Tag Archives: chemotherapy

Real-World Mesothelioma Patients Need New Systemic Treatments

real-world mesothelioma patients

The newest study on real-world mesothelioma patients illustrates the need for more ways to treat this devastating cancer.  Many studies focus on a carefully-chosen subset of patients. Patients have to meet specific guidelines to qualify for a mesothelioma clinical trial.  But the authors of a new report in Future Oncology focused on real-world mesothelioma patients in community clinics. The goal was to see what kinds of treatments these patients got and how well they worked.  The results show most people do not have other treatments after first-line therapy. They also suggest that mesothelioma doctors and patients need new first-line alternatives.  First- and Second-Line Mesothelioma Therapies Malignant mesothelioma is the name for cancer on the membranes around internal organs. Pleural mesothelioma … Continue reading Real-World Mesothelioma Patients Need New Systemic Treatments »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102

long-term mesothelioma survival

The makers of the immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102 have released promising new data on its ability to promote long-term mesothelioma survival. The report came less than two weeks after ONCOS-102 got FDA approval to fast-track its development.  ONCOS-102 is an investigational treatment made from a modified virus. The virus helps the treatment target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone.  The new long-term mesothelioma survival data shows half of people on ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy have lived for 21 months. And the study is not over yet. Typical survival with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy is about a year.  Targovax says the data shows how valuable ONCOS-102 could be for patients with this rare but aggressive malignancy. Standard of Care for Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102 »

Some Mesothelioma Patients Have Unrealistic View of Palliative Chemotherapy

palliative chemotherapy

A new Danish study suggests that, when it comes to palliative chemotherapy for mesothelioma, patients, families, and doctors may have very different expectations.  Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos. It is not curable but chemotherapy can sometimes slow it down. Palliative chemotherapy is chemotherapy aimed at relieving mesothelioma symptoms.  But researchers at Odense University and University of Southern Denmark say nearly a third of families expect palliative chemotherapy to cure their cancer. This was especially true of patients younger than 70.  Palliative Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma Chemotherapy has been the main treatment for mesothelioma since the early 2000s. Pemetrexed (Alimta) and a platinum drug like cisplatin is the standard drug combination. But this treatment is rarely a cure. … Continue reading Some Mesothelioma Patients Have Unrealistic View of Palliative Chemotherapy »

Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics

chemoresistance in mesothelioma

A team of Swiss and German researchers have a theory about why so many mesothelioma patients experience chemoresistance.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for asbestos cancer. But fewer than half of patients respond to it.  The new study suggests that this may have to do with an alteration on the BAP1 gene. Medicine cannot change a person’s underlying genetics. But knowing who is likely to experience chemoresistance could help patients and doctors choose the most effective treatments.  BAP1 Expression and Mesothelioma BAP1 stands for BRCA1 associated protein-1. People who have an inherited mutation of this gene produce less of the BAP1 protein. This seems to increase their risk for malignant mesothelioma and several other conditions. People with BAP1 loss … Continue reading Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics »

Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study

maintenance therapy

Dutch researchers say administering maintenance therapy with gemcitabine after chemotherapy may help mesothelioma patients live longer than supportive care alone.  Gemcitabine is an antimetabolite sold under the brand name Gemzar. Oncologists use it to treat several other types of cancer. When cancer cells absorb gemcitabine, they can no longer divide into new cancer cells.  Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy as their first-line treatment. If they are healthy enough, they may also have mesothelioma surgery. A maintenance therapy is a treatment that follows the main treatment. It is an effort to maintain the effects of the treatment.  The new Dutch study shows gemcitabine may be a safe and effective choice for maintenance therapy. What Does Maintenance Therapy Mean? Right now, there … Continue reading Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study »

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 »