• Mesothelioma trial suggests immunotherapy as an alternative to chemotherapy
    September 30, 2019
    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.
  • Combination immunotherapy improves survival in mouse models of mesothelioma
    April 2, 2018
    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.
  • Subset of carbon nanotubes poses cancer risk similar to asbestos in mice
    November 6, 2017
    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.
  • Rare genetic cause of peritoneal mesothelioma points to targeted therapy
    September 14, 2017
    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.
  • First immunotherapy for mesothelioma on the horizon, early research suggests
    June 5, 2017
    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 shows promise in treatment of mesothelioma
    March 20, 2017
    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.
  • Active agent from the Caribbean sea cucumber could improve treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma
    October 24, 2016
    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.
  • New study challenges assumption of asbestos' ability to move in soil
    August 19, 2016
    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.
  • Mesothelioma surgery improves quality of life, study finds
    June 9, 2016
    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.
  • New drug hope for mesothelioma
    March 14, 2016
    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.
  • New genetic insights into mesothelioma
    February 29, 2016
    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.
  • Mesothelioma: Aspirin may delay growth of asbestos-related cancer
    July 7, 2015
    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.
  • Immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab shows early promise for mesothelioma patients
    April 19, 2015
    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.
  • Mesothelioma in southern Nevada likely result of asbestos in environment
    February 10, 2015
    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.
  • Cancer from asbestos caused by more than one cell mutation
    December 4, 2014
    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.
  • Asbestos likely more widespread than previously thought
    October 19, 2014
    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.
  • Mesothelioma: New findings on treatment options
    September 29, 2014
    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.
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis cases linked with asbestos exposure
    September 9, 2014
    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.
  • Novel cancer vaccine holds promise against ovarian cancer, mesothelioma
    March 5, 2014
    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.
  • Radiation before surgery more than doubles mesothelioma survival
    January 20, 2014
    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: A targeted approach to asbestos-related cancer
    September 10, 2013
    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.
  • High Levels of Blood-Based Protein Specific to Mesothelioma
    October 10, 2012
    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.
  • Atypical skin mole may provide means to test for new cancer syndrome
    September 6, 2012
    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.
  • Malignant mesothelioma patients likely to benefit from drug pemetrexed identified, study suggests
    August 29, 2012
    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.
  • Mesothelioma? Scientists quantify nanofiber health risk to workers
    August 22, 2012
    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.
  • Genetic link to mesothelioma discovered
    August 28, 2011
    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.
  • Cancer-causing mineral found in U.S. road gravel: Erionite in roads may increase risk of mesothelioma
    July 25, 2011
    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.
  • Nanotubes could pose health risk to production line staff, study suggests
    June 14, 2011
    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.
  • Urgent ban on all asbestos needed, experts urge
    December 9, 2010
    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.
  • New biomarkers discovered for pancreatic cancer and mesothelioma
    September 28, 2010
    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.
  • Mystery unraveled: How asbestos causes cancer
    June 29, 2010
    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.
  • Possible vaccine for mesothelioma proven safe
    March 4, 2010
    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.
  • New agent to manage cancer related effusions
    February 3, 2010
    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.