Tag Archives: chemotherapy

Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study

second line mesothelioma treatment

Italian researchers say there is good news and bad news about a proposed second line mesothelioma treatment.  The good news is that the treatment did not cause major side effects in the patients who tried it. The bad news is that it also did not help them live any longer.  The treatment is a mixture of gemcitabine and imatinib. Animal studies suggested that the combination might improve mesothelioma survival.  The newly-published study shows the second line mesothelioma treatment did help control the disease in most patients. But the 23 patients who tried it only lived for a median of 5.7 months. That was not enough for doctors to recommend the combination. Mesothelioma Chemotherapy and Survival The most common first line … Continue reading Second Line Mesothelioma Treatment Shot Down in New Study »

Injectable Pemetrexed for Mesothelioma Now Available for the First Time

injectable pemetrexed for mesothelioma

The FDA has cleared injectable pemetrexed for mesothelioma after two drug companies settled a patent dispute over the medication in December. Until now, the chemotherapy drug pemetrexed has only been available for infusion. In this form, it is called Alimta and is distributed by Eli Lilly.  But New Jersey-based Eagle Pharmaceuticals wanted to develop a form of injectable pemetrexed for mesothelioma. They received tentative approval for the drug in 2018, but it was not until the patent issue was settled that the final approval was granted.  The drug may shorten the duration of treatment for some patients with malignant mesothelioma.  Pemetrexed the Primary Mesothelioma Treatment Malignant mesothelioma is an intractable cancer that grows on the membranes around internal organs. Patients … Continue reading Injectable Pemetrexed for Mesothelioma Now Available for the First Time »

Immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 Shows Promise for Mesothelioma

immunotherapy with ONCOS-102

Early results are in on the latest trial of immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 and the news is good for pleural mesothelioma patients.  Norweigian drug maker Targovax released the news about ONCOS-102 earlier this week. The new drug is based on an oncolytic virus that targets mesothelioma cells. When the virus gets inside the cells, it triggers an immune response.  Early tests of immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 showed it helped mesothelioma chemotherapy work better. Now, a larger study appears to confirm the effect. The news could lead to new and better treatments for this intractable cancer.  What is an Oncolytic Virus? An oncolytic virus is a virus that targets cancer cells. ONCOS-102 was designed to seek out mesothelioma cells. It is made out … Continue reading Immunotherapy with ONCOS-102 Shows Promise for Mesothelioma »

Tumor Treating Fields for Mesothelioma Faces Criticism

tumor treating fields

Tumor Treating Fields for mesothelioma is coming under fire from some other researchers. The treatment uses electricity to interfere with division of cancer cells. The FDA approved it for mesothelioma last year under the Humanitarian Device Exemption. It is only the second treatment ever approved for asbestos cancer.  But scientists in Italy and the Netherlands are disputing some of the findings from the STELLAR trial of TTFields. They published separate articles in a recent issue of The Lancet Oncology. STELLAR tested Tumor Treating Fields along with chemotherapy as a novel mesothelioma treatment. The FDA based its approval on the STELLAR results.  But the newly published articles suggest that there were problems with the trial. Both say Tumor Treating Fields is … Continue reading Tumor Treating Fields for Mesothelioma Faces Criticism »

Drug May help Mesothelioma Patients Overcome Resistance to Chemotherapy

resistance to chemotherapy

A newly-identified compound might eventually help mesothelioma patients overcome resistance to chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy resistance is one of the main reasons that mesothelioma treatments fail.  But researchers at Duke University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have identified a compound that combats resistance to chemotherapy with cisplatin.  Cisplatin is one of the primary drugs in first-line chemotherapy for mesothelioma. If mesothelioma cells can be sensitized to it, patients may have better outcomes.   First-Line Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer that grows on the lining around the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma starts on the lining of the abdomen. Both types of mesothelioma are caused by asbestos exposure.  Chemotherapy with cisplatin and pemetrexed (Alimta) is the treatment that doctors usually try … Continue reading Drug May help Mesothelioma Patients Overcome Resistance to Chemotherapy »

