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Does anyone have (or care for a person who has) mesothelioma? Are all tumors in the pleura mesothelioma?

John, can you help me here?

I have a friend who has this and her doctors have given up on her. Also her doctors don't seem very knowledgeable.


I'm obviously not very good at culling specific info from the web!

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No, not all tumors that occur in the pleura are mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is histologically identified (by looking at cells under a microscope.) It can occur outside the pleura, too. It is caused mainly by asbestos exposure, but also thought to be caused by a virus.

If you search the web, you will find lots of lawyers because of the asbestos issue. But there is some solid info out there, such as

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/conte ... oma_29.asp .

Best wishes to you, Teresa

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Here are some of the new treatments. I think they are clinical trials so I am not sure how available they will be. There was someone on this board that was a long-time survivor of meso. (3 years so far).

http://www.buy2k.net/lungcancersurvivor ... light=meso

http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2003/20 ... lioma.html

1) cisplatin/pemetrexed ***

2) Thalidomide

3) Bevacizumab

4) Methotrexate

http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2003/20 ... lioma.html

New Therapeutic Pathways

Although relatively little is known about the biology of malignant mesothelioma, there is growing interest in the multiple factors involved in angiogenesis. One target of particular interest is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signal transduction pathway.[61] VEGF is considered the best-characterized proangiogenic factor;[62] upon expression, VEGF binds to receptors on endothelial cells and initiates a signaling cascade that stimulates new blood vessel formation.[63] In vitro data demonstrate that VEGF is one of the various autocrine growth factors that play an important role in the aggressive growth and metastasis of mesothelioma, such that VEGF, VEGF-C, and its receptors are expressed by mesothelioma cell lines.[61] Note that VEGF expression through the receptor flk-1 correlates with microvessel density, which, in turn, is associated with poor survival.[64]

The presence of both VEGF and VEGF-C autocrine activity in mesothelioma cells suggests that the development of therapies that ultimately target both may confer the greatest activity.[61] Another potential avenue lies in incorporating the VEGF blockade into current cytotoxic regimens.[62] Agents currently being studied for their anti-VEGF potential include SU5416, thalidomide, PTK787/ZK222584, and bevacizumab[25] (Table 4).

Table 4. Antiangiogenic Agents Targeting the VEGF Pathway

Drug Mechanism Investigator(s)

SU5416 Inhibits tyrosine kinase activity of flk-1 University of Chicago Consortium (phase 2)

Thalidomide Inhibits fibroblast growth factor-induced angiogenesis mediated by VEGF and tumor necrosis alpha Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital, Brisbane, Australia (phase 2)

University of Maryland (phase 2)

Netherlands Cancer Institute

PTK787/ZK222584 Inhibits VEGF receptor tyrosine kinases and platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta tyrosine kinase Cancer and Leukemia Group B (phase 2, not yet recruiting)

Bevacizumab Blocks VEGF receptor binding University of Chicago Consortium (randomized phase 2, gemcitabine/cisplatin ± bevacizumab

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  • 4 months later...

I know a man who is a LONG-term survivor of mesothelioma. Granted, he is constantly fighting the disease, and he has been at death's door a number of times, but Spencer is living proof that the disease CAN be beat for many, many years. (Last I heard, Spencer was still giving folks a run for their money on the golf course.)

It's not a good diagnosis to have. But I believe this is also what Stephen Jaye Gould had, and he wrote an incredible essay on cancer and statistics -- He also lived a long time (20 years?) and died of something else.

Spencer is a wonderful guy who has helped the organization I work for to raise money for childhood cancer research, because he saw a lot of kids in the hospital -- and just because he has the biggest heart you can imagine. If you're still looking for people with this disease, I will contact Spencer and see if he can talk or email with you or your friend. I see it's been a long time since you posted this; how is your friend doing?


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