Tag Archives: mesothelioma therapy

Japanese Doctors Test Potential New Target for Mesothelioma Therapy

. Mesothelioma is a fast-growing and currently incurable cancer that occurs most often in people who have been exposed to the mineral asbestos. It grows on the linings around the lungs or other organs making surgery and targeted radiotherapy especially difficult. Current chemotherapy drugs typically do not improve survival by more than a few months and researchers around the world continue to search for a way to attack mesothelioma at the cellular level. Now, a new study out of Japan suggests that ganglioside GM2, a surface glycolipid that is overexpressed in a number of cancer types including multiple myeloma, neuroblastoma, and mesothelioma, may offer a way to do that. Glycolipids provide energy and serve as markers for cellular recognition. Oncologists … Continue reading Japanese Doctors Test Potential New Target for Mesothelioma Therapy »

NIH Grant May Help Validate Light-Based Therapy for Mesothelioma

University of Pennsylvania researchers studying a promising mesothelioma treatment that kills cancer cells with light will get the opportunity to take their research to the next level thanks to a significant new grant. Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine has received $8 million from the National Cancer Institute to delve deeper into the effects of photodynamic therapy (PDT) in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The team has been researching and using the treatment in patients for several years, but the grant will allow them to conduct a larger clinical trial to further validate their good results. “This trial represents a major step in understanding the combination of treatment modalities that will offer patients the best hope for survival and extended remission,” … Continue reading NIH Grant May Help Validate Light-Based Therapy for Mesothelioma »

New Agents May Enhance Mesothelioma Therapy

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the internal membranes that line the chest and abdomen and encase the heart. Once cancer has started on these membranes, it is extremely difficult to keep it from spreading to nearby organs. Conventional therapies, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, have little effect on mesothelioma. Now, two new studies out of Japan say there may be a way to change that. One study reports on an agent that may improve the cancer-killing power of radiotherapy. The other focused on the use of viruses to enhance the power of standard chemotherapy. For the radiotherapy study, researchers in the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Okyama University examined the impact of manipulating microRNA molecules inside cells. In a previous study, … Continue reading New Agents May Enhance Mesothelioma Therapy »

Finding May Strengthen New Mesothelioma Therapy

NIH scientists believe they may have found a way to help ensure the effectiveness of a new mesothelioma drug called SS1P. SS1P is currently in clinical trials for malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare but virulent cancer caused by asbestos inhalation. SS1P works by targeting mesothelin, an antigen expressed on the surface of several types of human cancer cells. In mesothelioma cells, mesothelin is frequently ‘shed’ and ends up in the fluid around the lungs, where it is often used to help make a diagnosis. Unfortunately, this ‘shedding’ reduces the effectiveness of SS1P and other therapies that attempt to use mesothelin to find and target mesothelioma cells with anti-cancer drugs. Like the shed mesothelin, the anti-cancer drugs can simply end up … Continue reading Finding May Strengthen New Mesothelioma Therapy »

Subtype and Stage Affect Mesothelioma Surgery Survival

Another study of mesothelioma treatments has confirmed that the best candidates for aggressive therapy, including radical surgery, are those patients who are in overall good physical condition and have the epithelial subtype of mesothelioma. The new study followed 40 mesothelioma patients for at least 3 years. The goal was to evaluate what factors had the greatest impact on mesothelioma prognosis.  Each case was analyzed based on epidemiological factors, stage and subtype of mesothelioma, treatment method and complications, and other factors that influence patient survival. Statistics In keeping with the higher rate of mesothelioma in men worldwide, the ratio of men to women in the study was 13 to 1.  The average age of the patients was 55 and more than half of … Continue reading Subtype and Stage Affect Mesothelioma Surgery Survival »

Potential Mesothelioma Therapy in a Spice

The major component in the spice turmeric may help treat drug resistant pleural mesothelioma. Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit have been studying the effects of the compound, known as curcumin, on mesothelioma cells in the laboratory and in animal subjects. Their research suggests that curcumin has the power to attack mesothelioma from several angles. Pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-related malignancy of the mesothelial tissue surrounding the lungs. It is aggressive and notoriously difficult to treat. The platinum-based chemotherapy drugs often used as a first-line treatment for mesothelioma may be ineffective if the patient has a strain of the disease that is resistant to them. So far, there is no proven alternative drug therapy for these patients. Now, the … Continue reading Potential Mesothelioma Therapy in a Spice »

Photodynamic Therapy – A New Light For Mesothelioma Patients?

A system that uses intense light to destroy cancer cells might be able to enhance current mesothelioma treatments and improve survival. That’s the theory of scientists studying photodynamic light therapy (PDT) and its application for hard-to-treat mesothelioma. During PDT, cells that have been treated with a light sensitizing drug are exposed to a light source on the end of an endoscope. The light has the power to disrupt cellular functions and kill the cells. PDT is being tested as an adjuvant therapy for people who are having mesothelioma surgery. When PDT is delivered intraoperatively, tumor cells can absorb more of the light, while surrounding tissues are unaffected. Advantages of PDT Malignant mesothelioma is highly resistant to conventional therapies. Because PDT … Continue reading Photodynamic Therapy – A New Light For Mesothelioma Patients? »

Mesothelioma Virus-Based Therapy is Promising

A potential new therapy for mesothelioma could come in the form of a cancer-targeting virus that selectively destroys cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. Triggering that virus to express the antiviral protein, interferon-beta, could further enhance the immune response against the cancer, and reduce the risk of treatment side effects, according to a study of mice published in the October 1 issue of Cancer Research. The viruses used in the study are called oncolytic viruses, and their potential lies in their ability to specifically target cancer cells without harming healthy cells. “The viruses that we use have a preferential tropism for cancer cells over normal cells. That is, they replicate in mesothelioma cells much more potently than they do in … Continue reading Mesothelioma Virus-Based Therapy is Promising »

Study Reveals Mesothelioma Therapy Risks and Benefits

Treating mesothelioma aggressively with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation (trimodality therapy, or TMT) might improve survival in a small number of patients, but it may not be the best option for those with more advanced cancer. Imaging tests alone can’t identify the most appropriate candidates for surgery, and as a result, many patients may be unnecessarily undergoing a risky procedure that won’t improve their odds of survival, according to a recent study in the ANZ Journal of Surgery. David Sugarbaker, MD, of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has reported positive results from combining extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP—surgery to remove the diseased lung, as well as the diaphragm and the membrane covering the heart and lung), followed by chemotherapy and radiation. … Continue reading Study Reveals Mesothelioma Therapy Risks and Benefits »

Mesothelioma and SS1P Therapy – Some Promise

Delivering a continuous dose of a new immunotoxin therapy, SS1P, is safe and shows some effectiveness against mesothelioma and other mesothelin-positive cancers. However, the drug doesn’t appear to be any more effective when given by continuous infusion than in several intermittent doses, according to a recent study published in the journal, Clinical Cancer Research. Some types of cancer, including mesothelioma, ovarian, and squamous cell cancers, display a protein called mesothelin in larger-than-normal amounts. Researchers are using this unique characteristic to develop new treatments for these cancers. One potential new treatment, called SS1P, is an immunotoxin—an antibody attached to a toxic substance that binds to and kills mesothelin-positive cancer cells like mesothelioma. “SS1P contains an antibody fragment which binds to mesothelin … Continue reading Mesothelioma and SS1P Therapy – Some Promise »