Tag Archives: mesothelioma patients

HIPEC Variation May Benefit Frail Mesothelioma Patients

A method of delivering heated chemotherapy drugs to the abdomen after the surgical wound has been closed may produce better outcomes than an open technique for fragile or elderly mesothelioma patients. The study was conducted by surgery departments at three different Greek hospitals. Study subjects included 105 patients with either mesothelioma or another peritoneal malignancy. All of the patients were recommended for cytoreductive surgery to remove as much of their cancer as possible followed by a rinse of heated chemotherapy drugs at the site of the surgery (HIPEC) to kill any residual cancer cells and prevent recurrence. Sixty of the patients with mesothelioma or another cancer received HIPEC using an open abdomen technique. In this technique, the chemotherapy solution is … Continue reading HIPEC Variation May Benefit Frail Mesothelioma Patients »

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 »

Orphan Drug Approval Could Mean New Mesothelioma Treatment Option

A drug designed to fight cancer by destroying the stem cells that give rise to new cancer cells has been granted orphan drug status for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The designation paves the way for mesothelioma patients, who often have few treatment options, to get access to VS-5584 earlier than it would otherwise be available. VS-5584 is a powerful inhibitor of a signaling pathway that regulates cancer progression and the survival of cancer stem cells. According to Verastem, the Boston-based maker of VS-5584, the drug has already received a similar designation for mesothelioma in Europe. “This is an important regulatory milestone for Verastem and… will facilitate our global development of VS-5584 to help improve the available treatment options for patients suffering … Continue reading Orphan Drug Approval Could Mean New Mesothelioma Treatment Option »

Response to Talc Treatment May Predict Mesothelioma Prognosis

How well a mesothelioma patient’s lungs respond to a procedure designed to eliminate excess lung fluid may be a better predictor of survival than the stage or subtype of their cancer. A group of pathologists and thoracic surgeons in Italy came to that conclusion after evaluating the cases of 172 mesothelioma patients who underwent a procedure called talc pleurodesis or talc poudrage. Talc pleurodesis is designed to prevent a buildup of lung fluid that is common in mesothelioma patients and causes unpleasant symptoms like shortness of breath. After the lung fluid (also called pleural effusion) is drained, the space between the two pleural layers is filled with talc. The talc acts as a chemical irritant causing inflammation and fibrosis which … Continue reading Response to Talc Treatment May Predict Mesothelioma Prognosis »

Refining CRS-HIPEC for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  Three new international studies are helping to refine a treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma that involves rinsing the body cavity with heated chemotherapy drugs. The treatment, called heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy or HIPEC, begins with surgery to remove as much of the mesothelioma tumor as possible from the surface of the peritoneal membrane. Chemotherapy drugs are then heated and rinsed through the area while the patient is still in surgery. The goal is to destroy any residual cancer cells and keep mesothelioma from growing back. Although the treatment is still relatively new, it is quickly becoming the standard of care for peritoneal mesothelioma. Now, researchers around the world are working on ways to make HIPEC even more effective. In one new … Continue reading Refining CRS-HIPEC for Peritoneal Mesothelioma »

New Mesothelioma Trial: Radiation for Prevention?

Mesothelioma patients at risk for a serious treatment complication called procedure tract metastasis (PTM) may face a more promising prognosis when the results of a new clinical trial are in. Many mesothelioma patients undergo some type of interventional therapy, such as surgery or drainage of excess lung fluid. Unfortunately, any time an instrument is introduced into the chest of a patient with mesothelioma, there is a risk that the patient will develop new tumors along the path of the incision or catheter tract. These PTMs can not only be painful but they can also accelerate the progression of mesothelioma and make treatment more complicated. Now, a group of researchers in Great Britain have launched a new trial to determine whether giving patients some radiotherapy at the site … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Trial: Radiation for Prevention? »

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Side-Effect Mimics Scleroderma, Infection


The antifolate pemetrexed (Alimta) is the first and is only drug approved by the FDA specifically to treat malignant mesothelioma, the aggressive cancer most closely associated with asbestos exposure.  A combination of pemetrexed and a platinum-based drug like cisplatin or carboplatin is the first-line treatment for most mesothelioma patients. But, like every drug, pemetrexed carries the potential for side effects. Researchers at Perigueux Hospital in Perigueux, France have just published a paper warning of a serious but little-known skin-related side effect of pemetrexed that may be unrecognized by mesothelioma patients and doctors. The report, published in a French dermatology journal, details the cases of two cancer patients on pemetrexed who developed a serious skin problem with symptoms resembling the connective … Continue reading Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Side-Effect Mimics Scleroderma, Infection »

Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery Results in Fewer Short-Term Deaths

Extrapleural pneumonectomy is the more radical of the two surgeries and involves the removal of a lung along with the diseased pleural lining where mesothelioma tumors start, all or part of the diaphragm, the lining around the heart, and other at-risk tissues. While the complication rate is higher with EPP, some studies have suggested that the surgery may improve the odds of surviving mesothelioma. Pleurectomy/decortication involves the removal of the pleura and many of the same tissues, but leaves the lungs intact. Studies suggest that patients tend to recover from this type of surgery faster. Both types of procedures may be preceded or followed by chemotherapy or radiation to shrink mesothelioma tumors for easier removal or to kill residual cancer cells. Doctors … Continue reading Lung-Sparing Mesothelioma Surgery Results in Fewer Short-Term Deaths »

Mesothelioma Patients May Need Medication to Reduce Clot Risk

Researchers in Ankara, Turkey have just released a new study on the increased risk of thromboembolic events (TEEs) in patients with malignant mesothelioma. TEEs can occur when a blood clot (thrombus) breaks loose and travels through the blood stream to clog another vessel. Mesothelioma patients are at higher risk for the problem which can lead to strokes, heart attacks, blood clot in the lung (pulmonary thromboembolism), deep vein thrombosis and even death. The Turkish study included 178 mesothelioma patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma between January 2008 and June 2014. In all, 14 (7.9%) of the patients experienced TEEs. Two of these events triggered heart attacks and the remaining 12 were equally divided between deep vein thrombosis (in the legs) … Continue reading Mesothelioma Patients May Need Medication to Reduce Clot Risk »

Radiation Treatment May Worsen Lung Function in Mesothelioma

Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Princeton Radiation Oncology reached that conclusion after evaluating 24 mesothelioma surgery patients between 2009 and 2013. Study subjects underwent either lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) surgery or lung-removing extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP). Both procedures aim to improve mesothelioma survival by removing the diseased pleural lining and other at-risk tissues such as the diaphragm and the pericardium around the heart. Both sets of patients were then treated with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to the affected side of their chest in an effort to kill any mesothelioma cells left behind after surgery. IMRT delivers beams of radiation in short bursts, giving it the ability to conform radiation dose to the irregular shape of a mesothelioma tumor. … Continue reading Radiation Treatment May Worsen Lung Function in Mesothelioma »