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a mesothelioma diagnosis in October 2010.pleurodesis operations, radical pleurectomy, radiotherapy, Alimta/ cisplatin chemotherapy.
A short while ago, I was contacted by Susan Vento whose husband Bruce - a serving congressman for the state of Minnesota - died as a result of mesothelioma. Susan is a spokesperson for the Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign (ACVRC). Recently in the states, asbestos companies have been using their political influence to introduce a new bill called "Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act" or FACT for short. ACVRC is justifiably concerned that this act will delay and, in some cases, deny justice and badly needed compensation to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. It has launched a campaign to fight and defeat this unfair legislation. You can help by doing two things:1. Sign the petition to stop legislation that threatens cancer victims. Go to http://cancervictimsrights.org/take-action/sign-the-petition/ and follow the instructions to sign the petition at the bottom of the page. Every signature matters!2. Spread the word by sharing today's post with others who are, or might be, affected by this issue.
NGR-hTNFThis is a study in second line treatment for patients with advanced mesothelioma who have been pre-treated with no more than one pemetrexed (aka Alimta) based chemotherapy regime. It's currently recruiting in Manchester, Maidstone, Leicester, Northwood, Glasgow, Sutton and London. The trial involves a weekly 60 minute IV infusion of the agent, either on its own or in combination with another agent. It continues until confirmed evidence of disease progression, or unacceptable toxicity occurs. ADI-PEG 20 This trial is currently recruiting in Cambridge, Hull, London, Manchester and Southampton, including patients who have been previously treated with a platinum-based chemotherapy regime. To be eligible to take part, you need to be tested to see if you are "ASS-negative". The trial drug is given weekly for six months. For more information on both trials search via the UK Clinical Trial Gateway website.
As usual we turn more and more to the plant world for all sorts of treatments, a new study suggests that a plant used for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic medicine may be a powerful weapon in the fight against deadly malignant mesothelioma.
The bioactive compound Withaferin A (WA) is isolated from the root of Withania somnifera, a plant in the nightshade family also known as Indian ginseng. A number of previous scientific studies have found evidence to suggest that WA has anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, anti-angiogenic, and anti-cancer properties.
In the latest study, published online in the open-access peer-reviewed journal PLos One, researchers at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit tested the compound in live mice (in vivo) as well as in mesothelioma cells taken from human patients (in vitro). Their objective was to determine whether WA would have an effect on mesothelioma cell growth and, if so, the molecular mechanism behind that effect.
The study found that WA inhibited the growth of the murine (mouse) mesothelioma cells as well as the growth of those derived from human patients. The WA seemed to work, in part, by modulating the levels of certain regulatory proteins involved the cell life cycle. WA also suppressed mesothelioma growth by increasing the rate of apoptosis (cell death). Finally, gene-array based analyses found that WA suppressed a number of genes that promote cell growth and metastasis.
In a summary of their findings for PLoS One, the research team concludes “Together, our in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that WA suppresses malignant pleural mesothelioma growth by targeting multiple pathways that include blockage of proteasome activity and stimulation of apoptosis, and thus holds promise as an anti-MPM agent.”
Double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials would have to take place before any WA-based mesothelioma treatment could be sanctioned by the FDA and used to treat patients. As always, patients should consult their healthcare professional before using any type of supplement.
The case of a German man who has lived more than 9 years with malignant mesothelioma is bringing attention to the drug that may have helped him defy the odds.
The 67-year-old former German asbestos worker who is the subject of a new published report has stable mesothelioma, almost a decade after his initial examination.
Writing on the case in the medical journal Onco Targets and Therapy, doctors at the University of Essen say the patient was treated with a combination of chemotherapy medications including an oral medication called etoposide and an injectable drug called paclitaxel.
Along with these drugs, the mesothelioma patient was also given pegylated liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride by injection. Classified as an anthracycline, doxorubicin has the ability to interrupt communication within a cell’s DNA and prevent replication. According to the National Cancer Institute, liposomal delivery of doxorubicin HCL “improves drug penetration into tumors and decreases drug clearance”, which can increase the length of time that the drug will be effective in the body.
When the German patient had completed his chemotherapy, radiologic evaluation showed that the thickening caused by mesothelioma on his pleural lining had decreased and his symptoms had improved. While the researchers note that the patient’s follow-up is ongoing, regular CT scans indicate that his mesothelioma has not progressed in nine years.
Today, the gold standard for mesothelioma chemotherapy treatment in the U.S. is usually a combination of pemetrexed and a platinum-based drug such as cisplatin. Regardless of the chemotherapy regimen used, the new report suggests that doxorubicin HCL, particularly when delivered in a liposomal form, may have the ability to improve its effectiveness.
Mesothelioma patients whose T-cell counts bounce back quickly after a round of chemotherapy have a better chance of survival. They are also most likely to benefit from the addition of immunotherapy.
That’s the conclusion of a British study looking for prognostic indicators in mesothelioma patients undergoing a combination of chemotherapy.
hemotherapy is the most common first-line treatment for mesothelioma. It involves flooding the body with a drug or combination of drugs designed to destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy involves “programming” the immune system to recognize cancer cells as foreign invaders and attack them the way they might attack bacteria or viruses.
To devise a prognostic method for mesothelioma patients who might undergo both types of therapies, the scientists looked for longitudinal changes in peripheral T-cell subsets in 40 patients with malignant mesothelioma or advanced non-small cell lung cancer. All of the patients were receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.
The study found the T-cells of all patients were almost entirely knocked out by the 8th day following chemotherapy, but most bounced back quickly and even passed baseline levels. Regulatory T-cells (Treg) have immunosuppressive properties and are the cells responsible for maintaining order in the immune system. In the study, Treg cells were most profoundly depleted by chemotherapy. Mesothelioma patients whose CD8(+)T-cells bounced back the most after a cycle of chemotherapy had the greatest overall survival. A bigger ratio between CD8(+) T-cell to Treg proliferation was also predictive of better outcomes.
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