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Articles Posted in Mesothelioma Medical

A recently published study by Japanese researchers appears to show that a novel type of cancer immunotherapy helped shrink tumors in lab mice, which could bode as a promising treatment for mesothelioma cancer and other serious types of cancers. The study examined the use of near-infrared photoimmunotherapy, a type of technology that uses a chemical to make some cells more sensitive to light and then targets the cancer cells with focused light beams.

Through the course of their study, the Japanese team exploited certain proteins which mesothelioma tumors overexpress. By targeting these proteins with the photoimmunty treatments, researchers were able to shrink the size of the mesothelioma tumors in the mice studied. Furthermore, when the tumor cells exploded, the lab subject’s immune system was able to identify the remaining cancer cell tissues as foreign bodies and attack them in response to destroy the cancer.

Researchers believe that by using a combination of surgery to remove the tumor and photoimmunotherapy to destroy remaining tumor cells, doctors can make great strides in treating cancer. While surgery and chemotherapy have been the traditional methods used to treat mesothelioma, various types of immunotherapy have shown great promise to treat mesothelioma and other forms of aggressive cancers.

A recent study published by an international team of researchers examined the safety and efficacy of radiation treatments for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in pleural lining of their lungs, known as pleural mesothelioma. In their study, the radiation oncology experts determined that proton therapy for mesothelioma cancer of the lungs may be a safer alternative to standard radiotherapy using photons to kill the tumor cells in the patient’s organs.

Commissioned on behalf of the International Particle Therapy Co-operative Group (PTCOG) Thoracic Subcommittee, the study outlines that radiation therapy for mesothelioma “remains challenging, as normal tissue toxicity limits the amount of radiation that can be safely delivered to the pleural surfaces, especially radiation dose to the contralateral lung.” What this means is that patients can only tolerate only so much of the radiation treatment to kill tumor cells before the healthy tissue surrounding the cancer also becomes affected.

According to their analysis, the researchers found that proton therapy resulted in more healthy tissue being spared from the harmful side effects of radiation therapy. As compared to photon radiation therapy, patients require a much more dramatic reduction in the dose of the treatment to surrounding tissue, which results in better outcomes for that healthy tissue. The researchers note that changes to the patient’s condition, with respect to migration of the disease to other organs in the body, could present challenges to providing the optimal dose of proton therapy to the patient.

A recent study by U.S. researchers has found that despite projections, pleural mesothelioma diagnosis rates would decline early this century, the data analyzed over a 10-year period suggests that diagnosis rates have remained steady. Fortunately, the data looked at also suggests that survival rates of pleural mesothelioma patients have improved and those with this form of the cancer are living longer lives than those in previous generations.

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The disease commonly affects the thin linings of tissue surrounding vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and abdominal cavity. Mesothelioma cancers which affect the lungs are known as pleural mesothelioma, as they affect the pleural linings of the lungs.

In their study, researchers at the Taussig Cancer Center at the Cleveland Clinic looked at data from almost 21,000 pleural mesothelioma from 2004 to 2014 provided to them by the National Cancer Database. Some of the main focus of the study looked into the incidence rates, types of treatment available, and survival rates of pleural mesothelioma patients across diverse demographics of gender, age, income, and medical history.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted final approval of a new brand of a chemotherapy drug already in use by oncologists to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma and advanced stage non small cell lung cancer. Starting in February 2020, doctors will be allowed to prescribe Pemfexy, a type of chemotherapy drug called pemetrexed, and provide an alternative treatment to the name brand drug Alimta.

The new chemotherapy works as an injection, which is combined with cisplatin for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma whose disease is unresectable or who are otherwise ineligible for curative surgery in combination with cisplatin. This new type of pemetrexed injection was already tentatively approved for use by the FDA in 2017 after the agency determined that the drug met all required quality, safety, and efficacy standards.

However, patients in the United States were not eligible to receive the treatment because the company that holds the patent for the standard pemetrexed treatment held patent protections on the product. Now, with a settlement agreement between the two sides, Eagle pharmaceuticals will be able to bring limited supplies of Pemfexy beginning in February 2020 and uncapped entry in April 2020.

A recent Duke University study published in The American Journal of Surgical Pathology examined hundreds of women diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma, looking to an analyzing trends among the group which could eventually shed light on new treatment and detection methods. One of the key findings in the mesothelioma cancer study found that women with objective markers were diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma and that their average age of diagnosis was older compared to those diagnosed with another common type of the cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma.

The mesothelioma cancer study, which was a continuation study of an ongoing study by Duke University, examined 354 female mesothelioma patients of which the overwhelmingly majority were known to have been exposed to asbestos. The authors state that this exposure came from household contact, primarily from a family member who would have been exposed to asbestos fibers in an industrial setting. Of those studied, 275 patients had a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis which corresponds to linings of tissue surrounding the lungs and 79 cases were those of peritoneal mesothelioma which affects tissue linings around the abdominal cavity.

