Patients with mesothelioma may gain similar benefit from immunotherapy as chemotherapy, and good responders may provide important clues to novel treatment for the thousands of new cases each year. New data highlight the need to understand the biological mechanisms whereby mesothelioma, which is incurable, adapts to immunotherapy in some patients but not in others, resulting in variations in treatment response.
A chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy that targets the protein mesothelin showed no evidence of major toxicity and had antitumor activity in patients with malignant pleural disease from mesothelioma, according to new results.
Investigators have found that combined treatment with two cancer immunotherapy drugs -- one a novel immune modulator and one that focuses and activates the anti-tumor immune response -- significantly prolonged survival in mouse models of the aggressive cancer malignant mesothelioma.
Researchers have shown for the first time in mice that long and thin nanomaterials called carbon nanotubes may have the same carcinogenic effect as asbestos: they can induce the formation of mesothelioma. The findings were observed in 10 percent -- 25 percent of the 32 animals included in the study, which has not yet been replicated in humans.
Investigators have uncovered a new genetic cause of mesothelioma: a genetic rearrangement in the ALK gene, observed in three patients with peritoneal mesothelioma. Unlike previously known causes, this new discovery points to a potential therapeutic approach for those few patients whose tumors harbor the mutation.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma or MPM is a rare cancer, but its incidence has been rising. This cancer is usually associated with asbestos exposure, and patients have a median life expectancy of only 13-15 months. All patients relapse despite initial chemotherapy, more than 50% of them within six months after stopping treatment. There are currently no effective therapeutic options for patients with MPM.
Pembrolizumab, an antibody drug already used to treat other forms of cancer, can be effective in the treatment of the most common form of mesothelioma, according to a new study. The work is the first to show a positive impact from checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy drugs on this disease.
Patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) treated with a combination of surgery to remove the cancer but save their lung, plus photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy, had a median survival of nearly three years, with a subset of patients living longer than seven years, according to new research.
Researchers have discovered a new option for treating malignant pleural mesothelioma. For the first time in the world, they were able to show in a preclinical study, both in the cell culture and in the animal model, that trabectedin, a chemotherapy drug that is already successfully used for other types of cancer, is also effective against malignant pleural mesothelioma. The active agent originally occurs in the Caribbean sea cucumber, a marine-dwelling tunicate.
A new study challenges the long-held belief that asbestos fibers cannot move through soil. The findings have important implications for current remediation strategies aimed at capping asbestos-laden soils to prevent human exposure of the cancer-causing material.
Many mesothelioma patients avoid surgery for fear it will degrade their quality of life. But a study has found just the opposite: Patients who underwent an operation called pleurectomy and decortication (PD) generally reported their quality of life improved after surgery.
Immunotherapy with a live bacterium combined with chemotherapy demonstrated more than 90% disease control and 59% response rate in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), according to the results of a phase Ib trial.
A new drug is showing promise as a treatment for mesothelioma -- one of the most lethal cancers of all. The drug, known as HRX9, works by preventing the cancer cells from avoiding apoptosis -- the natural process by which unhealthy and damaged cells close themselves down and die.
In a comprehensive genomic analysis using more than 200 mesothelioma tumors, investigators have found previously unknown genetic alterations, including some that may be clinically actionable, as well as others that may improve diagnostics, screening and predictions about outcomes for patients.
Aspirin may help mesothelioma patients, a new study suggests. The finding could eventually give doctors and patients a potential new tool to fight against this devastating disease, which kills about 3,200 people a year nationwide, and advance knowledge of how to fight other cancers.
Genetically modified versions of patients’ own immune cells successfully traveled to tumors they were designed to attack in an early-stage trial for mesothelioma and pancreatic and ovarian cancers. The data adds to a growing body of research showing the promise of CAR T cell technology.
