Glucose Solution May Prevent Complication After Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery

pleural mesothelioma surgery

There is new evidence that a solution of hypertonic glucose can help correct persistent air leak –  a complication that sometimes occurs after major pleural mesothelioma surgery. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Efforts to surgically separate a mesothelioma tumor from the surface of the lungs can damage the lungs.  When this damage causes air to seep out of the lungs into the chest cavity, it is an air leak. Some air leaks fix themselves within a few days. But when an air leak persists for more than 5 days, it can cause further complications and slow recovery after pleural mesothelioma surgery.  A team of thoracic oncologists in Milan, Italy say hypertonic glucose can help clear up … Continue reading Glucose Solution May Prevent Complication After Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery »

Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma

unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma

A top mesothelioma expert says chemotherapy may still be the best first-line treatment for unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma, even though immunotherapy is an increasingly popular option. Chemotherapy has been the primary way to treat mesothelioma since 2004. This is when the FDA approved the drug Alimta (pemetrexed). Alimta remained the only systemic treatment for asbestos cancer until 2020. In 2020, the FDA approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo). But Dean Fennell, PhD, of the UK’s University of Leicester says chemotherapy is still a good choice for many unresectable epithelioid mesothelioma cases. A Better Version of Chemotherapy? Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common subtype. It is also the most responsive to treatment. For the healthiest patients, … Continue reading Chemotherapy Still Good First-Line Option for Unresectable Epithelioid Mesothelioma »

New Mesothelioma Grading System: A Better Path to Prognosis?

mesothelioma grading system

A team of Australian researchers have developed a new mesothelioma grading system they believe is a more accurate method for predicting outcomes. The system assigns weighted scores based on things like mesothelioma subtype, the shape of the nuclei, BAP1 loss and other parameters. A higher score suggests the patient’s mesothelioma case may be more challenging to treat. Tests of the system in more than 350 patients show that it is highly accurate.  The team lays out their new mesothelioma grading system in a recent issue of the American Journal of Surgical Pathology. In the article, they make the case for why this new prognostic tool could be a helpful supplement to the current, more widely-used WHO system.  The Importance of … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Grading System: A Better Path to Prognosis? »

Mesothelioma Patient Registry May Finally Be a Reality

mesothelioma patient registry

The United States may finally get a mesothelioma patient registry to help collect and track vital information about this deadly disease.  New York Congressman John Katko has reintroduced a bill he first brought before Congress six years ago. The Mary Jo Lawyer Spano Mesothelioma Patient Registry Act would establish the first national registry for asbestos cancer.  Registries like this exist for many other kinds of cancer. But malignant mesothelioma is very rare. This makes it even harder for doctors and scientists to access the information they need to understand and treat this cancer.  Experts from the CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and several top US cancer centers have been calling for a mesothelioma patient registry … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patient Registry May Finally Be a Reality »

Pleural Mesothelioma Risk Among Workers May Be Higher in Winter

pleural mesothelioma risk

A leading authority in the occupational health and safety space is warning workers to be aware that their pleural mesothelioma risk may be higher in the winter. The website Occupational Health & Safety says winter is a prime season for exposure to toxins like asbestos that can threaten respiratory health. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant pleural mesothelioma worldwide. In a new online article, the site says the combination of dry air, colds and allergies, closed up work spaces, and poor ventilation can increase the risk for serious respiratory diseases.  Why Winter Can Be Dangerous for Workers Although anyone can get malignant mesothelioma, it is usually considered an occupational disease. People in certain kinds of jobs face a much … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Risk Among Workers May Be Higher in Winter »

Blood Test May Reveal History of Exposure to Asbestos

exposure to asbestos

Small, non-coding bits of RNA in blood serum may offer a way to measure a person’s exposure to asbestos and predict their risk for mesothelioma.  Malignant mesothelioma is just one of several types of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos. But, unless a person knows they have been exposed, doctors might not even think to look for it, even when a patient develops early symptoms.  Researchers at Italy’s University of Ferrara have identified a microRNA in blood serum that can act as a biomarker for asbestos in the body. The discovery could lead to a blood test to identify high-risk people.  Exposure to Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma Before asbestos, mesothelioma was virtually unheard of. In fact, when the first asbestos-exposed … Continue reading Blood Test May Reveal History of Exposure to Asbestos »

New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression

CAR-T Cell Therapy

A new cancer treatment based on CAR-T cell therapy may have found a way to undermine a key protective mechanism in mesothelioma tumors. The treatment is called UCARTMESO. It is being developed by a French biopharmaceutical company called Cellectis. UCARTMESO targets cells that overexpress the protein mesothelin. It undermines some key genes in these cells preventing them from sending immune suppressive signals.  Immune suppressive elements in the area surrounding mesothelioma tumors have historically kept CAR-T cell therapy from working as well as it does for some other types of cancer.  But the developers of UCARTMESO say their approach may finally make CAR-T cell therapy a viable option for patients fighting asbestos cancer.  They presented their findings at the Society for … Continue reading New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression »

Surgery-Based Multimodal Treatment Improves Survival for Italian Mesothelioma Patients

surgery-based multimodal treatment

A new Italian report suggests that a surgery-based multimodal treatment approach to mesothelioma can help patients live longer with few serious side effects.  The new study comes from Careggi University Hospital in Florence. Thoracic oncologists tracked the outcomes of 12 of their mesothelioma patients since 2017. All of the patients had early-stage pleural mesothelioma of the epithelioid subtype. Results showed that none of them died within the first year after surgery-based multimodal treatment. More than half lived for at least three years.  These are considered very positive results for a cancer that often claims lives within months of diagnosis.  Understanding Surgery-Based Multimodal Treatment Some types of cancer can be successfully treated with just one type of therapy. Pleural mesothelioma is … Continue reading Surgery-Based Multimodal Treatment Improves Survival for Italian Mesothelioma Patients »

Artificial Intelligence Tool Measures Mesothelioma Treatment Response

artificial intelligence tool

Scientists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have developed an artificial intelligence tool that could revolutionize the way doctors plan and monitor mesothelioma treatment.  The University team collaborated with Scottish firm Canon Medical Research Europe to develop an AI prototype for detecting pleural mesothelioma. Canon Medical specializes in medical imaging software.  Pleural mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The new artificial intelligence tool is designed to find and measure mesothelioma tumors on CT scans.  It can be challenging even for cancer experts to detect tiny changes in mesothelioma tumors. But the AI tool can quickly reveal how well or poorly a patient is doing on a treatment like chemotherapy. The sooner doctors know if … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence Tool Measures Mesothelioma Treatment Response »

Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Shines in Most Recent Mesothelioma Trial

immunotherapy drug durvalumab

Another new study confirms what Johns Hopkins researchers have been banking on – that the immunotherapy drug durvalumab can make chemotherapy more effective for mesothelioma patients.  Durvalumab (IMFINZI) is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. It works by blocking the action of PD-1, a protein that mesothelioma cells use to protect themselves.  Researchers theorized that deactivating PD-1 with the immunotherapy drug durvalumab might make mesothelioma tumors more responsive to chemotherapy. The latest study results, published in Nature Medicine, suggest that they were right.  The findings could have implications for people around the world with inoperable malignant mesothelioma. How the Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Helps Fight Mesothelioma Durvalumab is one of several immune checkpoint inhibitors showing promise for mesothelioma in recent years. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Shines in Most Recent Mesothelioma Trial »

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