Tag Archives: chemotherapy

Chemotherapy Resistance in Mesothelioma Patients: New Insights

chemotherapy resistance

Canadian cancer researchers have discovered what may be a key cause of chemotherapy resistance in mesothelioma and other types of cancer. The news could lead to more effective ways of treating malignant mesothelioma.  Chemotherapy resistance is a major problem for mesothelioma patients. The FDA has approved two different drug therapies for mesothelioma. But neither approach seems to hold asbestos cancer at bay long term.  Scientists at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto say it may be because cancer cells “hibernate” to escape attack. If doctors can understand this cancer cell defense mechanism, they might be able to undermine it.  The Problem of Chemotherapy Resistance Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of several illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos fibers … Continue reading Chemotherapy Resistance in Mesothelioma Patients: New Insights »

Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin Improves Mesothelioma Response in New Study

induction chemotherapy with Avastin

Mesothelioma patients who had induction chemotherapy with Avastin (bevacizumab) prior to surgery responded better than those who had only chemotherapy in a new Swedish study.  Researchers at the University Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 88 pleural mesothelioma patients who were slated to have surgery.  Most of the patients had standard chemotherapy before surgery. Some had induction chemotherapy with Avastin. Those who got the extra drug had a “significantly better response” according to a new report in Frontiers in Oncology. The Use of Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin or Without Induction chemotherapy is chemotherapy delivered before mesothelioma surgery. The goal of the treatment is to shrink the mesothelioma tumor as much as possible. This may improve the odds that surgeons can … Continue reading Induction Chemotherapy with Avastin Improves Mesothelioma Response in New Study »

Focused Radiation After Chemotherapy May Improve Mesothelioma Survival

focused radiation after chemotherapy

New research suggests that mesothelioma patients who have focused radiation after chemotherapy may live longer with slower disease progression than those who have other therapy combinations. Researchers used two kinds of focused radiotherapy (FRT) in the study. One was stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and the other was hypo-fractionated radiotherapy. Both treatments deliver a deadly dose of radiation into tumors while sparing normal tissue.  Italian researchers say giving focused radiation after chemotherapy makes it even more effective against mesothelioma that is not yet widespread.  Radiotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Radiotherapy is one of several possible treatments for mesothelioma. Most patients start with chemotherapy. But chemotherapy has limited effectiveness. Increasingly, researchers are looking for other approaches to combat mesothelioma.  Most patients get the … Continue reading Focused Radiation After Chemotherapy May Improve Mesothelioma Survival »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival: Follow-up is Critical

long-term mesothelioma survival

A newly published French case report is a reminder that long-term mesothelioma survival requires long-term follow-up. The case comes from Aix-Marseille University in Marseille. In the Annals of Medicine and Surgery, doctors wrote about a man who survived mesothelioma for 14 years. In all that time, his cancer did not progress. The situation is unusual for mesothelioma. The life expectancy of most mesothelioma patients is about 18 months. Prolonged survival is two years or more. But the authors of the new report say their case shows that long-term mesothelioma survival is not impossible with the right approach. Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma usually occurs in people who have lived or worked around asbestos. Many do not know they have … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival: Follow-up is Critical »

Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma

Nivolumab and Chemotherapy

Researchers in Germany are recruiting patients for a trial of nivolumab and chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma patients who have had surgery. Nivolumab (Opdivo) is an immunotherapy drug similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda). It blocks a protein that helps mesothelioma cells hide from the immune system. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The multicenter German study will test if a combination of nivolumab and chemotherapy can help keep tumors from growing back after mesothelioma surgery. Previous studies suggest that it has the potential to do so. How Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Work Immune checkpoint inhibitors like nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and ipilimumab (Yervoy) are a major focus for mesothelioma researchers. Mesothelioma cells are notoriously tenacious. They often fail to … Continue reading Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Multimodal Mesothelioma Treatment Doubles Survival in Mexican Study

multimodal mesothelioma treatment

Researchers at Mexico’s National Cancer Institute say multimodal mesothelioma treatment with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation can slow tumor growth and improve survival. Their new study of patients with advanced pleural mesothelioma produced a median survival of nearly two years. That is almost twice as long as average for pleural mesothelioma.  The researchers say the key is a multimodal mesothelioma treatment approach that attacks tumors from three different angles. Chemotherapy Alone is Rarely Enough Chemotherapy is still the main treatment for most patients with pleural mesothelioma. The FDA approved pemetrexed (Alimta) in 2004. Until the recent approval of a combination of Opdivo and Yervoy, Alimta was the only drug for mesothelioma. It is still the main component in mesothelioma chemotherapy. But … Continue reading Multimodal Mesothelioma Treatment Doubles Survival in Mexican Study »

