Tag Archives: mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Rates Higher in Italy’s Asbestos-Producing Regions

Some Italian workers are paying a high price for Italy’s former position as the top European producer of asbestos. According to a new study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, both men and women who lived and worked in areas of heavy asbestos production are far more likely than their peers elsewhere in the country to contract peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the rarer form of a very rare cancer. While the more common pleural mesothelioma occurs in the membranes around the lungs, peritoneal mesothelioma starts on the membrane that surrounds abdominal organs. Like all forms of mesothelioma, it is asbestos-related, hard to treat, aggressive, and usually lethal. To get an idea how prevalent peritoneal mesothelioma is in Italy … Continue reading Peritoneal Mesothelioma Rates Higher in Italy’s Asbestos-Producing Regions »

Emerging Therapies Target Mesothelioma in New Ways

Targeted therapies may be the future of mesothelioma treatment. That word comes from a team of some of the world’s top mesothelioma researchers at the University of Hawaii and New York University. The group has just published a review detailing what is known about how mesothelioma develops – also called “pathogenesis” – and how that growing knowledge may help scientists develop more effective treatments. “Novel treatments are needed, as current treatment modalities may improve the quality of life, but have shown modest effects in improving overall survival,” writes Dr. Michele Carbone, corresponding author on the review and a top name in mesothelioma research. Dr. Harvey Pass, chief of the division of thoracic surgery at New York University’s Langone Medical Center … Continue reading Emerging Therapies Target Mesothelioma in New Ways »

Could a Virus-Delivered Gene Slow Mesothelioma Growth?

Researchers in Japan are enrolling mesothelioma patients into a trial to test whether blocking a growth signaling pathway inside mesothelioma cells could slow down this aggressive cancer or even stop its progression. The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-Met signal pathway is highly active in mesothelioma and many other types of cancer cells, telling them to grow and replicate quickly. In the lab, scientists have shown that the NK4 gene, which shares a molecular structure similar to HGF, can interrupt this signaling pathway and keep cancer cells from growing out of control. In a new study launched this summer by researchers at several Japanese universities, scientists will be testing a method of delivering NK4 to the site of mesothelioma tumors by administering a virus designed … Continue reading Could a Virus-Delivered Gene Slow Mesothelioma Growth? »

Kidney Cancer Drug Slows Mesothelioma Growth in Mice

A drug that has been shown to slow the growth of renal cell carcinoma may have moved a step closer to becoming a viable addition to the arsenal of patients fighting malignant mesothelioma. Temsirolimus is a kinase inhibitor that appears to work against mesothelioma, in part, by blocking the action of a protein that tells cancer cells to replicate. In laboratory tests on isolated tumor cells, temsirolimus effectively blocked the gene pathway known as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) that is responsible for signaling the growth and division of all types of mesothelioma. Now, a new study conducted by scientists in Greece and the UK suggests that the compound may do the same thing in living patients. The doctors induced … Continue reading Kidney Cancer Drug Slows Mesothelioma Growth in Mice »

A New Look at the Complex Process of Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Mesothelioma is not only a difficult cancer to treat. It’s also notoriously difficult to diagnose. Because there are no definitive biomarkers that can quickly reveal if a patient has this aggressive cancer, diagnosing mesothelioma typically involves a combination of different techniques. A new article in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine highlights some of the most useful and important diagnostic tests for mesothelioma. Pathologists Qudsia Arif, MD, and Aliya Husain, MD, of the University of Chicago used peer-reviewed publications, text books, and consensus among their fellow pathologists to compile their recommendations. According to the report, among the possible diagnostic biomarkers for mesothelioma, four of the most reliable are the proteins calretinin, WT-1, cytokeratin 5/6, and podoplanin. These, say the … Continue reading A New Look at the Complex Process of Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

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 »

Extended Survival of Peritoneal Mesothelioma with Repeat Treatment

There is some good news on the research front for patients with recurrent peritoneal mesothelioma. Doctors at the University of New South Wales in Australia say that treating these patients again with surgery and heated chemotherapy is extending lives, sometimes for several years. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which accounts for about 20 percent of mesothelioma cases, occurs on the peritoneal membrane that surrounds abdominal organs. Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) aims to remove as much of that diseased tissue as possible. It is often followed by heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) to kill any remaining mesothelioma cells and to keep new tumors from starting. The CRS/HIPEC combination has become the gold standard first line treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma. But the authors of a new study … Continue reading Extended Survival of Peritoneal Mesothelioma with Repeat Treatment »

Characteristics of Mesothelioma in Younger Patients

A new report finds that mesothelioma has different characteristics in younger people than it does in the more typical older patients. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and hard-to-treat cancer usually caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take decades to develop and, as a result, is usually thought of as a disease of older people. The vast majority of patients are over 70. However, as a new report in Oncotarget points out, there is a subset of mesothelioma patients under 40 years old. In these patients, mesothelioma can act very differently – and require a different treatment approach – than it does in the older population. The new study relied on data from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER), a national … Continue reading Characteristics of Mesothelioma in Younger Patients »

Mesothelioma Not the Only Cancer Threat for Shipbreakers

Mesothelioma is not the only cancer whose incidence is elevated in workers exposed to asbestos. A new Taiwanese study of shipbreakers finds that these workers are more susceptible to a wide range of cancers and should be regularly monitored for signs of disease. Shipbreaking is the process of dismantling old ships for salvage or scrap. Before the link between asbestos and mesothelioma was establish, shipbreaking workers around the world were routinely exposed to asbestos in a variety of ship parts. Asbestos was prized for its resistance to heat, fire and corrosion and was commonly used by shipbuilders to insulate boilers and pipes and fireproof areas from the mess halls to the sleeping quarters. Although several studies have linked shipbreaking with … Continue reading Mesothelioma Not the Only Cancer Threat for Shipbreakers »

Scientific Evidence That Asbestos Bans Prevent Mesothelioma

There is some hopeful news on the mesothelioma front this week. A new study conducted in Sweden suggests asbestos bans are doing what they are designed to do – reduce the incidence of mesothelioma. As in many other countries, including the US, asbestos was used in Sweden for decades in multiple industries. Until about the 1960s, workers around the world were largely unprotected from this deadly toxin because the link between asbestos and mesothelioma had not yet been clearly established. After scientific evidence was released showing a direct correlation between asbestos and mesothelioma, many countries, including Sweden instituted bans on the use or importation of asbestos. Health experts have attempted to model what the outcomes of those bans would be. … Continue reading Scientific Evidence That Asbestos Bans Prevent Mesothelioma »