Tag Archives: malignant pleural mesothelioma

Updated Guidelines Aim to Advance Mesothelioma Research

The criteria for measuring treatment response in malignant pleural mesothelioma is being revised—again. Researchers are hopeful that the new criteria will improve the quality and value of mesothelioma clinical trials and move researchers closer to a cure. Researchers at the University of Chicago and the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases in Australia are proposing new modifications to the “modified RECIST” criteria by which researchers currently assess the response of mesothelioma tumors. In order for mesothelioma clinical trials to be truly valuable—and have any chance of leading to a cure—researchers must be “on the same page” in how they assess the size of mesothelioma tumors and their response to treatment. Because malignant mesothelioma is so rare, there are fewer studies … Continue reading Updated Guidelines Aim to Advance Mesothelioma Research »

Shoulder Pain: An Early Symptom of Mesothelioma?

patient

There is new evidence that mesothelioma can affect more than just the part of the body where a tumor occurs. Along with lung-related symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath, a new study suggests that shoulder pain can also be an early sign of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Polish researchers reached that conclusion after studying the cases of 49 mesothelioma patients treated at the Central Clinical Hospital in Warsaw between 2006 and 2012. In looking over the patients’ medical records, they found that seven of the patients (14.3%) listed shoulder pain as the very first symptom of mesothelioma. In most cases, the shoulder pain among mesothelioma patients was relatively mild, with an average severity of 4 on a scale of … Continue reading Shoulder Pain: An Early Symptom of Mesothelioma? »

European Group Issues Updated Treatment Guidelines for Mesothelioma

physician and colleagues

A group of medical researchers has just released an updated set of clinical practice guidelines for treating patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, one of the rarest and most treatment-resistant forms of cancer. The guidelines, released by the European Society for Medical Oncology and published in the newest issue of the Annals of Oncology, contain six sets of recommendations designed to support clinicians in the management of mesothelioma from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up. Recommendation for Mesothelioma Diagnosis The updated ESMO mesothelioma guidelines recommend that all patients undergo a thorough occupational history with emphasis on asbestos exposure and a CT scan of their chest. They also recommend that all patients with pleural thickening have a biopsy but do not recommend routine … Continue reading European Group Issues Updated Treatment Guidelines for Mesothelioma »

Treating Mesothelioma with Curcumin: Success May Be Predictable

Clinicians may be a step closer to being able to use curcumin to combat aggressive malignant pleural mesothelioma. Curcumin is the plant polyphenol that gives turmeric its yellow hue and spicy flavor. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to inhibit the growth of mesothelioma cells from animal models in the laboratory. Now, for the first time, researchers in Australia say they have successfully done the same thing with human cells taken from their own mesothelioma patients. Researcher Sonja Klebe, an Associate Professor at Flinders Medical Centre in South Australia where the new research was conducted, says the breakthrough will allow doctors to predict whether or not a certain mesothelioma patient will benefit from treatment with curcumin. The research … Continue reading Treating Mesothelioma with Curcumin: Success May Be Predictable »

Predicting Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival After Surgery

Most mesothelioma  patients and their families have heard the poor survival statistics associated with this aggressive cancer. But two new studies on two different types of mesothelioma suggest that long term survival is possible with surgery and can even be predictable. The first study was a multi-center analysis conducted in Italy between 2000 and 2010. Researchers retrospectively reviewed the cases of 468 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients who underwent extrapleural pneumonectomy – a radical surgery that involves removing the diseased pleural lining as well as the closest lung. Since most pleural mesothelioma patients die within a year of diagnosis, the research team classified those who lived three years or longer as “long term survivors.” A total of 107 mesothelioma patients (22.9%) fell into … Continue reading Predicting Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival After Surgery »

New Study Helps Explain How Asbestos Leads to Mesothelioma

New research suggests that tiny proteins called cytokines may be to blame for much of the destruction caused by asbestos in the body. Asbestos is the top cause worldwide of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare but difficult-to-treat cancer that often kills patients within a year of diagnosis. When they are inhaled, asbestos fibers lodge in the lugs triggering irritation and inflammation that eventually causes cells to become malignant. But the exact mechanism that moves cells from irritation to mesothelioma is still poorly understood. Now, researchers in Brazil have uncovered another piece of the puzzle that may help explain how mesothelioma develops. According to a new published report, they have isolated two small signaling proteins called cytokines that appear to be … Continue reading New Study Helps Explain How Asbestos Leads to Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Cell Growth Slowed with New Gene Therapy

There’s new evidence that therapies that prevent cancer cells from forming new blood vessels may offer a better way to approach malignant pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is the most deadly of several diseases caused by asbestos exposure, including lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural plaques. Most people who develop mesothelioma live less than a year after diagnosis. It is most common in people who have lived or worked around asbestos. Although the disease is resistant to most conventional cancer therapies, a new report published by doctors at the Hyogo College of Medicine in Japan and the University of Miami suggests that agents that prevent blood vessel growth, known as angiogenesis, may be more effective. To test the theory, they introduced angiostatin, endostatin … Continue reading Mesothelioma Cell Growth Slowed with New Gene Therapy »

Gene Test May Lead to More Accurate Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Could the BRCA-1 associated protein 1 (BAP1) gene offer a more accurate way to identify malignant pleural mesothelioma? New research in Italy suggests that the answer might be yes. Mesothelioma is a cancer that occurs in the cells of the mesothelium, a membrane that surround the lungs and other organs. Because there are also benign conditions that can effect mesothelial cells and cause similar symptoms, mesothelioma is often difficult to identify. To date, there are no definitive biomarkers, though the list of markers that can help with diagnosis and prognosis is growing. In the latest biomarker study, researchers in Italy evaluated BAP1 expression in 266 patients with different mesothelial conditions. A total of 212 patients had mesothelioma, 12 had benign … Continue reading Gene Test May Lead to More Accurate Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

Skin Cancer Drug Produces Exceptional Results in New Mesothelioma Trial

Respiratory Disease

A drug approved to treat skin cancer has produced what researchers are calling “unprecedented” control of malignant pleural mesothelioma. As announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research which met in Philadelphia in April, pembrolizumab either stopped tumor growth or even reversed it in more than three quarters of the mesothelioma patients tested. Pembrolizumab (brand name Keytruda) is a monoclonal antibody designed to block a cell surface receptor called PD-1. As part of a phase 1B clinical trial known as KEYNOTE-028, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania gave the drug to 25 mesothelioma patients between March and December 2014. These patients all had tumors that tested positive for PD-1 expression. Most had already been through at … Continue reading Skin Cancer Drug Produces Exceptional Results in New Mesothelioma Trial »

Mesothelioma: The Deadly Legacy of Cement Plants

A new study out of Italy demonstrates the deadly legacy of asbestos cement plants around the world. Researchers found a higher incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma not only not only among former plant workers, but also in people who just lived near the plants, including many women. The study involved more than 15 thousand Italians diagnosed with mesothelioma between 1993 and 2008. Because mesothelioma is directly related to asbestos exposure, the researchers analyzed the lives of these patients including where they lived, the industries in which they worked, and their family histories to see how they may have come in contact with the toxin. When all of these mesothelioma cases were plotted on a map of Italy, it became clear that some … Continue reading Mesothelioma: The Deadly Legacy of Cement Plants »