Posts Tagged ‘chemotherapy’

Socioeconomic status impacts mesothelioma patient outcomes

6 Feb 2017 by under Research/Treatment

Australia location map with floral 100x100 Socioeconomic status impacts mesothelioma patient outcomes Socioeconomic status has a bigger impact on mesothelioma patient prognosis than any other factor, according to a new study.

Despite each of the 910 Australian patients with who participated receiving some level of compensation for their diseases, the study found those with lower statuses on the Index of Relative Socioeconomic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD) were less likely to receive adequate treatment, according to Surviving Mesothelioma. (more…)


Inhibiting WT1 protein could reduce pleural mesothelioma’s aggressiveness

17 Jan 2017 by under Research/Treatment

Protein WT1 PDB 1xf7SMEdit 100x100 Inhibiting WT1 protein could reduce pleural mesotheliomas aggressiveness A team of German and Japanese researchers believe they have discovered a protein linked to the chemoresistance of malignant tumors.

Mesothelioma Research News reports the study, published in Pathology & Oncology Research at the beginning of the year, has linked the WT1 protein to the survival of malignant (MPM). (more…)


Study: Chemotherapy, combination treatments add time to life expectancies of mesothelioma patients

21 Nov 2016 by under Research/Treatment

research test tubes 100x100 Study: Chemotherapy, combination treatments add time to life expectancies of mesothelioma patientsFor those diagnosed with mesothelioma, treatment is usually based on the stage and type of the cancer.

Recent study results show that and multimodal treatment — using multiple methods of treatment, specifically the combination of chemotherapy and surgery — results in longer life expectancy in patients with mesothelioma. (more…)


Australian doctor researching radiotherapy for treatment of pleural mesothelioma

9 Feb 2010 by under News, Research/Treatment

DrMalcolmFeigen 100x100 Australian doctor researching radiotherapy for treatment of pleural mesothelioma One of the many mesothelioma community members on Facebook posted a question today about a clinical trial being conducted at the Mesothelioma Center, located at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. MyMeso discussed this clinical trial in a July post. The clinical trial is a program of targeted radiation and protocol for pleural mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lung’s lining almost always caused by asbestos. In response to the Facebook thread, meso survivor and awareness advocate (read: warrior) Debbie Brewer, who many of you know from her story and updates here (thanks Debbie!), mentioned a similar study currently ongoing in Australia.

Debbie provided a link to a story published in November 2009 by ABC News that outlines the work of specialists at in Victoria. The treatment, spearheaded by Dr. Malcolm Feigen, a radiation oncologist at the Centre, uses high doses of radiotherapy, concentrated on specific areas of the lining of the lungs to target mesothelioma tumors.

According to the ABC report, 13 patients participated in a pilot program to test this new targeted radiotherapy treatment. Most had some surgery prior to the radiotherapy treatment, and some also had chemotherapy before or after the treatment, although Dr. Feigen believes the patients showed the most benefit primarily as a result of the radiotherapy regimen.

Participants in the U.S. clinical trial at the Mesothelioma Center receive a multi-modality therapy that incorporates surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy in combination.

Listen to the interview with Dr. Feigen about the Australian research, which was broadcast on ABC’s AM morning current affairs program.


Alimta developer to be inducted into Chemistry Hall of Fame

1 Jan 2010 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

edward taylor 100x100 Alimta developer to be inducted into Chemistry Hall of FamePrinceton University announced Edward Taylor, its A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Organic Chemistry Emeritus, will be inducted into the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2010. Additionally, Taylor has been inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame and was selected to receive the 2010 Alfred Burger Award in Medicinal Chemistry from the ACS. Taylor was instrumental in the development of Alimta, a drug manufactured by and approved for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 2004.

Taylor was recently honored for his accomplishments at the Celebrate Princeton Invention reception, held Dec. 18. He developed Alimta in partnership with scientists at Eli Lilly and Co.  after spending more than 40 years on the Princeton faculty. However, he began research that would lead to the mesothelioma drug’s development while a graduate student at Cornell University.

According to a Princeton news release, Taylor became fascinated by reports of a compound obtained from spinach and liver that had a unique chemical structure with a nucleus previously only observed in the pigments of butterfly wings. The compound from liver, now known as folic acid, he found was essential for the synthesis of DNA and RNA, and for the growth of cells.  Taylor observed that changes to the structure of folic acid could transform it from a growth-promoting to a growth-inhibiting compound, and dedicated his career to determine how it could be used to kill cancer cells.

Since its approval by the FDA in 2004, the drug has received three additional FDA approvals, most recently in July when it became the first approved for use as a maintenance therapy for patients with locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer. Alimta has been successful in improving the quality of life and extending the lifespan of millions of cancer patients in nearly 100 countries around the world.

Taylor has previously been honored with the ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award, the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry Senior Award in Heterocyclic Chemistry, and the Research and Development Council of New Jersey’s Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for Invention.


Study supports extrapleural pneumonectomy to treat select mesothelioma patients

24 Aug 2009 by under News, Research/Treatment

The results of a study published recently in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery supports the use of extrapleural pneumonectomy-based multimodal therapy in carefully selected patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The Journal is published by The American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

According to the research summary, the objective of the study was to evaluate the perioperative and long-term outcomes associated with extrapleural pneumonectomy for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the chest cavity and lungs. Other forms of mesothelioma include pericardial, which affects the lining of the heart and is extremely rare; and peritoneal, which affects the lining of the abdomen. Mesothelioma is atributed almost exclusively to asbestos exposure.

According to the Multimedia Manual of Cardiothoracic Surgery, extrapleural pneumonectomy was introduced in the 1940s for the treatment of extensive infections of the lung and pleural space. Over the past 20 years, the extrapleural pneumonectomy technique has been modified and applied to the treatment of locally advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma, achieving substantial reductions in mortality. The surgery involves the removal of the lung with visceral and parietal pleurae, pericardium and diaphragm.

Researchers selected 70 patients between October 1994 and April 2008 to undergo the procedure. Prognostic factors included age, gender, side of disease, asbestos exposure, histology, positron emission tomography, date of surgery, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, completeness of cytoreduction, lymph node involvement, peioperative morbidity, adjuvant radiotherapy and pemetrexed-based chemotherapy.

The mean age of patients was 55 years. The median survival was 20 months, with a 3-year survival of 30 percent. Analyses showed improved survival for patients with asbestos exposure, negative lymph node involvement, and receipt of adjuvant or postoperative pemetrexed-based chemotherapy.

The study was conducted by physicians from the University of Sydney, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical; Department of Medical Oncology, Sydney Cancer Center, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; and Department of Radiation Oncology, Sydney Cancer Center, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; all in Sydney, .


Link between radiation and mesothelioma?

4 Jun 2009 by under News, Research/Treatment

A recent report published in blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, is examining a possible increased risk for among patients exposed to radiation treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. According to the study, whose lead author is Marie L. DeBruin, increased risks for second primary mesothelioma after radiation for lymphoma have been reported. Mesothelioma is primarily related to asbestos exposure.

According to the journal summary, the findings are based on a small number of patients, so researchers are approaching these results with caution and anticipate more study to confirm the results. The team examined mesothelioma in 2,567 five-year survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma, who had been treated with radiation alone, chemotherapy alone, or a combination of the two.

The study indicated that mesothelioma risk was almost 30 times greater in Hodgkin lymphona patients treated with radiation than in the general population.

The journal article was summarized by HemOncToday, which reports clinical news in oncology and hematology. The publication says the median follow-up period for patients included in the radiation-mesothelioma study was 18.1 years, at which time researchers found 13 patients had malignant mesothelioma at least five years after being treated for Hodgkins lymphoma.

HemOncToday reports there were no cases of mesothelioma among patients treated with chemotherapy alone, but that patients treated with both radiation and chemotherapy were almost 44 times more likely to develop malignant mesothelioma.

Harry S. Jacob, MD, HemOncToday chief medical editor, provided this perspective:

“Seminal studies by Scripps Research Institute investigators demonstrated that asbestos with high-iron content (as opposed to low-Fe level asbestos) was more likely to cause mesotheliomas in miners. In vitro iron-asbestos promoted oxygen radical generation that altered DNA, providing rationale for the epidemiologic studies. The combination of radiation-mediated oxygen radicals plus lung iron asbestos (or tobacco-mediated iron deposition) may underlie these findings.”


Mistletoe treatment believed to provide relief for cancer patients

11 Dec 2008 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

mistletoe 150x150 Mistletoe treatment believed to provide relief for cancer patientsAs part of her cancer treatments, or more accurately in response to her cancer treatments, our friend in the , Debbie Brewer, began a mistletoe treatment in May. Debbie was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2006, and is currently receiving chemoembolization treatment, for which she travels to Germany.

