Tag Archives: pleural mesothelioma

Nuclear Workers Face Higher Mesothelioma Risk

Pleural mesothelioma is most often associated with asbestos exposure, but a new study suggests that nuclear workers may also be at higher risk for the cancer because of long-term, low-level radiation. A new National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study pooled a group of 119,195 US nuclear workers. The workers were employed at one of four Department of Energy nuclear weapons facilities or at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. They were followed from the start of their radiation work, between 1944 and 1952, though 2005. Their risk of death from mesothelioma and other cancers was then compared to that of the general population. “For most outcomes, mortality was below expectation compared to the general population, but mesothelioma and pleural … Continue reading Nuclear Workers Face Higher Mesothelioma Risk »

Genetic Mutation Improves Mesothelioma Survival Odds

Another new study has been released that supports the idea that mesothelioma patients who are missing the tumor suppressor called BAP1 are more likely to survive longer than those who have intact BAP1 genes. The BRCA-1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) gene is located on the chromosome 3p21. Because the job of BAP1 is to help suppress cancer, a mutation that causes this gene to be inactive raises the risk that a person could get mesothelioma or another cancer. BAP1 loss has also been associated with increased risk of skin cancer, renal cell cancer and some lung and breast cancers. But there appears to be an upside to BAP1 loss. Data published in the journal Pathology suggests that mesothelioma patients with BAP1 … Continue reading Genetic Mutation Improves Mesothelioma Survival Odds »

New Delivery System May Make Popular Mesothelioma Drug More Effective

There is new evidence that an advanced method of delivering medicine directly into diseased cells could help make the world’s only FDA-approved mesothelioma drug more effective. Pemetrexed (Alimta) was approved for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma in 2004 and remains the only drug specifically for the treatment of this intractable cancer. Because of its toxicity, pemetrexed can’t be given in very high doses and usually has to be combined with another drug, such as cisplatin, when it is given to mesothelioma patients. Unfortunately, even this “gold standard” drug treatment is only effective about 40 percent of the time. But a new drug delivery system may boost the effectiveness of pemetrexed and improve outcomes for pleural mesothelioma patients.  Researchers in Egypt and … Continue reading New Delivery System May Make Popular Mesothelioma Drug More Effective »

Experimental Drug May Offer “Brilliant Hope” for Mesothelioma Treatment

HUHS1015 is a newly-synthesized analogue (chemically similar compound) of the blood pressure drug naftopidil. In the U.S., naftopidil is sold under the brand name Flivas and is also used to treat certain prostate conditions and Raynaud’s disease. In 2014, another Japanese research team published their findings on the anticancer properties of naftopidil, which appears to increase the expression of certain microRNAs associated with programmed cell death (apoptosis). In their new report on HUHS1015, scientists with the Hyogo College of Medicine and the Hyogo University of Health Sciences say the drug not only induced apoptosis in mesothelioma cells as well as naftopidil, but it also triggered necrosis, the premature death of cancer cells. According to author Tomoyuki Nishizaki and colleagues, HUHS1015 … Continue reading Experimental Drug May Offer “Brilliant Hope” for Mesothelioma Treatment »

Induction Therapies Improve Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes

An induction therapy is the first in a series of therapeutic measures, which, in the case of mesothelioma, may include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, immunotherapy or other types of experimental treatments.  Because mesothelioma is so treatment-resistant, most patients require a combination of therapies to see results, an approach that clinicians refer to as “multi-modality.” Dr. Laura Donahoe and her colleagues at Toronto Mesothelioma Research Program recently published their summary of novel induction therapies being test for pleural mesothelioma, including a new protocol that they have developed for radiotherapy prior to mesothelioma surgery. The protocol consists of accelerated hemithoracic (one side of the chest) radiation followed by lung-removing extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery. “The rationale behind this protocol is to maximize both the … Continue reading Induction Therapies Improve Mesothelioma Surgery Outcomes »

