New Genetic Insights Into Mesothelioma

A press release issued by Brigham and Women’s Hospital stated that a study done by physician-researchers from the International Mesothelioma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in collaboration with colleagues from Genentech, provides new genetic insights into diagnosing and treating patients with mesothelioma. Studies of other cancers have uncovered mutations which have allowed for a much more targeted approach to treatments. This recent study uncovered more than 2,500 alterations and 10 significantly mutated genes. These discoveries suggest that targeted therapies could be matched to an individual patient’s tumor. It is hopeful that these discoveries will aid in an accurate diagnosis of mesothelioma and predict which patients will have poor or better treatment outcomes. Right now, the five year survival rate for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma is between five and ten percent. This study hopes to find ways to raise that number and reduce the mortality rate of mesothelioma.

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Two-step Mesothelioma Treatment Raises Two Emotions

After reading this article posted on our Mesothelioma & Asbestos page, I was elated that a potentially more effective way to treat mesothelioma with chemotherapy could be on the horizon. While the two-step method still has to be verified in human trials, there is hope that it will improve chemotherapy results and extend the lives of those diagnosed with mesothelioma. However, when I thought about the article a little more, that elation gave way to anger. I was upset at the lack of respect for human life asbestos companies exhibited in allowing their employees to continue to work with asbestos without warning them of the dangers. The companies were essentially sentencing thousands of their employees to death. It’s why we continue to fight hard for those affected by asbestos and mesothelioma.

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New Drug Delivery Method May Help Mesothelioma Patients

Doctors at Boston University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital say they may have found a more effective treatment method for mesothelioma patients. The new method would deliver the chemotherapy drugs directly into mesothelioma tumors. In the past, doctors have warned mesothelioma patients that the effectiveness of chemotherapy to treat their mesothelioma was limited at best. That was because very little of the injected chemotherapy drug made it into the actual mesothelioma tumor to destroy mesothelioma cells. However, doctors say they have had a much better result delivering the drugs into mesothelioma tumors with a two-step approach. This new two-step approach was successful on mesothelioma cells in the lab and in live mice. The doctors are hopeful that getting more of the chemotherapy into the mesothelioma tumors will improve the results in mesothelioma patients and extend survival.

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