In spite of a global pandemic, there were some major breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020 that made the year a hopeful one for people fighting asbestos cancer. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious illness caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma is still not curable. But researchers have made major breakthroughs in mesothelioma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment this year. Mesothelioma Treatment Advances Mesothelioma treatment saw the biggest breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020. The FDA approved the first systemic treatment for mesothelioma since 2004. That was the year that Alimta (pemetrexed) received approval. They approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy. Yervoy helps activate and proliferate T-cells. Opdivo helps existing T-cells discover the mesothelioma tumor. The patients who … Continue reading Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020
A distinguished team of scientists are calling for a national mesothelioma registry they say could improve outcomes. If the registry collects and provides the right information, they say it could even help prevent future mesothelioma cases. Experts from the CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and several top US cancer centers participated in a workshop on the topic. The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation convened the workshop. The group says existing tumor registries at some cancer centers are not as useful as a national mesothelioma registry. But coordinating a national registry will require government support. What is a Mesothelioma Registry? Malignant mesothelioma is a rare cancer which makes it hard to study. A national mesothelioma registry is … Continue reading Mesothelioma Registry Could Improve Outcomes, Prevent Future Cases
A new UK study points to some of the potential challenges and benefits for patients involved in mesothelioma clinical trials. Researchers at three teaching hospitals in England interviewed mesothelioma patients who took part in the Mesothelioma and Radical Surgery (MARS 2) trial. The trial compared outcomes in people who had a combination of surgery and chemotherapy with those who only had chemotherapy. The findings show that not all aspects of mesothelioma clinical trials are positive for patients. A Study Within a Study Pleural mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer that starts on the lining around the lungs. Asbestos exposure is usually the cause. With standard cancer treatments, most mesothelioma patients face a poor prognosis. Mesothelioma often leads to death within a … Continue reading Mesothelioma Clinical Trials: Study Highlights Challenges for Patients
A new biobank of mesothelioma cell samples in the UK is set to help advance mesothelioma research around the world. The recently-opened mesothelioma tissue bank, called MesobanK UK, will be an international resource of cells specifically for use in mesothelioma research. Mesothelioma Cell Samples and More When the biobank is complete within the next few years, it is expected to contain samples of tissue, blood and pleural fluid from 300 patients with mesothelioma as well as 26 new mesothelioma cell lines. In addition to these cells, which are vital for mesothelioma research, the biobank will also include details from the medical records of these mesothelioma patients, collected by permission. “MesobanK has been created to establish a bioresource of pleural mesothelioma … Continue reading Mesothelioma Research Gets a Boost From New Tissue Bank
New research suggests there may be a less invasive way to accurately diagnose malignant pleural mesothelioma. Right now, the gold standard for mesothelioma diagnosis is examination of suspected tumor cells under a microscope. To get those cells, doctors have to perform either an open surgery called thoracotomy or a less invasive operation called thoracoscopy using smaller incisions and a camera for guidance. But biomedical engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh say analyzing cells in the fluid around the lungs may be just as effective. Unlike diagnostic methods that use tissue samples, the pleural fluid method requires only a thoracentesis, or removal of a sample of lung fluid using a needle. To maximize the diagnostic power of fluid samples, the … Continue reading A Better Way to Diagnose Mesothelioma?
From the 1960’s to the early 90’s, Dr. Irving J. Selikoff was both renowned for his pioneering research on the dangers of asbestos, and reviled for allegedly making exaggerated claims against the asbestos industry. In their recent article, “Science is Not Sufficient: Irving J. Selikoff and the Asbestos Tragedy,” Jock McCulloch and Geoffrey Tweedale revisit Dr. Selikoff’s life, illustrating how his landmark research helped shed light on a public health tragedy. McCulloch and Tweedale, both historians with a long-term interest in the asbestos industry, decided to spotlight the late asbestos researcher because, “Nothing of any value had been written about Dr. Selikoff, despite his importance in changing public attitudes in the U.S. toward asbestos,” according to Dr. McCulloch. Their article … Continue reading Anti-Asbestos Crusader, Dr. Irving Selikoff