PET/CT and Mesothelioma Staging: Better Imaging Techniques are Needed

PET Scan

Scientists with the Institute of Diagnostic and interventional Radiology at the University Hospital of Zurich have just released a new study detailing the benefits and limitations of PET/CT. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique that produces three-dimensional pictures of functional processes in the body. When combined with computed tomography (CT), which uses x-rays and a computer to produce cross-sectional images, PET can give clinicians a more complete picture of cancer growth and stage. To determine the value of PET/CT in the staging of mesothelioma, the Swiss team analyzed the cases of 62 pleural mesothelioma patients who were undergoing chemotherapy prior to a planned surgery. Since the goal of this induction chemotherapy is to shrink tumors to … Continue reading PET/CT and Mesothelioma Staging: Better Imaging Techniques are Needed »

Catheter Path Tumors in Mesothelioma Patients May Be Benign

physician and colleagues

People suspected of having pleural mesothelioma often have some type of intervention that involves inserting a needle into the pleura. This can happen in order to obtain a tissue sample for diagnosis or to place a catheter to drain off fluid that can accumulate around the lungs. Unfortunately, mesothelioma patients who have these types of interventions are also prone to developing tiny tumors along the path where the needle was inserted. These tumors are usually assumed to be metastatic mesothelioma that was “seeded” by the needle, and are typically treated with targeted radiation. But doctors at the University of Western Australia say clinicians should not be too quick to treat such tumors without confirming the diagnosis with a biopsy. Dr. … Continue reading Catheter Path Tumors in Mesothelioma Patients May Be Benign »

Mesothelioma Management: Different Biomarkers Serve Different Functions

Australian researchers have attempted to settle the debate about the value of the newly proposed mesothelioma biomarker fibulin-3 compared with the gold standard biomarker mesothelin.  According to their new report in the journal Thorax, mesothelin is still the best marker for diagnosing mesothelioma but fibulin-3 is better at predicting mesothelioma outcomes. The multi-center study included 153 patients – 82 with pleural mesothelioma, 36 with other types of malignancies causing pleural effusions (excess lung fluid), and 35 with benign effusions. For comparison, the team also measured biomarker levels in the blood plasma of 49 people with non-mesothelioma asbestos-related diseases. Researchers measured mesothelin and fibulin-3 levels in both pleural effusions and blood plasma and determined that mesothelin provides the best diagnostic accuracy, … Continue reading Mesothelioma Management: Different Biomarkers Serve Different Functions »

Do Mesothelioma Doctors Rely Too Much on CT?

A team of researchers in the UK say doctors may be relying too heavily on the results of CT scans to determine which patients should have invasive biopsies for suspected pleural mesothelioma. Examining tumor cells under a microscope is currently the only way to definitively diagnose malignant pleural mesothelioma. However, because getting a cell sample means that a patient has to undergo surgery, doctors typically use non-invasive tests like CT first. CT scans have become an important part of the diagnostic process for malignant pleural mesothelioma. To see how valuable these tests really are for respiratory patients, experts from the Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine and the Lancashire Chest Centre in Preston, UK analyzed the CT scans and final diagnoses … Continue reading Do Mesothelioma Doctors Rely Too Much on CT? »

Spinal Procedure for Mesothelioma Pain Relief

Pleural mesothelioma patients with severe pain may benefit from a surgical procedure to disable certain pain-conductors in the spinal cord. The procedure, called cordotomy, is the subject of a newly-published report in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care. Cordotomy is typically performed on patients in severe pain due to cancer or other incurable diseases. It is usually done with a needle under fluoroscopic guidance. Most mesothelioma patients who undergo cordotomies have only local anesthesia. Although the procedure is sometimes offered for patients with advanced mesothelioma, evidence of its effectiveness is still limited. To get a better sense of the value of cordotomy in mesothelioma, British Researchers from the North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research at Bangor University conducted a systematic … Continue reading Spinal Procedure for Mesothelioma Pain Relief »