The researchers found that survival rates were longer for those with epithelial subtypes of peritoneal mesothelioma, though their average age of diagnosis was younger at 52 years of age compared to 62 years of age for those diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Further, researchers found that tremolite asbestos was a common form of the mineral which the patients were exposed to, followed by amphibole asbestos – considered one of the most deadly forms of the mineral. Some of these types of asbestos are found in cosmetics products such as talcum powder.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it will host a public forum discussing the methods used to test for asbestos fibers in talc-based products, as well as the terminology and criteria that can be used to measure the carcinogen in consumer products. During that forum, the FDA will discuss preliminary recommendations from the Interagency Working Group on Asbestos in Consumer Products (IWGAC)—an interagency working group formed in 2018 to support the development of standardized testing methods for asbestos and other harmful particles.

The purpose of the IWGAC is to address the terminology and definitions of asbestos, recommend improvements for measuring asbestos in talc-based products, and recommend testing standards to test these products. The FDA forum comes two-years after the agency first began investigating reports of asbestos in talcum powder products, during which time it tested 50 such products and confirmed the presence of asbestos in some. One of those examinations in October 2019 revealed the presence of asbestos fibers in a lot of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, which caused the company to voluntarily recall 33,000 bottles of the iconic product.

Specifically, the IWGAC recommends adopting the term elongate mineral particles (EMP) to be “any mineral particle with a minimum aspect ratio of 3:1,” as to resolve ambiguity and disagreement of asbestos vs non-asbestos identification. Testing laboratories report all EMP having a length of over 500 nm and that testing methods specify reportable EMP identified as certain types of asbestos.

A recent study conducted by an international team of pathologists has reportedly identified a new protein which is often found in the tumor cells of patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of lung cancer which commonly affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs. With the discovery, researchers hope that doctors can make a more accurate prognosis for their patients and craft more effective and targeted treatment options to help these individuals live longer, more comfortable lives.

Published in The Journal of Pathology, the study found that the presence of protein CD70 correlates with a worse prognosis in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma through immune evasion and enhanced invasiveness. The study was led by researchers at Aichi Medical University School of Medicine in Nagakute, Japan, with contributions from doctors based in the U.S., Poland, and Germany.

In the paper, the authors determined that about 20% of the mesothelioma tumor cells examined showed high levels of the CD70 protein, which resulted in a median survival of only six and a half months compared to a survival rate of a year and a half for patients without the over expression of the protein. Researchers believe these findings may explain the significant differences in survival periods between patients with the disease. The same protein has been studied in other serious forms of cancer, including certain types of kidney cancers and brain cancers.

When patients are diagnosed with a debilitating disease such as cancer, their focus often immediately shifts towards whether or not they will require surgery to treat the disease and what, if any, are the least invasive and most effective treatment options. Some forms of cancer can be treated without surgery, using radiation or chemotherapy, if caught in the early stages, while others leave patients with limited treatment options that may leave surgery as the only course of action.

A recent European study compared surgical treatments in patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer affecting the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs. The researchers compared data of two types of treatments performed from 1999 through 2018, pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) and extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) to see if patients fared better with one treatment over the other in terms of survival.

Mesothelioma has a particularly long latency period, which is the time between exposure to a carcinogen and when a diagnosis is actually made. The disease’s latency period can be anywhere from 20 years to 50 years, which can leave patients with especially limited treatment options and make surgery the only treatment available to prolong the individual’s lifespan.

A new scientific report by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests a strong and credible link between the use of asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products and developing malignant mesothelioma. The case study was published in the organization’s Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, looking into the cases of 33 patients confirmed to have malignant mesothelioma and whose only known exposure to asbestos may have come from using tainted talcum powder in cosmetic products.

All of the patients in the study are involved in talcum powder cancer lawsuits against cosmetics companies. The authors went into greater detail on the conditions of six patients who underwent tissue analysis showing asbestos fibers consistent with those that would be found in contaminated talcum powder. The study’s authors pointed out that the asbestos fibers discovered were not consistent with the types of asbestos fibers which would be found in industrial settings, such as insulation or other building materials.

The report is just the latest in a series of bad news for Johnson & Johnson, which currently faces an estimated 14,000 talcum powder cancer lawsuits accusing the company of knowingly manufacturing and marketing dangerous talc-based products. Thus far, juries in state and federal courts have awarded plaintiffs over $5 billion in combined compensation in trials against Johnson & Johnson, which continues to litigate cases and deny responsibility for any wrongdoing.

A pair of recent studies suggest that a certain treatment may be able to help treat mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that often affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs, but may also affect other parts of the body. The treatment, called talc pleurodesis, is a surgical procedure to help prevent pleural effusions, which is when fluid builds around the lungs, making it hard for the patient to breathe and allow the disease to spread.

In a recent study published by the Journal of Thoracic Disease, researchers found that the procedure improves survival rates of patients better than some other lung fluid treatments. The results further suggest that the treatment, which is less invasive than others, may be a better quality of life option than more aggressive surgery to remove tumors surrounding the lungs.

The study, conducted by Dr. Emanuela Taioli of the Institute of Translational Epidemiology at Ichan, examined almost 50 other studies focused on the survival rates of patients who underwent talc pleurodesis compared to those who underwent surgery. Research showed that on average, the survival rate of patients treated with talc pleurodesis was 14 months, compared to 17 months for those who underwent invasive surgery, like pleurectomy and decortication, and 24 months for even more aggressive surgeries like extrapleural pneumonectomy.

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