Tag Archives: mesothelioma study

New Chemo Research: Good and Bad News for Mesothelioma

Three new published studies contain a mixed bag of findings on the effectiveness of chemotherapy for mesothelioma. In a study designed to help doctors predict which mesothelioma patients will respond to pemetrexed-based chemotherapy, the most common first-line treatment, results were promising. Pemetrexed works, in part, by preventing mesothelioma cells from synthesizing several key enzymes, including thymidylate synthase (TS). Scientists involved in the multi-center pemetrexed study found that, as predicted, high levels of TS during therapy were a sign that the drug was not working to fight a patient’s mesothelioma. In a separate cellular process, pemetrexed is converted into a more effective form by folylpoly-y-glutamate synthetase (FPGS).  In the same study, patients who had high FPGS expression saw better mesothelioma tumor response … Continue reading New Chemo Research: Good and Bad News for Mesothelioma »

New Chemotherapy Approaches for Mesothelioma

A pair of new studies may help doctors improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma. The first of two new chemotherapy studies tested the value of adding bevacizumab to the drug combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed often used to treat mesothelioma. Bevacizumab (Avastin) inhibits angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels needed to feed cancer cells. It is currently used to treat a number of different cancers, including colorectal, lung, kidney and ovarian cancer. In the U.S., it has also been used to treat the brain cancer glioblastoma.  Results have been mixed. In a multicenter study led by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, bevacizumab was added to the cisplatin/pemetrexed combination for 52 previously untreated mesothelioma … Continue reading New Chemotherapy Approaches for Mesothelioma »

New Studies Question Radical Mesothelioma Surgery

Calling it “a harmful procedure” a team of Italian surgeons is recommending against a controversial and radical type of surgery for early-stage mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare but virulent cancer that starts in the membrane that encases the lungs or other organs. As mesothelioma spreads, it can metastasize into the lungs and other parts of the chest cavity. Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP) is an extensive surgery that involves not only removal of the cancerous pleural lining, but also the lung closest to it, the membranes around other organs, and all or part of the diaphragm. It carries a high risk of complication and death, prompting many of the world’s top mesothelioma experts to reject it completely. In the latest study of … Continue reading New Studies Question Radical Mesothelioma Surgery »

New Study Finds EPP Improves Mesothelioma Quality of Life

Surgery for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

New research out of Italy casts another vote in favor of the controversial and radical surgical approach known as extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) for treating mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma occurs in the pleural membrane which separated the lungs from other internal organs. As the cancer spreads, it restricts the ability of the lungs to expand. Eventually, pleural mesothelioma can spread into the lungs themselves and other internal membranes. Extrapleural pneumonectomy attempts to prevent metastasis by removing the tissues most likely to be effected, including the lung lining, part of the pericardium (lining around the heart), a portion of the diaphragm, and the diseased lung. Because EPP is so radical and so risky (it carries a 60 percent complication rate), many of the … Continue reading New Study Finds EPP Improves Mesothelioma Quality of Life »

Mesothelioma Study Could Lead to Drug for Prevention

Asbestos exposure is the biggest risk factor for the development of malignant mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive cancer that usually carries a poor prognosis.  The numbers of mesothelioma patients is rising as more people pay the price for years of asbestos exposure.  While researchers around the world search for more effective treatments, a group of scientists in Italy have discovered information that may eventually be used not only to treat but to prevent mesothelioma in high risk patients. Researchers in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at the University of Ferrara are studying the presence of adenosine receptors (ARs) in the pleura, or lung lining, of patients with and without malignant mesothelioma.   Adenosine receptors are involved in processes such as … Continue reading Mesothelioma Study Could Lead to Drug for Prevention »

Study Predicts Survival in Mesothelioma Patients

People who are older than 70, have a high white blood cell count, or high levels of a particular protein in their blood may be less likely to survive malignant mesothelioma than other patients. This is the finding of a group of researchers from the University of Tokyo.  The researchers studied 314 patients who had been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure.  The survival of these patients was tracked using the Kaplan-Meier method, which takes into account the fact that certain patients may drop out of such a study prior to its completion. In addition to finding that older patients, those with high white blood cell counts, and those with high C-reactive protein levels were … Continue reading Study Predicts Survival in Mesothelioma Patients »

Study May Lead To New Mesothelioma Treatment

In what may be a breakthrough in the development of a treatment for mesothelioma, a new study reveals clues as to why tumor cells grow out of control and how to stop them. Rosetta Genomics, a developer of microRNA-based molecular diagnostics, conducted the joint study on malignant pleural mesothelioma with medical researchers from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and New York University Langone Medical Center. The findings were published in the online issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry. In the study, tumor cells from mesothelioma patients were found to be missing a molecular component called miR-31. MiR-31 has recently been found to suppress the growth and spread of breast cancer cells. When miR-31 was reintroduced into the mesothelioma cells, … Continue reading Study May Lead To New Mesothelioma Treatment »

German Mesothelioma Study Has Surprising Result

More invasive surgery doesn’t necessarily improve survival in patients with pleural mesothelioma. A less invasive approach is just as safe and effective, and it helps patients stay healthy enough to undergo additional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, according to a study published online September 16 in the journal, Lung Cancer. Because individual treatments have not had much success against mesothelioma, triple therapy including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation has emerged as the treatment of choice. Surgeons can choose from several different types of procedures, including extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). However, no official guidelines exist to help them make the decision. “There aren’t prospective, randomized trials comparing different surgical options,” explains Servet Bölükbas, MD, PhD, a surgeon at Dr. Horst Schmidt … Continue reading German Mesothelioma Study Has Surprising Result »

New Mesothelioma Study Results

Between August 2001 and July 2002, a total of 42 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) were enrolled in a Phase I study that involved extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and intraoperative hyperthermic cisplatin (IOHC). IOHC is heated cisplatin that is delivered into the cavity created during surgery when the mesothelioma and associated organs are removed. Intravenous administration of the drug amifostine was also used to try to ameliorate the cisplatin-induced renal toxicity. During thoracotomy, 13 patients were found to have unresectable disease and 29 patients had their MPM resected to smaller than 1 centimeter. Of the latter group, there were 22 men and 7 women patients, with a median age of 57 years. Here are the results of the study: Overall … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Study Results »

Mesothelioma and Active Symptom Control

Incorporating chemotherapy in a regimen of symptom-relieving treatments (such as steroid medications) doesn’t significantly improve survival or quality of life in mesothelioma patients, according to a study published in the May 17 issue of The Lancet. However, one chemotherapy drug—vinorelbine—is promising enough to warrant further study, the authors say. Because mesothelioma attacks the lining of the lung, it is one of the trickiest cancers to treat. Surgery is complicated because it requires either stripping the lung lining or removing the whole lung, radiation is risky because it can damage healthy lung tissue, and chemotherapy isn’t very effective against this type of cancer, says one of the lead study authors, Richard Stephens, a research scientist with the Medical Research Council Clinical … Continue reading Mesothelioma and Active Symptom Control »