Tag Archives: immune system

Mesothelioma Update: Could New Form of Immunotherapy Help?

new form of immunotherapy

A new form of immunotherapy using a patient’s own cells is making headlines this month after a new study shows it may help some people with advanced lung cancer.  Like pleural mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer is a virulent form of cancer that is hard to treat. Even the newest immunotherapy drugs have had only moderate success.  The new form of immunotherapy is the subject of an article in the journal Nature Medicine. It details the hopeful results of patients in a small Phase I pilot trial of the treatment. If it is proven to work for lung cancer, it could be good news for mesothelioma patients, too.  Giving Immune Cells a Boost Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are immune cells. They … Continue reading Mesothelioma Update: Could New Form of Immunotherapy Help? »

Study May Lead to Safer Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma

immunotherapy for mesothelioma

New research conducted in Europe and at Harvard University may open the door to safer immunotherapy for mesothelioma patients.  Immunotherapy is one of the most promising approaches to fight malignant mesothelioma. But the potential side effects can be devastating.  Now, new data suggests there are ways to reduce the complications of immunotherapy for mesothelioma. The key is to target some of the white blood cells that trigger inflammation. Inflammation is the driver behind most of the serious side effects of immunotherapy.  Why Harness the Immune System? No one ever expects to contract mesothelioma. It is an extremely rare cancer. Most people who get it have spent time living or working around asbestos. Even among asbestos-exposed people, mesothelioma is rare. Scientists … Continue reading Study May Lead to Safer Immunotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Treatment with Dendritic Cells Leads to Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival in Small Studies

dendritic cells

Three small studies suggest that dendritic cells may offer a new, more promising way to fight malignant pleural mesothelioma.  Dendritic cells are immune system cells that function as messengers. They are supposed to signal T-cells to attack cancers like malignant mesothelioma. But mesothelioma cells can keep dendritic cells from doing their job. The result is that the number of activated T-cells around mesothelioma tumors stays low and the tumors keep growing.   Now, Dutch researchers studying the problem say a vaccine made from dendritic cells may hold the answer. They analyzed the results of three small dendritic cell studies. These studies included a total of 29 mesothelioma patients.  Some of the patients in these studies lived much longer than mesothelioma patients normally … Continue reading Treatment with Dendritic Cells Leads to Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival in Small Studies »

Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments

different mesothelioma subtypes

A group of European pathologists say the different mesothelioma subtypes have significant differences in their pattern of gene expression. Exploiting these differences could help scientists craft more effective mesothelioma treatments.  Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. But doctors know that genetics play a role, too. Newly-approved immunotherapy drugs target proteins expressed by specific genes. But these drugs work much better in some mesothelioma patients than they do in others.  The new study suggests that differences in the genetic profiles of different mesothelioma subtypes could help explain why.  Immunotherapy Drugs for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is an up-and-coming treatment approach for mesothelioma and other cancers. It harnesses the power of the person’s immune system to fight cancer.  In people with mesothelioma, … Continue reading Different Mesothelioma Subtypes: Gene Study Could Lead to Targeted Treatments »

Visualizing the Immune Profile of Mesothelioma Patients

immune profile

Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have come up with a better way to analyze the immune profile of people with malignant mesothelioma.  A person’s immune profile is the unique set of immune system cells and how they are working at any given time. The functionality of immune system cells in the area right around the tumor – the tumor microenvironment or TME – is especially telling.  The system developed at MD Anderson assigns different colors to key immune system markers. They applied the color system to a sample from the microenvironment of mesothelioma tumors. The result was an image of each tmor’s immune profile. These images could help doctors determine new targets for mesothelioma treatment.  What is … Continue reading Visualizing the Immune Profile of Mesothelioma Patients »

Autoimmune Disease and Mesothelioma: Will it Impact Survival?

autoimmune disease

A new lung cancer study suggests that having an autoimmune disease will not necessarily lead to shorter cancer survival. This could be good news for pleural mesothelioma patients suffering from autoimmune disorders. Pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related disease that has many characteristics in common with lung cancer.  The new study comes from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. It included 177 lung cancer patients who also had immune diseases. Doctors compared their survival with a control group of lung cancer patients.   They determined that having an autoimmune disease did not negatively impact lung cancer survival. In fact, some of those patients lived longer than those with healthy immune systems.  What is an Autoimmune Disease? An autoimmune disease is … Continue reading Autoimmune Disease and Mesothelioma: Will it Impact Survival? »

Asbestos Affects Immunity, New Report Finds

asbestos affects immunity

A new report from Japanese doctors shows that asbestos affects immunity. It may help explain why exposure to asbestos can trigger mesothelioma. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma worldwide. But doctors still do not know for sure how this fibrous mineral causes cancer.  Scientists know that inflammation and irritation have something to do with mesothelioma development. But they still do not know much about how asbestos affects immunity. Asbestos and Mesothelioma Development Asbestos is a silicate mineral that lies deep in the ground. For decades, people mined asbestos for use in various industries. Nearly every building in the US built before the mid-1980s contains some asbestos. But asbestos is also a carcinogen. Even small amounts of asbestos exposure … Continue reading Asbestos Affects Immunity, New Report Finds »

Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed

immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma

A new report says biomarkers are urgently needed to determine which patients would benefit from immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  Researchers made the statement in a review of immunotherapy drugs in testing for malignant mesothelioma.  They say some of these drugs have proven to be more effective than others for asbestos cancer. But a set of biomarkers would go a long way to funneling patients into the right immunotherapy for pleural mesothelioma.  The Status of Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma Immunotherapy is believed to be the most promising up-and-coming cancer treatment. Immunotherapy treatments harness the strength of the body’s own immune response to attack cancer or help other drugs do so.  Like other types of cancer, mesothelioma cells have ways of avoiding … Continue reading Immunotherapy for Pleural Mesothelioma: Biomarkers Urgently Needed »

New Hope for Relapsed Pleural Mesothelioma?

relapsed pleural mesothelioma

There is new evidence that adding a drug called vorinostat to immunotherapy might help relapsed pleural mesothelioma patients.  The new study comes from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. It focused on patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is similar to pleural mesothelioma in many ways.  The study found that patients who received vorinostat along with an immune checkpoint inhibitor had better results. The findings could be good news for relapsed pleural mesothelioma patients, too. Different Immunotherapy Drugs Vorinostat is sold under the brand name Zolinza. It is a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. HDAC inhibitors alter the way proteins are expressed inside cells. They also stimulate the immune system.  Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) like Keytruda also … Continue reading New Hope for Relapsed Pleural Mesothelioma? »

New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma

cancer blood test

Israeli researchers hope that a new kind of cancer blood test could help detect mesothelioma and other malignancies earlier. Earlier diagnosis could lead to longer mesothelioma survival. The blood test is based on the idea that immune system cells undergo metabolic changes when they fight a cancer like pleural mesothelioma. Different kinds of changes are associated with different kinds of cancers. The new cancer blood test detects these changes. Immune System Cells and Metabolism The immune system is the body’s primary way of defending itself against diseases like malignant mesothelioma. Metabolism refers to the way immune system cells expend energy to fight cancer.  An Israeli company is developing the new cancer blood test. It focuses on the metabolism of immune … Continue reading New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma »