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?
A form of highly-targeted radiation therapy for mesothelioma is better than it used to be, but is still risky. That is the message of a recent article on intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Author Kenneth E. Rosenzweig, MD, a Radiation Oncologist with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, reviewed recent studies on IMRT and mesothelioma. He concludes that, while the “troubling toxicity” associated with IMRT when it was first introduced has not been entirely eliminated, the fact that clinicians now have more experience with it is making a positive difference for mesothelioma patients. Before targeted therapies like IMRT were available, high-dose radiation was not usually a feasible option for mesothelioma since the irregular shape … Continue reading Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma: Better But Still Limited
Doctors at a cancer research facility in Germany have recently tested a new way to help clinicians plan and predict outcomes for mesothelioma patients who have radiotherapy. One of the most difficult aspects of treating mesothelioma is creating an individualized treatment plan from the few available treatment options. Because mesothelioma tends to grow rapidly – often claiming lives within a year of diagnosis – it is crucial that doctors quickly choose the therapy combination that is most likely to produce results. Doctors investigating a new prognostic computer program at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg say the program produces a visual representation that may make mesothelioma treatment planning easier. Using population-based dose response curves and the prescribed dose as the common … Continue reading New Program May Predict Mesothelioma Radiotherapy Response
A method for targeted delivery of radiotherapy may be safer than conventional radiotherapy for slowing the spread of malignant pleural mesothelioma in patients who have had surgery. Mesothelioma is a virulent cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Although it can take up to 40 year to develop, when it does, it often spreads quickly across the mesothelium which surrounds the lungs. For most patients, prognosis is poor unless the spread of mesothelioma can be slowed down or stopped. Some patients undergo a surgical procedure called pleurectomy/decortication to remove the diseased pleural lining and as much of the cancerous tissue as possible from the lungs or chest wall. The concern following any cancer surgery is that the cancer can re-grow from cells that … Continue reading New Radiotherapy Preserves Healthy Lung in Mesothelioma