Standard Mesothelioma Chemotherapy with Avastin: More Good News

Standard Mesothelioma Chemotherapy

Another new study suggests that adding a third drug to standard mesothelioma chemotherapy might lead to better treatment outcomes.  Several recent studies show immunotherapy drugs like Keytruda and IMFINZI may boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy.  The newest report focuses on the monoclonal antibody, bevacizumab (Avastin). Japanese researchers back up what others have found. They say most patients did well on a combination of Avastin and standard mesothelioma chemotherapy.  Drug Blocks Blood Vessel Formation Like all body tissues, mesothelioma tumors need blood vessels to grow and thrive. Angiogenesis is the process by which tumors create their own new blood vessels.  Avastin works by blocking this process. Without an adequate blood supply, a mesothelioma tumor may be more susceptible to standard mesothelioma … Continue reading Standard Mesothelioma Chemotherapy with Avastin: More Good News »

Electrochemotherapy for Mesothelioma May Relieve Pain, Shrink Tumors

Electrochemotherapy for Mesothelioma

There’s new evidence that a technique called electrochemotherapy (ECT) may relieve mesothelioma pain and even shrink tumors. It may be an option for patients who have not had success with other treatments.  Cancer researchers with the Italian Ministry of Health recently conducted the first test of electrochemotherapy on pleural mesothelioma and several other rare cancers.  They found that zapping tumors with electricity helped the medicine go through the cell membranes. The treatment reduced pain for every patient tested. In most cases, it also slowed down or even temporarily stopped their tumor growth.   How Electrochemotherapy Works Malignant mesothelioma is a rare membrane cancer. Chemotherapy is the main treatment for mesothelioma. But more than half of mesothelioma tumors do not respond to … Continue reading Electrochemotherapy for Mesothelioma May Relieve Pain, Shrink Tumors »

Triple Therapy May Become New First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma

First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma

A combination of three powerful mesothelioma therapies could become a new first-line treatment for mesothelioma if an upcoming clinical trial is successful. The makers of the experimental immunotherapy drug ONCOS-102 announced the new clinical trial. It will enroll up to 100 mesothelioma patients from around the world.  The trial will test ONCOS-102 along with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and standard chemotherapy. Keytruda is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Both ONCOS-102 and Keytruda have shown some promise when combined with mesothelioma chemotherapy. Targovax hopes that the triple therapy approach will produce an even more powerful first-line treatment for mesothelioma. Clinic Trial of ONCOS-102 A first-line treatment is a treatment for mesothelioma patients who have not yet had any other therapies. Most patients start with … Continue reading Triple Therapy May Become New First-Line Treatment for Mesothelioma »

First-Line Immunotherapy May Be Better Than Chemo for This Mesothelioma Subtype

First-Line Immunotherapy

A new study suggests that people with sarcomatoid mesothelioma may fare better if they have first-line immunotherapy before considering chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for most people with mesothelioma. But a report in the journal Translational Lung Cancer questions the wisdom of that trend. The study focused on the outcomes of patients with the sarcomatoid mesothelioma subtype. These patients lived longer after immunotherapy than patients with other subtypes.  When first-line immunotherapy worked best, patients produced more white blood cells. Researchers say these patients might do well to avoid having chemotherapy first. Chemotherapy as Standard Mesothelioma Treatment First-line immunotherapy is not the typical mesothelioma treatment. Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) before other treatments.  Alimta is the … Continue reading First-Line Immunotherapy May Be Better Than Chemo for This Mesothelioma Subtype »