Calling it a “new era” for malignant pleural mesothelioma, doctors from four of the nation’s top cancer centers have just published an update on treatment options for this rare disease. The article was prepared by mesothelioma experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, NYU Langone Medical Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology highlights the recent FDA approvals of a new medical device and a new immunotherapy combination for pleural mesothelioma. The authors say these and other advances are “generating momentum” to find better mesothelioma therapies. Tumor Treating Fields Changing the Game Pleural mesothelioma is fast-growing and difficult to treat. Mesothelioma rarely responds … Continue reading Treatment Options Improving in the ‘New Era’ for Mesothelioma
Italian researchers say lung-sparing surgery can lead to long-term mesothelioma survival, even if surgeons take a more conservative approach. Lung-sparing surgery for mesothelioma is also known as pleurectomy with decortication (P/D). P/D surgery is less extensive than the other main surgical approach for mesothelioma but it is also less risky. Now, doctors at Venice-Mestre Hospital say that, as long as it is performed early enough and combined with other treatments, lung-sparing surgery saves lives. Their report in the Journal of Thoracic Disease details the outcomes of 155 mesothelioma surgery patients tracked for a median of a year-and-a-half. Extrapleural Pneumonectomy & Lung-Sparing Surgery Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) is the most radical operation for pleural mesothelioma. In addition to removing the mesothelioma tumor … Continue reading Lung-Sparing Surgery and Mesothelioma Survival
New evidence suggests that second-line treatment with ramucirumab after first-line chemotherapy may lead to longer survival in people with pleural mesothelioma. Researchers in Italy recently published results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the drug. Ramucirumab inhibits a protein mesothelioma tumors need to form new blood vessels. The study included 161 pleural mesothelioma patients from across Italy. Researchers gave half of them second-line treatment with ramucirumab and another drug called gemcitabine. The other half had second-line treatment with gemcitabine alone. Results showed the ramucirumab group lived more than six months longer than those who got only gemcitabine. Few Options for Recurrent Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer with few good treatment options. Most patients start with chemotherapy with Alimta. … Continue reading Second-Line Treatment with Ramucirumab Improves Mesothelioma Survival
A new published study suggests that peritoneal mesothelioma patients treated at academic medical centers survive much longer than those who get their care at community hospitals. The study was conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer of abdominal membranes. There is no known cure. The new study compared outcomes and survival among more than 2,600 mesothelioma patients. Patients were treated at high-volume academic hospitals or community cancer centers. The results suggest that academic medical centers consistently provide more advanced and potentially life-extending care for this complex cancer. Experience is Critical for Mesothelioma Care Malignant mesothelioma is the name for cancers that occur on internal membranes. It … Continue reading Academic Medical Centers Extend Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survival
A recent study found no link between mesothelioma survival and exposure to pleural fluid. But that does not necessarily mean the link doesn’t exist. Pleural fluid is also called pleural effusions or “water on the lungs”. It is extra fluid that builds up around the lungs. It is common in people with heart failure, kidney or liver disease, pleural mesothelioma and some other kinds of cancer. Pleural effusions are usually treated as an uncomfortable mesothelioma symptom. Draining the fluid can help patients breathe easier. But researchers at Oxford University wondered whether the pleural fluid itself could shorten mesothelioma survival. In this study, the answer appears to be no. But the researchers warn this may not be the final word on … Continue reading Does Pleural Fluid Exposure Affect Mesothelioma Survival?
The news just keeps getting better for the virus-based immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102. Norweigian drug maker Targovax recently released the final survival data from a two-year study of ONCOS-102 in people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Eighteen months into the study, it looked like some of the patients on the immunotherapy treatment would live longer than two years. Now that the ONCOS-102 study has passed the two year mark, researchers say median survival may be even longer. Average survival is a year or less on standard mesothelioma therapies. This makes the news about ONCOS-102 especially exciting. Standard of Care Versus Immunotherapy Treatment Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive malignancy with a poor prognosis. Even patients in overall good health face a grim outlook. … Continue reading Immunotherapy Treatment ONCOS-102: News Keeps Getting Better
Mesothelioma patients with higher levels of the PD-L1 protein in their tumor cells have worse overall survival compared to those with lower levels. But that may not be true for patients who have immunotherapy. That news comes from a new European study of more than 200 patients. PD-L1 and its partner protein PD-1 (found in immune system cells) are popular targets for new immunotherapy drugs. But the new study aimed to find out if they impact mesothelioma survival independently of immunotherapy. The team concluded the PD-L1 protein may shorten lifespan. PD-1 does not seem to have the same effect. Pleural Mesothelioma and the PD-L1 Protein Pleural mesothelioma is an intractable cancer of the lung lining. It often leads to poor … Continue reading Higher PD-L1 Protein May Predict Shorter Mesothelioma Survival
A comparison of chemotherapy alone versus surgery-based tri-modality treatment for mesothelioma shows patients who take the more aggressive path tend to live much longer. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer with a poor prognosis. Many patients die within a year of diagnosis. Chemotherapy is the most common treatment. But chemotherapy alone is rarely enough to stop this aggressive cancer. Tri-modality mesothelioma treatment combines several different types of therapies. The goal is to attack mesothelioma from different angles. Now, a new study suggests that patients who go this route triple their survival over those who choose more conservative treatment. Surgery-Based Tri-Modality Mesothelioma Treatment Pleural mesothelioma is a fast-growing malignancy on the lining around the lungs. It is almost always caused … Continue reading Tri-modality Mesothelioma Treatment Triples Survival Time in New Study
The best mesothelioma surgery is the one the patient can tolerate with the fewest serious side effects. That’s according to a new study from MD Anderson researchers. Their goal was to help settle the ongoing debate over which type of pleural mesothelioma surgery is most effective. Both EPP and P/D surgery are major operations. But one causes much more serious side effects than the other. So how do doctors and patients decide on the best mesothelioma surgery for their case? The new research suggests there may not be a definitive answer. Debate Over the Best Mesothelioma Surgery Pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-linked cancer of the membrane around the lungs. During EPP (extrapleural pneumonectomy) surgery, doctors remove this membrane, any other … Continue reading Study Asks What is the Best Mesothelioma Surgery?
The makers of the immunotherapy treatment ONCOS-102 have released promising new data on its ability to promote long-term mesothelioma survival. The report came less than two weeks after ONCOS-102 got FDA approval to fast-track its development. ONCOS-102 is an investigational treatment made from a modified virus. The virus helps the treatment target mesothelioma cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The new long-term mesothelioma survival data shows half of people on ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy have lived for 21 months. And the study is not over yet. Typical survival with standard mesothelioma chemotherapy is about a year. Targovax says the data shows how valuable ONCOS-102 could be for patients with this rare but aggressive malignancy. Standard of Care for Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival with ONCOS-102