German Mesothelioma Study Has Surprising Result
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German Mesothelioma Study Has Surprising Result

More invasive surgery doesn’t necessarily improve survival in patients with pleural mesothelioma. A less invasive approach is just as safe and effective, and it helps patients stay healthy enough to undergo additional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, according to a study published online September 16 in the journal, Lung Cancer. Because individual treatments have not had much success against mesothelioma, triple therapy including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation has emerged as the treatment of choice. Surgeons can choose from several different types of procedures, including extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or pleurectomy/decortication (P/D). However, no official guidelines exist to help them make the decision. “There aren’t prospective, randomized trials comparing different surgical options,” explains Servet Bölükbas, MD, PhD, a surgeon at Dr. Horst Schmidt…

Mesothelioma Triple Therapy Found Safe and Effective
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Mesothelioma Triple Therapy Found Safe and Effective

An aggressive treatment strategy that begins with chemotherapy, followed by surgery, and then radiation is a safe and effective option for many mesothelioma patients, according to a recent study in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Mesothelioma traditionally hasn’t responded well to just one treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation). In the early 1990s, Dr. David Sugarbaker of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported on the use of combining therapies. When he treated mesothelioma patients with extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP—surgery to remove the diseased lung, as well as the diaphragm and the membrane covering the heart and lung), followed by chemotherapy and radiation, the results were promising. Researchers at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, Washington, tried to replicate this triple-treatment…

Mesothelioma Survival Improved by Adding Heated Chemotherapy to Surgery
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Mesothelioma Survival Improved by Adding Heated Chemotherapy to Surgery

Delivering a high dose of heated chemotherapy directly into the chest and abdomen during mesothelioma surgery improves patients’ survival without compromising their safety, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. The researchers say their results provide real evidence that adding chemotherapy or other drugs to surgery could improve the outcome for mesothelioma patients, particularly those with early-stage cancers. “The exciting thing about this is that a new platform for therapy has been established,” says lead author David J. Sugarbaker, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Any potentially effective therapy is good news to mesothelioma researchers, because this cancer has traditionally been…

Mesothelioma Treatment Research
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Mesothelioma Treatment Research

Mesothelioma treatment today is basically made up three options: surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. More targeted therapies that address the biological factors triggering mesothelioma growth might be a much more precise and effective way to combat this difficult-to-treat cancer, according to a recent article in Connective Tissue Research. Mesothelioma is so challenging to treat because it is often diagnosed at a late stage, and because it can take many biological forms. Current mesothelioma treatments were originally designed for other types of cancers, without considering factors that may be specific to mesothelioma. That may be why many patients only partially respond to treatment, and the average survival is just 12 months after diagnosis. The key to prolonging the lives of mesothelioma patients…