Tag Archives: mesothelioma tumors

Updated Guidelines Aim to Advance Mesothelioma Research

The criteria for measuring treatment response in malignant pleural mesothelioma is being revised—again. Researchers are hopeful that the new criteria will improve the quality and value of mesothelioma clinical trials and move researchers closer to a cure. Researchers at the University of Chicago and the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases in Australia are proposing new modifications to the “modified RECIST” criteria by which researchers currently assess the response of mesothelioma tumors. In order for mesothelioma clinical trials to be truly valuable—and have any chance of leading to a cure—researchers must be “on the same page” in how they assess the size of mesothelioma tumors and their response to treatment. Because malignant mesothelioma is so rare, there are fewer studies … Continue reading Updated Guidelines Aim to Advance Mesothelioma Research »

Surgeons Disagree on Definition of Mesothelioma Surgery

When surgery is indicated for mesothelioma, doctors typically turn to one of two procedures: extrapleural pneumonectomy or pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). Of the two, extrapleural pneumonectomy is the most extensive and risky, involving removal of a lung, the lining of the lung, and parts of the diaphragm. Though somewhat controversial, this mesothelioma surgery is well-defined in most centers. In contrast, a new study finds that surgeons vary widely in their definition of pleurectomy/decortication. To get a better understanding of what mesothelioma surgeons mean when referring to P/D, members of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the International Mesothelioma Interest Group conducted a web-based survey of 62 surgeons from 39 medical centers who had performed at least one mesothelioma … Continue reading Surgeons Disagree on Definition of Mesothelioma Surgery »

Making Mesothelioma Cells More Susceptible to Chemotherapy

A potential new mesothelioma drug may have moved a step closer to gaining mainstream acceptance for use in sick patients. Doctors studying the drug say they have found a way to make cells more susceptible to its damaging effects. GDC-0980, also known as Apitolisib, is a class I inhibitor of two cell signaling pathways – P13 and mTOR – both of which play critical roles in regulating the life cycle of cells, including mesothelioma cells. Because mesothelioma is so difficult to treat with standard chemotherapy drugs, researchers around the world are exploring ways to improve treatment by manipulating the vital signaling pathways inside mesothelioma cells. Now, doctors at cancer research centers in the US, the UK, and Switzerland say they … Continue reading Making Mesothelioma Cells More Susceptible to Chemotherapy »

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 »

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 »

Study Finds Genes May Influence Site of Mesothelioma Tumors

An analysis of chromosomal abnormalities in people with malignant mesothelioma finds that genes may play a significant role in determining where mesothelioma develops in the body. Mesothelioma is an aggressive malignancy primarily associated with exposure to asbestos dust. It’s most common site is on the pleura, the membrane that surrounds the lungs. The second most common site for mesothelioma tumors – accounting for about 30% of cases – is the peritoneal membrane that lines the abdomen. A number of studies in recent years have suggested that, like many other types of cancer, mesothelioma also has a genetic component and people with certain kinds of abnormalities may be more prone to develop it. Now, a new study conducted by Japanese pathologists … Continue reading Study Finds Genes May Influence Site of Mesothelioma Tumors »

Treatment Uses Herpes Virus to Shrink Mesothelioma Tumors

Herpes Virus Cell Structure

Researchers at a hospital in Sheffield, England are testing a potential new mesothelioma treatment based on the same virus that causes herpes. The small-scale trial is the first in the world to test the modified herpes simplex virus, HSV1716, in human mesothelioma patients. HSV1716 has been genetically engineered to infect and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. In laboratory studies on mesothelioma and some other cancers, it has been shown to be effective at shrinking tumors while causing limited toxicity. Just as significantly, HSV1716 increased survival rates among mice with various human cancers. The Phase I/II trial at Sheffield Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre is the next stage in development of HSV1716 as a viable mesothelioma treatment. The goal of … Continue reading Treatment Uses Herpes Virus to Shrink Mesothelioma Tumors »

High Dose Radiation: Viable for Mesothelioma?

Radiation therapy may be a better option for mesothelioma than it used to be – especially when it is delivered using advanced targeting technology. That is the message presented recently to thousands of the world’s lung cancer specialists at the European Lung Cancer Conference by a team of Australian researchers. Observing that many mesothelioma patients are not candidates for surgery and chemotherapy provides poor local control with serious toxicities, Dr. Malcolm Fiegen and his team analyzed the effectiveness of high dose radiation treatments for mesothelioma patients from 2003 to 2011. In the past, high-dose radiation has often been dismissed as a viable treatment option for mesothelioma because the irregular shape of mesothelioma tumors made it difficult to avoid toxic overdoses to healthy … Continue reading High Dose Radiation: Viable for Mesothelioma? »

Mesothelioma Vaccine Jump Starts Immunity

Scientists studying a vaccine for mesothelioma have published some of their most important preliminary data in the respected medical journal Lung Cancer. Mesothelioma, a cancer of the organ linings caused by asbestos exposure, is highly resistant to conventional treatments.  Not only does it grow quickly, but its shape makes detection and removal difficult. Unlike some other types of solid tumors which may grow in a mass, mesothelioma tumors tend to spread out in a sheet-like formation across membranes. The UK scientists have been experimenting with a new method for targeting and destroying mesothelioma tumors, regardless of their shape. 5T4 is an antigen overexpressed by several kinds of cancer cells. The researchers tested for 5T4 in mesothelioma cells taken from 11 lab-grown cell … Continue reading Mesothelioma Vaccine Jump Starts Immunity »

Harnessing T-Cells to Fight Mesothelioma

Cancer researchers in Australia are harnessing the power of disease-fighting T-cells in the ongoing battle with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a virulent cancer of the membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the abdomen. The response of the body’s immune system to mesothelioma and other cancers is complex. Mesothelioma tumors in mice and people produce large numbers of Regulatory (Treg) T cells. While Treg cells are typically thought of as one of the body’s ways of fighting disease, the latest research suggests that, in some cases, turning these cells ‘off’ might be more effective against cancer than letting them do their job. In the newest study of Treg cells, they were shown to act as important “mediators” of the body’s anti-tumor … Continue reading Harnessing T-Cells to Fight Mesothelioma »