Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mesothelioma Treatment | Radiation


For patients with localized disease, and who can tolerate a radical surgery, radiation is often given post-operatively as a consolidative treatment. The entire hemi-thorax is treated with radiation therapy, often given simultaneously with chemotherapy. This approach of using surgery followed by radiation with chemotherapy has been pioneered by the thoracic oncology team at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. Delivering radiation and chemotherapy after a radical surgery has led to extended life expectancy in selected patient populations with some patients surviving more than 5 years. As part of a

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mesothelioma Treatment | Chemotherapy


Chemotherapy is the only treatment for mesothelioma that has been proven to improve survival in randomised and controlled trials. The landmark study published in 2003 by Vogelzang and colleagues compared cisplatin chemotherapy alone with a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed (brand name Alimta) chemotherapy in patients who had not received chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma previously and were not candidates for more aggressive "curative" surgery.

This trial was the first to report a survival advantage from chemotherapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma, showing a

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mesothelioma Treatment | Immunotherapy


Treatment regimens involving immunotherapy have yielded variable results. For example, intrapleural inoculation of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in an attempt to boost the immune response, was found to be of no benefit to the patient (while it may benefit patients with bladder cancer).

Mesothelioma cells proved susceptible to in vitro lysis by LAK cells following activation by interleukin-2 (IL-2), but patients undergoing this particular therapy experienced major side effects. Indeed, this trial was suspended in view of the

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mesothelioma Treatment | Heated Intraoperative Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy

Heated Intraoperative Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy

A procedure known as heated intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy was developed by Paul Sugarbaker at the Washington Cancer Institute. The surgeon removes as much of the tumor as possible followed by the direct administration of a chemotherapy agent, heated to between 40 and 48°C, in the abdomen. The fluid is

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mesothelioma Treatment | Multimodality Therapy

Multimodality Therapy

All of the standard approaches to treating solid tumors—radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery—have been investigated in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Although surgery, by itself, is not very effective, surgery combined with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation (trimodality therapy) has produced significant survival extension (3–14 years) among patients with favorable prognostic factors. However, other large series of examining multimodality treatment have only demonstrated modest improvement in

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mesothelioma Treatment | Epidemiology


Although reported incidence rates have increased in the past 20 years, mesothelioma is still a relatively rare cancer. The incidence rate varies from one country to another, from a low rate of less than 1 per 1,000,000 in Tunisia and Morocco, to the highest rate in Britain, Australia and Belgium: 30 per 1,000,000 per year. For comparison, populations with high levels of smoking can have a lung cancer incidence of over 1,000 per 1,000,000.

Incidence of malignant mesothelioma currently ranges from about 7 to

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mesothelioma | Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory and fibrotic medical condition affecting the parenchymal tissue of the lungs caused by the inhalation and retention of asbestos fibers. It usually occurs after high intensity and/or long-term exposure to asbestos (particularly in those individuals working on the production or end-use of products containing asbestos) and is therefore regarded as an occupational lung disease.

People with extensive occupational exposure to the mining, manufacturing, handling or

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Signs and Symptoms Mesothelioma

Symptoms or signs of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years (or more) after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space (pleural effusion) are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Victims of Mesothelioma

Famous victims

Mesothelioma, though rare, has had a number of notable patients.
  • Malcolm McLaren, former manager of New York Dolls and Sex Pistols, died on 8 April 2010.
  • Hamilton Jordan, Chief of Staff for U.S. President Jimmy Carter and lifelong cancer activist, died in 2008.
  • Richard J. Herrnstein, psychologist and co-author of The Bell Curve, died in

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation, formerly MARF) is a non-profit organization that funds mesothelioma research, provides services to patients, educates the public, and advocates in Washington, DC for governmental funding for mesothelioma research. The organization's mission is to eradicate mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, as a life-ending disease.

