New research shows adjuvant radiotherapy is most likely to help pleural mesothelioma patients in the early stages of the disease. By the time mesothelioma is at Stage III or Stage IV, adjuvant radiotherapy is unlikely to improve survival. Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas conducted the study on more than 2,500 pleural mesothelioma patients. Their results appear in the most recent issue of the Journal of Thoracic Disease. The study could help mesothelioma patients and doctors make more informed choices about their care. Defining the Stages of Pleural Mesothelioma The four stages of mesothelioma relate to the severity of the cancer and how far it has spread. In Stage I mesothelioma, the tumor is confined to the pleural … Continue reading Adjuvant Radiotherapy Most Effective for Pleural Mesothelioma in Early Stages
Doctors in Pennsylvania may have found a way to boost the effectiveness of palliative radiotherapy for pleural mesothelioma. Palliative radiotherapy is used to help with mesothelioma symptoms. It uses lower doses of radiation. Doctors do not expect to treat mesothelioma with palliative radiotherapy. But researchers at the University of Pennsylvania think it could also be a treatment. They combined palliative radiotherapy with a special kind of gene therapy. The gene therapy affects the immune system. They say the combination produced a “substantial treatment response” in a man with mesothelioma. Immuno-gene Therapy and Palliative Radiotherapy Immuno-gene therapy uses genes to stimulate the immune system against cancer. In the new Pennsylvania case study, a 67-year-old man with mesothelioma received immuno-gene therapy. Doctors … Continue reading Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Produces “Substantial Treatment Response”
Italian researchers presenting at an international conference this week say the right kind of radiotherapy for mesothelioma can dramatically boost survival. Radiation oncologist Marco Trovo and his colleagues at the University Hospital of Udine conducted the new mesothelioma research. They studied 108 pleural mesothelioma patients whose tumors could not be completely removed with surgery. Pleural mesothelioma affects the membrane around the lungs and is usually fatal within a year. But in the new study, more than half of the patients who had high doses of targeted radiotherapy in just the right area were still alive two years later. In contrast, just over a quarter of the patients who had palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma lived to two years. Curative Versus Palliative … Continue reading Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Doubles Survival in New Study
The largest study ever conducted on adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma shows that it can help patients live longer. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that tends to be highly resistant to standard treatments. Doctors usually have to use a combination of treatments to attack it. These may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and/or immunotherapy. But there are still many questions about what combination of therapies to use and in what order. Adjuvant radiotherapy for mesothelioma is radiation delivered prior to surgery. Now, radiation oncology researchers in Texas say this approach can extend mesothelioma survival. Killing Mesothelioma Cells with Radiation Mesothelioma cells are hard to kill. Chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin is the most common treatment. But mesothelioma tumors usually start … Continue reading Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Extends Survival
Hypofractionated radiation for mesothelioma could change how doctors treat this rare cancer. Researchers in Toronto, Canada have been testing hypofractionated radiation in mesothelioma surgery patients. They have used it to shrink tumors before lung-removing EPP surgery. Hypofractionated radiation is faster than than standard radiation. It may also cause fewer side effects. Now, doctors want to know what else this type of radiation might be good for. They plan to test how well hypofractionated radiation works with less radical mesothelioma surgery. There is also evidence that hypofractionated radiation may strengthen mesothelioma immunotherapy treatment. Radiation Before Mesothelioma Surgery Doctors at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto ran a clinical trial called SMART. SMART stands for Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy. … Continue reading Radiation May Help Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Treatment Work Better
A radiation delivery method called tomotherapy may be more effective than conformal radiation therapy at keeping mesothelioma tumors from growing back at the original spot after surgery. That is the conclusion of UCLA researchers who compared tomotherapy and 3D conformal radiation therapy (CRT) in 45 patients with advanced pleural mesothelioma over an 8 year period. Of the forty-five consecutive patients, 23 received 3D-CRT and the other 22 received tomotherapy. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to calculate overall survival, the time it took for a tumor to start regrowing in the same place, and the time it took for metastatic tumors to start appearing outside of the treatment field. Tomotherapy and 3D-CRT are both methods of delivering radiation into a mesothelioma tumor … Continue reading Precision Radiotherapy Method May Reduce Local Recurrence of Mesothelioma After Surgery
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
European researchers have a bit of good news for patients coping with the pain that often accompanies late stage malignant pleural mesothelioma. They have found evidence that radiotherapy, which is sometimes prescribed to treat this pain, really can make a difference. The authors, including cancer researchers from both Scotland and Norway, note that, although radiation is often used to treat mesothelioma pain, there has been little research to support the practice. As part of a multi-center phase II clinical trial on the use of radiotherapy for mesothelioma pain, patients were assessed for baseline pain and other symptoms and then treated with 20 Gy of radiation in 5 daily fractions. Mesothelioma pain was evaluated at 5 weeks and again at 12 weeks … Continue reading Evidence Supports Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Pain Relief
Mesothelioma patients at risk for a serious treatment complication called procedure tract metastasis (PTM) may face a more promising prognosis when the results of a new clinical trial are in. Many mesothelioma patients undergo some type of interventional therapy, such as surgery or drainage of excess lung fluid. Unfortunately, any time an instrument is introduced into the chest of a patient with mesothelioma, there is a risk that the patient will develop new tumors along the path of the incision or catheter tract. These PTMs can not only be painful but they can also accelerate the progression of mesothelioma and make treatment more complicated. Now, a group of researchers in Great Britain have launched a new trial to determine whether giving patients some radiotherapy at the site … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Trial: Radiation for Prevention?
A new study says there is not enough evidence to support the use of radiotherapy for the treatment of pain associated with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland reviewed a range of past studies on mesothelioma pain and radiotherapy by searching databases that date back as far as 1974. To be eligible to be included in their review, the study had to focus on malignant pleural mesothelioma and radiotherapy given “with the intent of improving pain”. The study also had to report doses and fractionation of the radiotherapy and how the pain responded. In all, the researchers found eight studies on mesothelioma pain and radiotherapy that met the criteria. Two of the studies were prospective … Continue reading Does Radiotherapy Reduce Mesothelioma Pain?