Supplements During Chemotherapy May Work Against Mesothelioma Treatment

supplements during chemotherapy

A new study suggests that it could be risky to take supplements during chemotherapy for mesothelioma and other cancers.  The study took place at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York. It focused on more than 1,100  breast cancer patients. It found that patients who took certain antioxidant supplements during chemotherapy had worse outcomes than those who did not.  The study’s authors say antioxidants undermine one of the main jobs of chemotherapy drugs – to create oxidative stress in cancer cells. Chemotherapy is the primary first-line treatment for malignant mesothelioma and many other cancers.  Why Avoid Antioxidant Supplements During Chemotherapy? Antioxidants are compounds found in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamins A, C, E, and B12 are examples … Continue reading Supplements During Chemotherapy May Work Against Mesothelioma Treatment »

Response to Chemotherapy in Mesothelioma Patients: Could This Protein Predict It?

response to chemotherapy

There is new evidence that a protein called Activin A could help predict response to chemotherapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. It may also make it easier for doctors to distinguish mesothelioma from benign lung tumors. Activin A influences many cellular processes. Among other things, it plays a role in cell proliferation, immune response, metabolism, and natural cell death.  FInnish researchers say mesothelioma patients with higher levels of Activin A in their blood are more likely to suffer from cachexia. Cachexia is weakness and wasting of the body due to chronic illness. High expressors of Activin A are also less likely to have a good response to chemotherapy.  Activin A and Mesothelioma Activin A is a member of the … Continue reading Response to Chemotherapy in Mesothelioma Patients: Could This Protein Predict It? »

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Surgery with HIPEC Can Trigger Blood Cell Problems

peritoneal mesothelioma surgery with HIPEC

More than half of patients who have peritoneal mesothelioma surgery with HIPEC develop problems with their blood cells afterward. That’s the finding of a team of cancer researchers from Singapore.  The group analyzed 15 years worth of data on peritoneal mesothelioma surgery outcomes. They found that, even though the procedure saves lives, it can be risky.  Older patients and those who had prior chemotherapy were most likely to develop hematological toxicities after peritoneal mesothelioma surgery.  Hematological Toxicities and Mesothelioma Treatment Hematological toxicities are problems with the cells that make up the blood. This can include white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and proteins involved in bleeding and clotting.  Several drugs that kill mesothelioma cells can cause blood cell problems. … Continue reading Peritoneal Mesothelioma Surgery with HIPEC Can Trigger Blood Cell Problems »

Mesothelioma Tumor Response to Nivolumab Detailed in New Case Study

mesothelioma tumor response to nivolumab

An Indian woman in still alive two years after a mesothelioma diagnosis thanks to a remarkable mesothelioma tumor response to nivolumab. Nivolumab is sold under the brand name Opdivo. It is a type of immunotherapy. Nivolumab is sometimes used for lung cancer that progresses after chemotherapy. A hospital in Mumbai tried nivolumab on a pleural mesothelioma patient after several types of chemotherapy did not work. Doctors say the mesothelioma tumor response to nivolumab was so great that the patient no longer needed supplemental oxygen.  Opdivo in Mesothelioma Treatment Opdivo is not FDA-approved for mesothelioma treatment. Only Alimta (pemetrexed) holds that designation. But pleural mesothelioma grows quickly and is hard to treat. Even the gold standard therapies often do not work … Continue reading Mesothelioma Tumor Response to Nivolumab Detailed in New Case Study »

Effect of Chemotherapy on Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

effect of chemotherapy on immunotherapy

Belgian scientists say they are still not sure about the effect of chemotherapy on immunotherapy for mesothelioma. They reached that conclusion after testing several different chemotherapy drugs on mesothelioma cells in the lab. The combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy is “chemoimmunotherapy”. It aims to harness the unique powers of each treatment approach. A meta-analysis last May called chemoimmunotherapy the “next frontier” in mesothelioma treatment.  But the new Belgian study on the effect of chemotherapy on immunotherapy highlights how much doctors still do not know about the combo. Immune Checkpoints Are the Key When it is working properly, the immune system is supposed to find and kill cancer cells before they become mesothelioma tumors. But mesothelioma cells can hide from the … Continue reading Effect of Chemotherapy on Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma »