sooner.  Fast-track designation is for therapies with the potential to address serious medical conditions that have no good treatments. Right now, there is no cure for pleural mesothelioma and very few viable treatment options. The FDA based its decision on encouraging animal studies and early human trials of ONCOS-102.   Importance of Fast Track Designation ONCOS-102 is an experimental treatment made from a modified virus. The virus allows ONCOS-102 to overcome one of the biggest challenges … Continue reading ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment »

Radiotherapy Outcomes in Mesothelioma Linked to Metabolism

radiotherapy outcomes

Italian researchers say metabolic markers may hold the key to predicting radiotherapy outcomes in people with mesothelioma. Metabolism is the process by which cells produce energy. Metabolism is necessary for cancer cells to live. Mesothelioma cells metabolize faster than healthy cells.  Radiotherapy affects cancer cell metabolism. A new study shows that compounds produced during metabolism may impact radiotherapy outcomes. It suggests that a patient’s metabolic profile – or metabolome – could help doctors choose good candidates for radiation. Radical Hemithoracic Radiotherapy and Mesothelioma  Pleural mesothelioma is a rare lung-related cancer caused by asbestos exposure. There is no cure for mesothelioma. Most mesothelioma patients have a combination of therapies. Radiation is one of the methods doctors use to help slow its … Continue reading Radiotherapy Outcomes in Mesothelioma Linked to Metabolism »

Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy

Biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma

Two of the most important biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma are not much help when it comes to tracking response to immunotherapy. Top mesothelioma researchers at the University of Pennsylvania drew that conclusion based on data from a cohort of 58 patients.  They focused on two primary biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma: SMRP and fibulin-3. Doctors use both of these markers to diagnose and plan treatment for mesothelioma.  The study confirms the correlation between these markers and mesothelioma tumor volume. But the Penn Medicine researchers say these biomarkers of pleural mesothelioma were “not useful” for measuring immunotherapy response. Understanding Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma A biomarker is a substance produced by the body that indicates a biological process or condition. Most mesothelioma biomarkers … Continue reading Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy »

Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics

chemoresistance in mesothelioma

A team of Swiss and German researchers have a theory about why so many mesothelioma patients experience chemoresistance.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for asbestos cancer. But fewer than half of patients respond to it.  The new study suggests that this may have to do with an alteration on the BAP1 gene. Medicine cannot change a person’s underlying genetics. But knowing who is likely to experience chemoresistance could help patients and doctors choose the most effective treatments.  BAP1 Expression and Mesothelioma BAP1 stands for BRCA1 associated protein-1. People who have an inherited mutation of this gene produce less of the BAP1 protein. This seems to increase their risk for malignant mesothelioma and several other conditions. People with BAP1 loss … Continue reading Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics »

Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study

diabetes drug

A new study suggests that the diabetes drug metformin may help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading.  The study is not the first study of metformin for mesothelioma. But this one dives deeper into how the diabetes drug may actually work against asbestos cancer.  Drugs to treat mesothelioma can be expensive. But metformin pills are common and relatively cheap. If the drug proves to be helpful against mesothelioma, it could offer hope to thousands of patients fighting this rare cancer.  Mesothelioma Treatment with a Diabetes Drug? Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos. It affects the thin tissue surrounding the lungs.  As cancer grows on this membrane, it prevents the natural movement of the … Continue reading Diabetes Drug Triggers Mesothelioma Cell Death in New Study »

Opdivo as Second-Line Treatment Option for Mesothelioma: Promising New Data

second-line treatment option

A new study suggests that the cancer drug Opdivo could be an effective second-line treatment option for people with relapsed mesothelioma. Right now, people whose mesothelioma comes back after treatment do not have an approved second-line treatment option.  The news on Opdivo comes from the first ever placebo-controlled phase 3 trial of patients with relapsed mesothelioma. It shows that the drug significantly improved overall survival for these patients. It also increased the time it took for patients’ cancer to get worse. Details of the CONFIRM Trial The trial of this proposed second-line treatment option for mesothelioma was called CONFIRM. It involved 332 mesothelioma patients from 24 UK cancer centers. The patients already had at least one treatment. Two thirds of … Continue reading Opdivo as Second-Line Treatment Option for Mesothelioma: Promising New Data »

Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study

maintenance therapy

Dutch researchers say administering maintenance therapy with gemcitabine after chemotherapy may help mesothelioma patients live longer than supportive care alone.  Gemcitabine is an antimetabolite sold under the brand name Gemzar. Oncologists use it to treat several other types of cancer. When cancer cells absorb gemcitabine, they can no longer divide into new cancer cells.  Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy as their first-line treatment. If they are healthy enough, they may also have mesothelioma surgery. A maintenance therapy is a treatment that follows the main treatment. It is an effort to maintain the effects of the treatment.  The new Dutch study shows gemcitabine may be a safe and effective choice for maintenance therapy. What Does Maintenance Therapy Mean? Right now, there … Continue reading Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study »

Get your free copy of
“Surviving Mesothelioma” Today!