Tag Archives: malignant pleural 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 »

Fast Neutron Radiotherapy Not an Answer for Mesothelioma

A special kind of targeted radiotherapy that uses high energy neutrons instead of protons or electrons to kill cancer cells is unlikely to significantly improve outcomes for patients with mesothelioma. That word comes from a top radiation oncologist at one of the few cancer centers in the United States where “fast neutron” radiotherapy is available. Because high-energy neutrons can do more serious damage to the DNA of cancer cells than other types of radiotherapy, fast neutron radiotherapy is sometimes considered more effective for certain types of cancer, particularly if the cancer is inoperable as is often the case with mesothelioma. This type of treatment can also produce more serious side effects than standard radiation therapy. It is considered one of the … Continue reading Fast Neutron Radiotherapy Not an Answer for Mesothelioma »

Using a "Job Exposure Matrix" to Predict Mesothelioma

Researchers in one of the world’s top mesothelioma hot spots have come up with an asbestos disease prediction matrix which may help ensure that fewer cases of mesothelioma go undiagnosed. Even though Australia has one of the world’s highest per capita rates of malignant pleural mesothelioma, data on where and when people were likely to have been exposed to asbestos is sketchy. As researchers from the University of Western Australia in Perth note in an article in The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, “In Australia…estimates of disease risk and attribution of disease causation are usually calculated from data that are not specific for local conditions.” One of the problems with not trying to quantify risk in different locations and in different … Continue reading Using a "Job Exposure Matrix" to Predict Mesothelioma »

When “Breast Cancer” is Actually Mesothelioma

In rare instances, people can have two different types of cancer at the same time. It is especially rare to have pleural mesothelioma and breast cancer.

A new case study out of Italy highlights the importance of using all of the available tools – including patient history – to distinguish mesothelioma from other types of cancer. Oncologists in the Ob/Gyn department at Umberto I Hospital in Rome have just published the details of a female patient who was originally believed to have breast cancer. The 49-year-old hairdresser was found to have a hard lump, about 3 centimeters in diameter, lying against the lowest layers of her right breast. But when her doctors performed a biopsy and tested the cells, they discovered that the lump was not what they thought it was. “Estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors were negative,” writes Dr. Marialuisa Framarino-Dei-Malatesta, the paper’s lead author. … Continue reading When “Breast Cancer” is Actually Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Prognosis: Some Markers More Useful than Others

Deciding which treatments to try and determining whether they are working are two of the biggest challenges for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.  But a team of researchers in the UK is trying to make the process a little easier. They have identified three markers the say can help doctors predict prognosis in mesothelioma patients and monitor their response to treatment. The South West Area Mesothelioma and Pemetrexed trial, based in the Southwestern part of England, recruited 73 pleural mesothelioma patients between 2008 and 2011. Fifty-eight of the patients elected to undergo chemotherapy with pemetrexed (Alimta) for their mesothelioma and 15 opted only for best supportive care, without chemotherapy. Before treatment began, the researchers used PET-CT to test each patient’s baseline … Continue reading Mesothelioma Prognosis: Some Markers More Useful than Others »

Mesothelioma Patients Live Longer with Multimodal Treatment

Another new study has confirmed that a multimodal approach – in which multiple treatments are used together – is the most reliable way to improve survival in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Doctors in England and Italy have just published their findings on a mesothelioma treatment combination that includes surgery, pleural lavage, radiotherapy and systemic chemotherapy. The study included 102 mesothelioma patients treated between 2004 and 2013 at one of two London hospitals or at the University of Milan. About three quarters of the patients in the study had the epithelioid variety of mesothelioma, which is the most common form. Eighty percent were male. All of the patients underwent the lung-sparing mesothelioma surgery called pleurectomy/decortication (PD) during which the diseased … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patients Live Longer with Multimodal Treatment »

Erionite-Induced Malignant Mesothelioma: Is it Different?

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is usually thought of as an asbestos-related disease. But a growing number of mesothelioma cases are being blamed on another mineral called erionite. A new report attempts to look at the clinical and prognostic differences between mesothelioma caused by erionite and mesothelioma caused by asbestos. Like asbestos, erionite occurs naturally in some soils and is made up of tiny, sharp fibers. Like asbestos, once these fibers enter the lungs through inhalation of dust, or the stomach through accidental ingestion, they can trigger a series of physiological changes in some people that eventually result in cancer. The Study In light of the rising number of erionite-induced mesothelioma cases in Europe and North America, researchers in Turkey, Ohio, and … Continue reading Erionite-Induced Malignant Mesothelioma: Is it Different? »