Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Safe Both Before and After Mesothelioma Surgery

immune checkpoint inhibitor

A report presented to an international gathering of lung cancer doctors shows an immune checkpoint inhibitor can make pre-surgery chemotherapy more effective for pleural mesothelioma patients.  The report was presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer. The week-long virtual conference ended yesterday.  Dr. Anne Tsao of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center presented her study results. They show that mesothelioma patients may benefit from an immune checkpoint inhibitor as part of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The same drug may also be helpful as a maintenance therapy after surgery. How Does an Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Work? Immune checkpoint inhibitors are a form of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy treatments work by manipulating the immune … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Safe Both Before and After Mesothelioma Surgery »

New Surgical Technique May Support Long-Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival

long-term peritoneal mesothelioma survival

One of the nation’s top mesothelioma doctors says long-term peritoneal mesothelioma survival is possible with a far-reaching new surgical technique. Dr. Paul Sugarbaker is a surgeon with the Washington Cancer Institute in Washington, DC. He has studied peritoneal mesothelioma for decades.  In a new report, he outlines a case of long-term peritoneal mesothelioma survival in a female patient. The patient had cytoreductive surgery. The surgery included resection of the colonic mesentery. This is tissue that is not normally part of peritoneal mesothelioma surgery.  The case report shows the patient is still cancer-free four years after surgery with an “excellent” quality of life.  The Challenge of Peritoneal Mesothelioma Every year, about 2,500 Americans receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts … Continue reading New Surgical Technique May Support Long-Term Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival »

HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma: “Safe, Feasible and Effective”

HITHOC for pleural mesothelioma

A newly published study says a localized form of chemotherapy called HITHOC for pleural mesothelioma is “safe, feasible, and effective.” Researchers from Italy’s University of Pisa conducted the study. They did a thorough review of the medical literature on the procedure since 1994.  They conclude that HITHOC for pleural mesothelioma after surgery keeps tumors in check and improves survival. The downside is that there is not enough standardization in how doctors use the procedure.  How HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma Works HITHOC stands for hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy. Standard mesothelioma chemotherapy enters the whole body at once through the bloodstream. That is one reason that many mesothelioma patients on chemotherapy have side effects like nausea and low white blood cell counts.  HITHOC … Continue reading HITHOC for Pleural Mesothelioma: “Safe, Feasible and Effective” »

Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma

TTFields and chemotherapy

TTFields and chemotherapy offer one of the most potent combinations against malignant mesothelioma tumors. Now a new study reveals why they work so well together.  Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) are low intensity, intermediate frequency, alternating electric fields. They are delivered into the chest of mesothelioma patients with a vest-like device marketed under the brand name Optune Lua.  In 2019, a combination of TTFields and chemotherapy became the first new FDA-approved treatment for mesothelioma in 15 years.  Now, a new report in the journal Lung Cancer sheds light on the synergy between the two modes of mesothelioma treatment.  Combating Cancer with Electrical Currents The Tumor Treating Fields approach was created by Jersey-based Novocure. The technology uses electrical fields to destabilize critical … Continue reading Study Reveals How TTFields and Chemotherapy Fight Mesothelioma »

Biomarkers in Pleural Effusions Can Improve Mesothelioma Diagnosis

biomarkers in pleural effusions

Italian scientists say some newly identified biomarkers in pleural effusions are very good at ruling out mesothelioma in patients who do not have the disease.  Unfortunately, most of these biomarkers are not as good as positively identifying mesothelioma. But their accuracy can be improved by combining several of them.  Pleural effusions are pockets of excess fluid that collect around the lungs of people with certain kinds of cancer and other conditions.  Mesothelioma biomarkers in pleural effusions are proteins and other substances that are mostly found in mesothelioma patients. The new study suggests that using these biomarkers the right way can lead to more accurate diagnoses. The Importance of Biomarkers in Pleural Effusions Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the … Continue reading Biomarkers in Pleural Effusions Can Improve Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

Pleural Mesothelioma Patients are Stronger a Year After Surgery

pleural mesothelioma patients

Pleural mesothelioma patients can be stronger and have better lung function a year after surgery than in the days and weeks immediately following their operation. That’s the finding of Japanese researchers who just published a new study in Integrative Cancer Therapies.  They tested 24 male pleural mesothelioma patients in their 60s and 70s. They measured things like the mens’ grip strength, knee extension strength, and how far they could walk in six minutes. They also ran several tests on their lung function. They compared these test results with the patients’ own assessment of their outcomes.  The study suggests that patients who undergo P/D surgery can continue to improve beyond the postoperative phase. It is a hopeful message for patients and … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Patients are Stronger a Year After Surgery »

Mesothelioma Update: Could New Form of Immunotherapy Help?

new form of immunotherapy

A new form of immunotherapy using a patient’s own cells is making headlines this month after a new study shows it may help some people with advanced lung cancer.  Like pleural mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer is a virulent form of cancer that is hard to treat. Even the newest immunotherapy drugs have had only moderate success.  The new form of immunotherapy is the subject of an article in the journal Nature Medicine. It details the hopeful results of patients in a small Phase I pilot trial of the treatment. If it is proven to work for lung cancer, it could be good news for mesothelioma patients, too.  Giving Immune Cells a Boost Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are immune cells. They … Continue reading Mesothelioma Update: Could New Form of Immunotherapy Help? »

Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes

physical function

A patient’s level of physical function prior to mesothelioma surgery is a strong predictor of how well they will do after surgery. That is the conclusion of a new University of Maryland study. Researchers analyzed the cases of 54 pleural mesothelioma patients before and after lung-sparing P/D surgery.  The goal was to see what factors had the biggest impact on their post-surgical outcomes. Patients underwent lung function and physical function tests both before and after their operations.  It turns out that a mesothelioma patient’s ability to be physically active is even more important than their lung function in predicting their recovery. Lung-Sparing Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the multi-layer membrane (pleura) that surrounds the lungs. As … Continue reading Physical Function Predicts Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes »

Asbestos on Ships Still Poses a Mesothelioma Risk to Sailors

asbestos on ships

A new report warns that sailors are still at risk for malignant mesothelioma because of asbestos on ships – in spite of OSHA regulations. A pair of public health researchers authored the report which appears in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  Sailors face a number of health risks, including malignant mesothelioma. But the authors of the new report say more studies focus on people who work in shipyards.  They say there is not enough attention on the mesothelioma risk among people who not only work but also live with asbestos on ships.  The Use of Asbestos on Ships Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. It must be mined from the ground and then processed into various products. … Continue reading Asbestos on Ships Still Poses a Mesothelioma Risk to Sailors »

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study

neoadjuvant chemotherapy

A new prospective Japanese mesothelioma study shows the potentially life-saving benefits of undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery. This has been the preferred way to treat pleural mesothelioma for many years. But most of the studies on it are retrospective. This means that researchers analyze data on mesothelioma patients who already had treatment. In many cases, they are patients who have died.  The new study is one of the few prospective studies on neoadjuvant chemotherapy and mesothelioma surgery.  In a prospective study, researchers enroll patients and follow their progress through treatment.  Pleural mesothelioma is often fatal within a few months. But ninety-five percent of the study subjects who had presurgical chemotherapy followed by an operation were still alive a year … Continue reading Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Surgery for Pleural Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study »

Get your free copy of
“Surviving Mesothelioma” Today!