Mistletoe is in fairly widespread use in Europe as a complementary therapy in cancer care. It is given in conjunction with traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, to strengthen the body’s immune system and build its natural defenses. It is believed mistletoe therapy can help cancer patients cope with the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

Mistletoe is considered an anthroposophical medicine, which takes into account a total view of the human body and the human being, including physical constitution, the life force, the consciousness and the ego or free will. Mistletoe is harvested from different trees, with different types of mistletoe having different uses. According to the American Cancer Society, the type of mistletoe used in this therapy grows on species of trees native to England, Europe and western Asia. It is NOT the type of mistletoe commonly seen in the U.S. Mistletoe therapy is only available in clinical trials in the United States.

The extract, which comes from the plant’s leaves and twigs but not its berries, is generally given as an injection and after an initial professional application patients can do the treatment themselves at home. Debbie began her mistletoe treatment at The Park Attwood Clinic, which still oversees the process, although she administers her own injections now.

Debbie says she learned about the treatments from a couple who visited her web site, Mesothelioma & Me. She began the mistletoe therapy at the same time as her chemoembolization treatment, which uses targeted chemotherapy applied directly to her tumor and contained with the tumor. For about two years, she also has been struggling with alopecia, which had caused her to lose large patches of her hair.

“Since I started the mistletoe and the chemoembolization, I have noticed within the last two months my hair has grown back and is its natural color,” she wrote to me in an email. “The mistletoe boosts the immune system and also is very good at quelling the side effects of the chemo, although the side effects with chemoembolization are not as bad as the normal chemo.” She said mistletoe is offered on the German health care system, but it is not recognized by the UK system.

Debbie gives herself the mistletoe injections twice a week.

“I would have to say that a lot of the benefits I have had over the last five treatments is down to the mistletoe,” she says. “It works very well alongside the chemo treatment.”

She left today to travel to Germany for the sixth round of her chemoembolization treatments, and will learn the results of the fifth round, which she received November 6. So far, she has experienced tumor shrinkage after each round of chemoembolization.


More happy news for Debbie as tumor shrinks!

6 Nov 2008 by under News, People, Research/Treatment

debbie brewer 08 150x150 More happy news for Debbie as tumor shrinks!I was thrilled this morning to get an email from our good friend Debbie Brewer in the UK reporting her tumor (nicknamed Theo) is now 43 PERCENT smaller!

As most of you know, Debbie has been battling since November 2006. In May 2008, she began a process called chemoembolization, which specifically targets and attacks her tumor, and basically seals the chemotherapy in with the tumor.

Debbie travels to Germany every month or so for the treatment. She saw her doctor, , for her fifth treatment on Thursday, Nov. 6, where she found that the tumor had shrunk another 10 percent since the fourth treatment in September. This is a total reduction of 43 percent since she started the therapy!

You can follow Debbie’s story on her blog, Mesothelioma and Me.

Bless you Debbie! We are so excited for your great progress!!


Drug combo effective for peritoneal mesothelioma

13 Oct 2008 by under News, Research/Treatment

Results at the completion of a Phase II trial researching the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma indicate a combination of the drugs Alimta (pemetraxed) and (gemcitabine) is effective in increasing survival time and controlling disease progression. The findings were published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and reported by Cancer Consultants, Inc.

According to the report, the study involved 20 patients treated between 2002 and 2004 who received Alimta and Gemzar every 21 days, along with folic acid, vitamin B12 and dexamethasone. Cancer Consultants reports overall response rate was 15 percent, disease control rate was 50 percent, median time to disease progression was 10.4 months and the median survival time was 26.8 months. Additionally, the report notes that toxicities were tolerable.

Cancer Consultants notes that makes up less than 20 percent of all cases of mesothelioma, with pleural mesothelioma being more common. is a specific form of mesothelioma that affects the peritoneum, which is the serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity.

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, making up about 75 percent of all cases. Pleural mesothelioma affects the outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity.

Because of its relative rarity, there have been few studies of chemotherapy as a treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma, and there are no controlled trials of various treatment options available for peritoneal mesothelioma.

Traditional therapy for peritoneal mesothelioma has involved surgical debulking followed by systemic and/or intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

Cancer Consultants, which delivers educational programs and resources to more than 18 million targeted seekers of cancer information, has been producing and distributing cancer information for patients and professionals since 1998.

The publication notes that this study is one of the first devoted to systemic chemotherapy treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma and as such provides an important baseline for research.