Its donors include lawyers, companies that have manufactured asbestos product and victims, along with

Monday, September 6, 2010

Signs and symptoms of Cancer

Symptoms of cancer metastasis depend on the location of the tumor.
Roughly, cancer symptoms can be divided into three groups:
  • Local symptoms: unusual lumps or swelling (tumor), hemorrhage (bleeding), pain and/or ulceration. Compression of surrounding tissues may cause symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing the eyes and skin).
  • Symptoms of metastasis (spreading): enlarged lymph nodes, cough and hemoptysis, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), bone pain, fracture of affected bones and neurological symptoms. Although advanced cancer may cause pain, it is often not the

Sunday, September 5, 2010


What is Asbestos ? Asbestos (from Greek ἄσβεστος meaning "unquenchable" or "inextinguishable") is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals exploited commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their asbestiform habit, long, (1:20) thin fibrous crystals. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma (a formerly rare cancer strongly associated with exposure to asbestos and fiber glass.), and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis). Long term exposure to asbestos is

Saturday, September 4, 2010


What is Cancer ? Cancer (medical term: malignant neoplasm) is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth (division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood).

These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which are self-limited, and do not invade or metastasize. Most cancers form a tumor but some, like leukemia, do not. The branch of medicine concerned with

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mesothelioma Treatment | Surgery

Surgery Treatment

Surgery, by itself, has proved disappointing. In one large series, the median survival with surgery (including extrapleural pneumonectomy) was only 11.7 months. However, research indicates varied success when used in combination with radiation and chemotherapy (Duke, 2008).

A pleurectomy/decortication is the most common surgery, in which the

Diagnosis Of Mesothelioma

Diagnosing mesothelioma is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history. A history of exposure to asbestos may increase clinical suspicion for mesothelioma. A physical examination is performed, followed by chest X-ray and often lung function tests.

The X-ray may reveal pleural thickening commonly seen after asbestos exposure and increases suspicion of mesothelioma. A CT (or CAT) scan or

Mesothelioma Therapy | Mesothelioma Treatments

The prognosis for malignant mesothelioma remains disappointing, although there have been some modest improvements in prognosis from newer chemotherapies and multimodality treatments. Treatment of malignant mesothelioma at earlier stages has a better prognosis, but cures are exceedingly rare.
Clinical behavior of the malignancy is affected by

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mesothelioma Wiki

Mesothelioma, more precisely malignant mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, the mesothelium. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart, the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart) or tunica vaginalis.

Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are new treatments for mesothelioma being studied?

Are new treatments for mesothelioma being studied? Yes. Because mesothelioma is very hard to control, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is sponsoring clinical trials (research studies with people) that are designed to find new treatments and better ways to use current treatments. Before any new treatment can be recommended for

Monday, August 30, 2010

How is mesothelioma treated?

How is mesothelioma treated? Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient's age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.

  • Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma. The doctor may remove part of the

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How is mesothelioma diagnosed?

How is mesothelioma diagnosed?  Diagnosing mesothelioma is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure.

A complete physical examination may be performed, including x-rays of the chest or abdomen and lung function tests. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI may also be useful. A CT scan is a

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

What are the symptoms of mesothelioma? Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleura are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and

Who is at increased risk for developing mesothelioma?

Who is at increased risk for developing mesothelioma? Asbestos has been mined and used commercially since the late 1800s. Its use greatly increased during World War II. Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust. Initially, the risks associated with asbestos exposure were not known. However, an

What are the risk factors for mesothelioma?

What are the risk factors for mesothelioma? Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. A history of asbestos exposure at work is reported in about 70 percent to 80 percent of all cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without

How common is mesothelioma?

How common is mesothelioma? Although reported incidence rates have increased in the past 20 years, mesothelioma is still a relatively rare cancer.
About 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and

Friday, August 27, 2010

What is mesothelioma?

What is mesothelioma? Mesothelioma (cancer of the mesothelium) is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order.
They can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Cancer cells can also

What is the mesothelium?

What is the mesothelium? The mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. It is composed of two layers of cells: One layer immediately surrounds the organ; the other forms a sac around it. The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that is released between


Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body's internal organs. Most people who