The PD-1 inhibitor pembrolizumab, a cancer immunotherapy drug, shrank or halted growth of tumors in 76 percent of patients with pleural mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that arises in the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, according to a new study. Patients diagnosed with the disease, which is tied to exposure to asbestos, have a median survival rate of about one year.
Malignant mesothelioma has been found at higher than expected levels in women and in individuals younger than 55 years old in the southern Nevada counties of Clark and Nye, likewise in the same region carcinogenic mineral fibers including actinolite asbestos, erionite, winchite, magnesioriebeckite and richterite were discovered. These data suggest that these elevated numbers of malignant mesothelioma cases are linked to environmental exposure of carcinogenic mineral fibers.
It has been a long held belief that tumors arising from exposure to asbestos are caused by mutations in one cell, which then produces multiple clones. This hypothesis is challenged by new research, which suggests it is caused by mutations in multiple cells.
Naturally occurring asbestos minerals may be more widespread than previously thought, with newly discovered sources now identified within the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The asbestos-rich areas are in locations not previously considered to be at risk, according to a new report. “These minerals were found where one wouldn’t expect or think to look,” said a co-researcher of the study. The naturally occurring asbestos was found in Boulder City, Nevada, in the path of a construction zone to build a multi-million dollar highway.
In the last few years the health-damaging effects of asbestos have led to an increase in pleural cancers. A new interdisciplinary research laboratory is set to lead to scientific advances in treatment.
Treating patients with high-dose radiotherapy after chemotherapy and surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma does not achieve improvements in local relapse and overall survival, according to new data from a prospective randomized phase II trial.
A common Asian spice and cancer-hampering molecules show promise in slowing mesothelioma, cancer of the lung lining linked to asbestos. Scientists demonstrate curcumin and cancer-inhibiting peptides increase a protein inhibitor that slows mesothelioma.
A proportion of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) cases may be linked with asbestos exposure, according to the results of a new study. If confirmed, the findings would mean that current treatment strategies need to be altered as people with a history of asbestos exposure are not currently able to access new treatments for IPF.
A novel approach to cancer immunotherapy may provide a new and cost-effective weapon against some of the most deadly tumors, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Investigators report that a protein engineered to combine a molecule targeting a tumor-cell-surface antigen with another protein that stimulates several immune functions prolonged survival in animal models of both tumors.
Results of clinical research that treated mesothelioma with radiation before surgery show the three-year survival rate more than doubled for study participants afflicted with this deadly disease, compared to treating with surgery first.
Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer associated with asbestos exposure, which is usually diagnosed in an advanced stage. So far no therapeutic strategy has proven effective against this deadly cancer and the prognosis remains very poor with only few exceptions.
For the first time, researchers have shown the predictive power of a group of overlooked lymph nodes that could serve as a better tool to stage and ultimately treat patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Clinical trials are key to finding new cancer treatments, but with patient participation hovering around 5 percent, new strategies are needed to boost enrollment, particularly to study the rare cancers that have so few cases.
A new targeted therapy for asbestos-related tumors has shown promise in an animal model. The results raise hopes of a new therapy for this currently incurable cancer. Malignant mesothelioma (MMs) is a rare form of cancer, most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. It tends to be diagnosed decades after exposure occurs, so is rarely caught early. Current treatments, including surgery and chemotherapy, have limited efficacy and unpleasant side effects.
Preliminary findings from the first trial of a new drug for patients with mesothelioma show that it has some success in preventing the spread of the deadly disease in patients lacking an active tumour suppressor gene called NF2.
Researchers have discovered the protein product of a little-known gene may one day prove useful in identifying and monitoring the development of mesothelioma in early stages, when aggressive treatment can have an impact on the progression of disease and patient prognosis.
Researchers have discovered germline BAP1 mutations are associated with a novel cancer syndrome characterized by malignant mesothelioma, uveal melanoma, cutaneous melanoma and atypical melanocytic tumors. Germline mutations are hereditary gene defects that are present in every cell.
