Tag Archives: mesothelioma treatments

British Group Highlights Top Ten Mesothelioma Research Priorities

The potential value of immunotherapy, individualized chemotherapy, second-line treatments, and strategies for patient monitoring are among the top ten priorities for mesothelioma research according to British patients, caregivers, and clinicians. The James Lind Alliance specializes in setting priorities for health policy. The group was asked to work with the British National Institute for Health Research to study mesothelioma in the wake of sweeping mesothelioma compensation legislation in 2013. The Priority Setting Partnership brought together mesothelioma patients, caregivers, clinicians and support organizations to develop a research priority list, which was published in the latest issue of Lung Cancer. In all, 453 of the initial mesothelioma surveys were returned and refined into 52 unanswered research questions. Another 202 responders helped reduce that … Continue reading British Group Highlights Top Ten Mesothelioma Research Priorities »

Sex Hormones May Account for Better Mesothelioma Survival in Women

There’s evidence that female sex hormones may help explain the better survival rates in women with peritoneal mesothelioma. The news could open the door for a new way to treat the disease. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare form of mesothelioma that attacks the membrane around abdominal organs. Like most forms of mesothelioma, it is believed to be caused by asbestos and carries a poor prognosis. In addition to being less likely to contract mesothelioma than their male counterparts, women are also less likely to die from it quickly. Now, researchers at St. George Hospital in Sydney, Australia think they may know why. The team analyzed data on 52 consecutive peritoneal mesothelioma patients treated with cytoreductive surgery and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy … Continue reading Sex Hormones May Account for Better Mesothelioma Survival in Women »

Elderly Mesothelioma Patients Need “Less Toxic” Treatment Options

A new study of more than 9,000 people suggests that elderly mesothelioma patients would likely live longer if treatments could be found that are “less toxic” than current chemotherapy. A European team of cancer researchers analyzed mesothelioma treatment trends by location and by age group and found that younger patients are more likely to have – and to benefit from – chemotherapy for mesothelioma. Although older mesothelioma patients often have chemotherapy, too, they are more likely to die from treatment-related complications. The study focused on three countries with high mesothelioma rates – Belgium, the Netherlands, and England. It included a total of 900 mesothelioma patients from the Belgian Cancer Registry, 2309 from the Netherlands Cancer Registry, and 5808 from the … Continue reading Elderly Mesothelioma Patients Need “Less Toxic” Treatment Options »

Immunotherapy for Advanced Mesothelioma: Surgery May Be the Key

An exciting new research development may help make immunotherapy vaccines effective for more mesothelioma patients, including those with advanced disease who have not been able to benefit from these treatments. Immunotherapy works by harnessing the power of the body’s own immune system and directing it to attack cancer cells. Unfortunately, as mesothelioma tumors grow, they release increasing amounts of an immune system suppressor designed to ward off an attack. The bigger the tumor, the more powerful the immune suppression and the less effective immunotherapy drugs are likely to be. At the same time, larger mesothelioma tumors may also produce less mesothelin, a protein that can be used to help immunotherapy vaccines target cancer cells. With less mesothelin and strong immunosuppression, … Continue reading Immunotherapy for Advanced Mesothelioma: Surgery May Be the Key »

New Immune Therapies May Offer Best Hope for Mesothelioma

Immunotherapies, cancer drugs designed to alter the immune system, are emerging as one of the most hopeful methods of treating and perhaps even curing malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an almost universally fatal cancer of the membranes that surround the lungs and line the abdomen. Conventional cancer therapies, including the chemotherapy regimen that has become the standard-of-care for mesothelioma, have done little to improve survival. Even after decades of research and the development of multi-modal treatments, most mesothelioma patients still die of the disease within a year of diagnosis. But now, the outlook for this deadly cancer may finally be changing thanks to the emerging field of immunotherapy. Immunomodulators target the body’s own anti-tumor responses, effectively “turning them on” by blocking the processes (usually … Continue reading New Immune Therapies May Offer Best Hope for Mesothelioma »

IMRT for Long-Term Survival After Mesothelioma Surgery

Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can safely slow or even stop mesothelioma progression after surgery as long as the dose is just right. A team of Texas radiation oncologists reached that conclusion after studying the treatment results of 18 mesothelioma patients between 2005 and 2014. IMRT is a highly targeted form of high-dose radiation. While it can have a powerfully negative effect on tumor cells, it can also have an equally negative effect on healthy lung tissue. Some patients have even died from pulmonary toxicity caused by IMRT. But in a report published in the journal Oncology, doctors from Texas A & M Medical Sciences Center and Baylor Scott and White Hospital found that, as long as the radiation dose … Continue reading IMRT for Long-Term Survival After Mesothelioma Surgery »

New Regimen May Help Mesothelioma Patients Avoid Chemotherapy Skin Rash

A single dose of medicine prior to chemotherapy may be enough to ward off an uncomfortable side effect for mesothelioma patients, giving them one less thing to worry about prior to treatment. Doctors from four different US medical centers just released their findings on a new and potentially easier protocol for preventing pemetrexed-related skin rash. Pemetrexed (Alimta) is the most popular drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma and remains the only drug approved specifically for this rare cancer.  It is also used to treat non-small cell lung cancer. Most patients on pemetrexed experience side effects, one of which is an itchy, blistering skin rash. While the rash is not usually serious, in some rare cases it can progress and even be … Continue reading New Regimen May Help Mesothelioma Patients Avoid Chemotherapy Skin Rash »

Surgical Experience Improves Outcomes in Peritoneal Mesothelioma

When it comes to surgical intervention for peritoneal mesothelioma, the most experienced centers tend to have the best outcomes. The latest study to support this idea comes from researchers in the Peritoneal Malignancy Institute in Basingstoke, UK. The authors of the new study on peritoneal malignancies including mesothelioma published their research in the British medical journal Colorectal Disease. They performed a retrospective analysis on a database of 1,200 patients treated for peritoneal cancers since 1994. Most of these patients had a diagnosis of cancer of the appendix, but just over 5 percent had peritoneal mesothelioma. The goal of the study was to determine trends in cancer survival after cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). For peritoneal mesothelioma, the surgery involves … Continue reading Surgical Experience Improves Outcomes in Peritoneal Mesothelioma »

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 »

Immunotherapy Drug: More May be Better for Advanced Mesothelioma

The same team of Italian researchers that first reported on the safety and efficacy of the immunotherapy drug tremelimumab for mesothelioma now say that giving more of the drug might be even more effective. Tremelimumab is a monoclonal antibody that acts on a particular downregulator of the immune system called cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4). The goal of tremelimumab is to inhibit the immune system tolerance to tumors, which tends to allow them to grow unchecked. When CTLA4 is reactivated with a drug like tremelimumab, it regains its ability to attack tumors. Based on the results of their 2013 study that showed a 31% rate of disease control in patients with unresectable mesothelioma who were given tremelimumab, the team tested … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug: More May be Better for Advanced Mesothelioma »