UN Group to Debate Asbestos/Mesothelioma Link


The link between chrysotile asbestos and illnesses such as mesothelioma will be high on the agenda when the sixth UN Rotterdam Convention meets in Geneva, Switzerland in late April. The group, made up of representatives from around the world, will be considering whether or not chrysotile or white asbestos will finally be added to the list of Controlled Hazardous Substances. The Rotterdam Convention was assembled in 2002 with the goal of protecting people and the environment from toxic chemicals like asbestos. However, in order to include chrysotile asbestos on the list, the vote of all represented countries must be unanimous. In the past, countries that still export, import or use asbestos, including Canada, Brazil, Russia and India, have worked to keep chrysotile … Continue reading UN Group to Debate Asbestos/Mesothelioma Link »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival: Follow-up is Critical

long-term mesothelioma survival

A newly published French case report is a reminder that long-term mesothelioma survival requires long-term follow-up. The case comes from Aix-Marseille University in Marseille. In the Annals of Medicine and Surgery, doctors wrote about a man who survived mesothelioma for 14 years. In all that time, his cancer did not progress. The situation is unusual for mesothelioma. The life expectancy of most mesothelioma patients is about 18 months. Prolonged survival is two years or more. But the authors of the new report say their case shows that long-term mesothelioma survival is not impossible with the right approach. Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma usually occurs in people who have lived or worked around asbestos. Many do not know they have … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival: Follow-up is Critical »

New Cancer Blood Test: Could it Find Early Mesothelioma?

new cancer blood test

Researchers in England are testing a new cancer blood test that promises to reveal the presence of hard-to-find cancers like mesothelioma earlier. The country’s National Health Service will offer the test to 165,000 UK residents next year as part of a clinical trial.  “Early detection, particularly for hard to treat conditions like ovarian and pancreatic cancer, has the potential to save many lives,” NHS England’s’ chief executive Simon Stevens told The Guardian newspaper. “This promising blood test could therefore be a gamechanger in cancer care, helping thousands more people to get successful treatment.” If the trial of the new cancer blood test is successful, it could be available to help detect mesothelioma within a few years.  The Challenge of Identifying … Continue reading New Cancer Blood Test: Could it Find Early Mesothelioma? »

Asbestos-Based Clutches and Brakes Linked to Cancer in Italian Workers

asbestos-based clutches and brakes

Italian researchers say cases of lung cancer among people who work with asbestos-based clutches and brakes in the country have probably been underestimated. And it remains to be seen how many of these workers end up contracting malignant mesothelioma. The study was led by occupational medicine experts from the province of Brescia. They focused on an Italian company that produced asbestos-based clutches and brakes for more than 20 years.  The team conducted an analysis of the workers’ likely asbestos exposure levels. These levels were compared to the incidence of asbestos-related diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis, and pleural mesothelioma.  The conclusion? The risk is bigger than anyone realized.  Mesothelioma Risk from Asbestos-Based Clutches and Brakes Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that … Continue reading Asbestos-Based Clutches and Brakes Linked to Cancer in Italian Workers »

Complications After PD Surgery for Mesothelioma

Complications After PD Surgery

Durable air leak is one of the most common complications after PD surgery for pleural mesothelioma, according to the authors of a new study. People with overall better health are less likely than others to experience the problem.  Air leaks happen when inhaled air does not stay in the alveoli in the lungs. Instead, it leaks into the area around the lungs. This can cause breathing problems and put pressure on the heart. Too much leaked air can even collapse a lung. A new Japanese study found that more than half of mesothelioma patients analyzed experienced serious complications after PD surgery. One in three patients suffered from air leak for more than ten days.  Pleurectomy/Decortication for Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is … Continue reading Complications After PD Surgery for Mesothelioma »

Could This Protein Play a Role in Survival of Pleural Mesothelioma?

survival of pleural mesothelioma

Research funded by the National Cancer Institute has identified a protein that might play a key role in survival of pleural mesothelioma.  The protein is called UHRF1. It is encoded by a gene of the same name. Researchers believe it may be a driver of growth and spread in malignant mesothelioma.  The research will have to be confirmed on a larger scale. But if it turns out to be true, it could give doctors a new way to extend survival of pleural mesothelioma.  Finding Drivers of Mesothelioma Growth Pleural mesothelioma is a membrane (mesothelium) cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Although some people do survive mesothelioma, it is rare. Average survival of pleural mesothelioma is right around 18 months.  It can … Continue reading Could This Protein Play a Role in Survival of Pleural Mesothelioma? »

Asbestos Raises Mesothelioma Risk, Regardless of Type

asbestos raises mesothelioma risk

A new report led by the National Cancer Institute offers further evidence that every type of asbestos raises mesothelioma risk.  Scientists have known since the 1950s that asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma. But some have argued that not all types of asbestos are equally dangerous. The new study refutes that idea. Researchers compared outcomes from people exposed to different kinds of asbestos. They conclude that asbestos raises mesothelioma risk, regardless of type.  Asbestos as a Carcinogen Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. It has to be mined from the ground. Asbestos is strong, cheap, and impervious to heat and chemical erosion. It was a popular additive to many products before doctors realized that asbestos raises mesothelioma risk. The most … Continue reading Asbestos Raises Mesothelioma Risk, Regardless of Type »

First Patient Dosed in New Trial for Relapsed Mesothelioma

relapsed mesothelioma

Doctors in the UK have started treatment on the first patient in the trial of a new drug combination for relapsed mesothelioma. The drug is called bemcentinib. It blocks a protein encoded by the AXL gene. People with mesothelioma tend to overexpress this protein. Studies show that this extra AXL protein might help cancer cells hide from the immune system. It might also help them spread to other parts of the body.  In the new trial, patients with relapsed mesothelioma will get a combination of bemcentinib and Keytruda (pembrolizumab). Keytruda is an immunotherapy drug. Like bemcentinib, it helps make mesothelioma cells vulnerable to immune system attack.  Animal studies and tests in lung cancer patients show that bemcentinib may help immune … Continue reading First Patient Dosed in New Trial for Relapsed Mesothelioma »

Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds

asbestos causes mesothelioma

Some of the world’s top mesothelioma experts believe they now have a better understanding of how asbestos causes mesothelioma. The finding could help lead to more effective ways of treating it.  Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure. Once symptoms develop, many patients do not live beyond a year.  Scientists have known since the early 1900s that asbestos causes mesothelioma. But they are still trying to figure out exactly how. A new international study led by the University of Hawaii may help answer the question. Membrane Cells Under Attack Mesothelioma is a cancer of a mesothelial membrane. The most common mesothelial membrane where mesothelioma occurs is the pleura. The pleura is a … Continue reading Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds »

Asbestos Affects Immunity, New Report Finds

asbestos affects immunity

A new report from Japanese doctors shows that asbestos affects immunity. It may help explain why exposure to asbestos can trigger mesothelioma. Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma worldwide. But doctors still do not know for sure how this fibrous mineral causes cancer.  Scientists know that inflammation and irritation have something to do with mesothelioma development. But they still do not know much about how asbestos affects immunity. Asbestos and Mesothelioma Development Asbestos is a silicate mineral that lies deep in the ground. For decades, people mined asbestos for use in various industries. Nearly every building in the US built before the mid-1980s contains some asbestos. But asbestos is also a carcinogen. Even small amounts of asbestos exposure … Continue reading Asbestos Affects Immunity, New Report Finds »

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