Previous studies have hypothesized that low levels of the enzyme thymidylate synthase (TS) likely mark patients who will benefit from the drug pemetrexed – but results have been inconclusive at best and at times contradictory. A new study provides an explanation why: Only in combination with high levels of a second enzyme, FPGS, does low TS predict response to pemetrexed in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Health risks posed to people who work with tiny fibers used in manufacturing industries could be reduced, thanks to new research. Research into the health risks posed by nanofibers – used to strengthen objects from tennis rackets to airplane wings – has pinpointed the lengths at which these fibers are harmful to the lungs.
Scientists have found that individuals who carry a mutation in a gene called BAP1 are susceptible to developing two forms of cancer -- mesothelioma, and melanoma of the eye. Additionally, when these individuals are exposed to asbestos or similar mineral fibers, their risk of developing mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen, is markedly increased.
Vehicles traveling along gravel roads in Dunn County, North Dakota stir up clouds of dust containing high levels of the mineral erionite. Those who breathe in the air every day are at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, new research shows. Erionite shares similar physical similarities with asbestos and when airborne, its fibers can lodge in people's lungs. Over time, the embedded fibers can lead to mesothelioma, a lung cancer most often associated with asbestos.
Tiny fibers used to strengthen everyday products such as bicycle frames and hockey sticks could pose health hazards to those involved in their manufacture. Certain types of carbon nanotubes -- cylindrical molecules about one-thousandth of the width of a human hair -- could cause cancer in the lining of the lung, researchers have found.
An alarming new article issues a serious warning of massive rises in deaths from asbestos-related lung diseases in Asia. Asian countries accounted for 64% of the global consumption of asbestos in the period of 2001-2007, a striking increase from 14% between 1920 and 1970. This is a result of unregulated asbestos import and use in many Asian countries.
Pleural mesothelioma patients who undergo lung-sparing surgery in combination with photodynamic therapy (PDT) show superior overall survival than patient treated using the conventional therapy of extrapleural pneumonectomy (or en bloc removal of the lung and surrounding tissue) with PDT, indicates new research.
Researchers have investigated a novel protein test to detect early-stage, asbestos-related pulmonary cancer. The test can accurately identify proteins secreted from cancerous tumors caused by asbestos exposure.
New data shows that people exposed to the mineral erionite found in the gravel of road materials in North Dakota may be at significantly increased risk of developing mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer most often associated with asbestos exposure.
Scientists have repeated calls for a total ban on all asbestos across the globe. They point out that just 52 nations have banned asbestos but a large number still use, import and export asbestos and asbestos-containing products.
Using a novel aptamer-based proteomics array technology, researchers and collaborators have identified biomarkers and protein signatures that are hallmarks of cancer at an early stage for two of the most aggressive and deadly forms of cancer -- pancreatic and mesothelioma.
More than 20 million people in the US, and many more worldwide, who have been exposed to asbestos are at risk of developing mesothelioma, a malignant cancer of the membranes that cover the lungs and abdomen that is resistant to current therapies. Moreover, asbestos exposure increases the risk of lung cancer among smokers. For the past 40 years researchers have tried to understand why asbestos causes cancer.
Researchers have demonstrated the safety of a potential vaccine against mesothelioma, a rare cancer associated primarily with asbestos exposure. The vaccine, which infuses uses a patient's own dendritic cells with antigen from the patient's tumor, was able to induce a T-cell response against mesothelioma tumors.
In the USA each year, 200,000 cancer patients suffer from a malignant pleural effusion -- development of excessive fluid (pleural effusion) in the chest. Several litres of such fluid can accumulate, and many patients suffer from significant breathlessness and distress. One in four patients with lung cancer, one in every three with breast cancer and most of the patients with mesothelioma will develop a malignant effusion. The current strategy is to induce a pleurodesis (seal the pleural cavity with a chemical agent so no fluid can accumulate). However existing agents are far from perfect, with most producing significant side effects while delivering low success rates.