Asbestos Cement Roofing Poses an Ongoing Risk for Mesothelioma

asbestos cement roofing

Australian researchers have a warning for people in homes with asbestos cement roofing: Replace your roof or risk mesothelioma in the future.  Michael Kottek and Man Lee Yuen are with the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute in Sydney. They recently published a new report on the risk of mesothelioma from roof tiles made of asbestos.  Like all asbestos-containing products, asbestos cement roofing breaks down over time. Disintegrating or “friable” asbestos is the number one cause of deadly malignant mesothelioma worldwide.  Writing in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Kottek and Yuen say buildings with roofs made from asbestos pose an ongoing threat to occupants, even if the tiles are not disturbed.  Asbestos-Containing Products and Asbestos Cancer There was a time when … Continue reading Asbestos Cement Roofing Poses an Ongoing Risk for Mesothelioma »

Genetic Mesothelioma Risk May Lead to Shorter Latency

genetic mesothelioma risk

A particular genetic risk for mesothelioma may be behind the few cases where cancer develops just a few years after asbestos exposure. That is the word from researchers at Australia’s Flinders University and the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute.  Latency is the time it takes after exposure to a cancer-causing agent for signs of cancer to show up. Malignant mesothelioma has one of the longest latency periods of any cancer. In most cases, it takes about 40 years for mesothelioma to develop. As a result, mesothelioma is rare in people under 65. But, in rare cases, mesothelioma develops earlier in life. These cases have sometimes been dismissed as being unrelated to asbestos. But in a new journal article, mesothelioma experts from … Continue reading Genetic Mesothelioma Risk May Lead to Shorter Latency »

New Mesothelioma Grading System: A Better Path to Prognosis?

mesothelioma grading system

A team of Australian researchers have developed a new mesothelioma grading system they believe is a more accurate method for predicting outcomes. The system assigns weighted scores based on things like mesothelioma subtype, the shape of the nuclei, BAP1 loss and other parameters. A higher score suggests the patient’s mesothelioma case may be more challenging to treat. Tests of the system in more than 350 patients show that it is highly accurate.  The team lays out their new mesothelioma grading system in a recent issue of the American Journal of Surgical Pathology. In the article, they make the case for why this new prognostic tool could be a helpful supplement to the current, more widely-used WHO system.  The Importance of … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Grading System: A Better Path to Prognosis? »

Aussie Campaign Warns of Mesothelioma Risk for Homeowners

mesothelioma risk for homeowners

An ad campaign launched by Australia’s top asbestos awareness organization has issued a warning about the mesothelioma risk for homeowners doing renovations.  Asbestos is the number one cause of mesothelioma around the world. Australia has a long history with both asbestos and mesothelioma. The country banned asbestos in 2003 but there is still plenty of it around. Thousands of homes and buildings built before 1990 contain asbestos.  There is a mesothelioma risk for homeowners who come in contact with this asbestos. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly cancer that can kill within months of diagnosis.  If people remodel or attempt renovations without having their home checked for asbestos first, the campaign says they are playing “renovation roulette” with their lives.  … Continue reading Aussie Campaign Warns of Mesothelioma Risk for Homeowners »

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials: Eligibility May Be Too Strict, Study Finds

mesothelioma clinical trials

A new Australian study suggests that too many people are being left out of mesothelioma clinical trials under current trial rules.  The researchers say that eligibility requirements around pleural mesothelioma studies are too strict. The result is that many people never have the opportunity to take advantage of investigational treatments only available through studies.  In addition, the trial data gathered may not really apply to average mesothelioma patients. The Australian researchers are calling for changes that will let more people qualify for mesothelioma clinical trials.  What Are Mesothelioma Clinical Trials? Pleural mesothelioma is an intractable cancer of the lining around the lungs. People who get it usually worked in an industry that exposed them to asbestos. Once asbestos gets in … Continue reading Mesothelioma Clinical Trials: Eligibility May Be Too Strict, Study Finds »

Phase 3 Clinical Trial to Test Durvalumab for Mesothelioma

phase 3 clinical trial

A potential new first-line immunotherapy treatment for mesothelioma is now recruiting patients for a phase 3 clinical trial. The trial will compare the immunotherapy drug durvalumab (IMFINZI) combined with chemotherapy against chemotherapy alone.  Results from the phase 2 trials of this combination released last year were promising. Tests showed that it extended mesothelioma survival by about 8 months with no debilitating side effects.  The randomized phase 3 clinical trial will try to confirm these results in a larger group of people. Mesothelioma Treatment with Durvalumab Durvalumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Immune checkpoint inhibitors deactivate a cancer cell survival mechanism that helps cancer cells evade the immune system. Pleural mesothelioma and other types of cancer use proteins like PD-1 to … Continue reading Phase 3 Clinical Trial to Test Durvalumab for Mesothelioma »

Exercise Unlikely to Prevent Mesothelioma Development

prevent mesothelioma development

A new Australian study suggests that exercise is unlikely to prevent mesothelioma development in people who have been exposed to asbestos. The study focused on asbestos-exposed mice. Asbestos cancer can take decades to develop. Researchers thought the long latency period might offer an opportunity to prevent mesothelioma development with physical activity.   But even mice that had no mesothelioma symptoms were less likely than mice their same age to be physically active. How Mesothelioma Develops Over Time Malignant mesothelioma has one of the longest latency periods of any cancer. The latency period is the time between exposure to a carcinogen and development of the disease. Scientists know that asbestos can cause mesothelioma. But they have not found a way to prevent … Continue reading Exercise Unlikely to Prevent Mesothelioma Development »

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor May Change the Standard Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor

The immune checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab could become a standard part of first-line mesothelioma treatment if the results of a new study hold true in a Phase 3 trial.  Australian researchers have become the latest to show the benefit of adding durvalumab to first-line chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is usually the first thing doctors use to treat pleural mesothelioma. But as many as half of mesothelioma patients do not respond to it. Researchers around the world are hopeful that adding an immune checkpoint inhibitor like durvalumab will lead to better response rates. What is an Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor? Mesothelioma cells survive and thrive in part because they have ways of protecting themselves. Chemotherapy drugs are less likely to hurt them … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor May Change the Standard Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma »

Low Dose Aspirin Could Increase Mesothelioma Risk

Low Dose Aspirin

If you are at risk for malignant mesothelioma, you may want to think twice about taking low dose aspirin on a regular basis.  A new study suggests that low dose aspirin could speed up the growth and spread of cancer cells in older people.  The study appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It involved more than 19,000 people in Australia and the US.  Low Dose Aspirin and Mesothelioma Many older people take small daily doses of aspirin to reduce their risk for heart attack. Aspirin reduces inflammation and the blood’s ability to clot. This makes it less likely to form the blockages that cause heart attacks and strokes.  But mounting evidence suggests that taking low dose aspirin … Continue reading Low Dose Aspirin Could Increase Mesothelioma Risk »

Quality of Life with Mesothelioma: Too Many Symptoms, Not Enough Support

Quality of Life with Mesothelioma

A new study suggests that even the healthiest patients have a lower quality of life with mesothelioma than they should. That is because they tend to have many symptoms and needs that are not being met.  Researchers at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia ran the study. They used data from the RESPECT-Meso trial. RESPECT-Meso was a multicenter, randomized study to measure the impact of early palliative care on quality of life with mesothelioma. Australia has one of the highest per capita rates of malignant mesothelioma in the world.  Researchers found that the high symptom burden of this cancer is a big problem for patients. Many also said they were not getting the information they need from their doctors.  … Continue reading Quality of Life with Mesothelioma: Too Many Symptoms, Not Enough Support »

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