Research Highlights Connection Between BDNF and Mesothelioma Survival

BDNF and mesothelioma survival

French scientists say there is a clear connection between a biomarker called BDNF and mesothelioma survival. The research may open the door to improved mesothelioma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. BDNF stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. It is a protein found in the brain and other tissues. In a new published study, researchers at the University of Nantes found that mesothelioma patients had higher BDNF levels than people with other cancers. Mesothelioma patients with the highest BDNF levels had the shortest mesothelioma survival. Linking BDNF and Mesothelioma Survival A biomarker is a substance that can be used to show the presence of disease. BDNF is a soluble mesothelioma biomarker. Soluble biomarkers are in body fluid and can be collected without a … Continue reading Research Highlights Connection Between BDNF and Mesothelioma Survival »

Staging of Mesothelioma Could Change with Discovery of New Lymph Nodes

Staging of mesothelioma in surgery

A recent discovery at the University of Maryland could dramatically change how doctors handle the staging of malignant pleural mesothelioma. More accurate staging could lead to better mesothelioma treatment outcomes and longer survival. More than three quarters of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have the pleural variety. Pleural mesothelioma is the deadliest form of asbestos cancer. Most patients do not live longer than 18 months, even with aggressive treatment. Cancer staging is the process doctors use to determine how advanced the cancer is. Staging of mesothelioma is important because it directly impacts treatment decisions. But staging of mesothelioma – just like diagnosis and treatment – can be difficult. Lymph Nodes May Help in Staging of Mesothelioma The discovery was made by … Continue reading Staging of Mesothelioma Could Change with Discovery of New Lymph Nodes »

Mesothelioma Research Demonstrates Power of Intrapleural Immunotherapy

X-ray showing location of intrapleural immunotherapy

New metadata suggests that intrapleural immunotherapy is a powerful, targeted way to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma.   Pleural mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the lining around the lungs. It is caused by asbestos exposure and is notoriously difficult to treat. Now, a new study suggests that delivering immunotherapy treatments directly into the pleural space where mesothelioma tumors form may help these drugs work even better. What is Intrapleural Immunotherapy? Immunotherapy treatments harness the immune system to help fight cancer. Immunotherapy works alone or in combination with other treatments like chemotherapy or surgery. Many researchers and doctors believe that immunotherapy is the future of mesothelioma treatment. Intrapleural immunotherapy is a more targeted way to deliver these cancer-fighting messengers. It does … Continue reading Mesothelioma Research Demonstrates Power of Intrapleural Immunotherapy »

Childhood Environmental Asbestos Exposure and Malignant Mesothelioma

Environmental asbestos exposure in Danish children

Environmental asbestos exposure in childhood can dramatically raise the risk for malignant mesothelioma later in life. That is the finding of new mesothelioma research conducted in Denmark. The study appears in the newest issue of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. It included more than 12,000 people who attended school near an asbestos cement plant during a 30-year period. Researchers discovered that kids educated near the plant were much more likely to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis as adults. Environmental Asbestos Exposure in Danish Children Asbestos was once thought to be an ideal component of building products such as insulation, roof tiles, and cement. It has high tensile strength, is impervious to heat and flame, and is and highly resistant to corrosion. On … Continue reading Childhood Environmental Asbestos Exposure and Malignant Mesothelioma »

Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Extends Survival

radiotherapy mesothelioma patient

The largest study ever conducted on adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma shows that it can help patients live longer. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that tends to be highly resistant to standard treatments. Doctors usually have to use a combination of treatments to attack it. These may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and/or immunotherapy. But there are still many questions about what combination of therapies to use and in what order. Adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma is radiation delivered prior to surgery. Now, radiation oncology researchers in Texas say this approach can extend mesothelioma survival. Killing Mesothelioma Cells with Radiation Mesothelioma cells are hard to kill. Chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin is the most common treatment. But mesothelioma tumors usually start … Continue reading Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Extends Survival »

Defactinib Fails Again as a Maintenance Therapy for Mesothelioma

patient chemotherapy for mesothelioma

There has been another setback for a drug that showed promise as a maintenance therapy for mesothelioma. Defactinib is a focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitor. FAK is a signaling pathway that allows stem cells to give rise to new cancer cells. The developers of defactinib hoped that FAK inhibition would help keep mesothelioma tumors from growing back after chemotherapy. But a team of international researchers has once again concluded that the drug does not work as a maintenance therapy for mesothelioma. In Search of a Maintenance Therapy for Mesothelioma Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is very hard to treat. Standard chemotherapy drugs like pemetrexed, cisplatin, gemcitabine and vinorelbine can sometimes shrink tumors, but they usually come back. Doctors … Continue reading Defactinib Fails Again as a Maintenance Therapy for Mesothelioma »

Chemotherapy with Alimta: Putting More Gold in the Gold Standard

chemotherapy with Alimta

A new Italian study suggests there may be a more effective way to deliver mesothelioma chemotherapy with Alimta. Chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) is the gold standard treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma. But fewer than 40 percent of mesothelioma patients see improvement when they receive the drug by standard infusion. Now, researchers in biotechnology and nanomedicine think they may have found a way around the limits of chemotherapy with Alimta. Tiny particles of gold may be the answer. Why Chemotherapy with Alimta Does Not Always Work Even though most mesothelioma patients receive chemotherapy with Alimta at some point, it is usually only moderately effective. That is because pemetrexed is a highly potent drug that can cause deadly side effects at high doses. … Continue reading Chemotherapy with Alimta: Putting More Gold in the Gold Standard »

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 »

Early Detection of Mesothelioma with MicroRNAs

Testing for Early Detection of Mesothelioma

A new study appears to contradict some of what scientists thought they knew about early detection of mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive cancer. It usually happens because of past asbestos exposure. Early detection of mesothelioma is key to improving survival. But it is notoriously hard to make a mesothelioma diagnosis. Many patients who have mesothelioma do not even know it until the cancer is in its advanced stage. As a result, most do not live more than a year. Some studies have suggested that tiny, non-coding bits of RNA could help doctors detect mesothelioma earlier. But new research in Germany brings that idea into question. Biomarkers for Early Detection of Mesothelioma MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important … Continue reading Early Detection of Mesothelioma with MicroRNAs »

Talc Pleurodesis Patients Need Alternate PET/CT Scan for Mesothelioma

PET/CT scan for mesothelioma

Certain patients may get more benefit out of an alternate type of PET/CT scan for mesothelioma. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a common tool for diagnosing mesothelioma. It is also used to monitor the effectiveness of mesothelioma treatments. Doctors often combine PET with computed tomography (CT) for an even clearer picture of mesothelioma progression. Typically, a PET/CT scan for mesothelioma involves injection of a tracer called FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose). But it turns out that PET/CT scans with this tracer do not work well for all mesothelioma patients. A new Japanese study suggests that mesothelioma patients who have had a procedure called talc pleurodesis should consider a different kind of PET/CT scan instead. How Does Talc Pleurodesis Impact PET/CT Scan for Mesothelioma? … Continue reading Talc Pleurodesis Patients Need Alternate PET/CT Scan for Mesothelioma »

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