The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos

dangers of asbestos

A pair of occupational medicine experts say the dangers of asbestos – particularly its ability to cause cancers like malignant mesothelioma – are still being downplayed by those who mine and sell it.  The report appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. The authors are experts in the field from Hamburg University in Germany and Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. Scientists around the world have warned about the dangers of asbestos for decades. Asbestos is responsible for tens of thousands of mesothelioma deaths every year. In the US, about 2,500 people die of mesothelioma annually because of asbestos exposure. Early Recognition of the Dangers of Asbestos Asbestos is a fibrous mineral … Continue reading The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos »

Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis

medical thoracoscopy

UK researchers say a minimally invasive procedure called medical thoracoscopy is safe and effective for diagnosing mesothelioma and treating its symptoms.  The word comes from a large medical center in Northumberland. The UK has one of the highest rates of pleural mesothelioma in the world. Rates of pleural mesothelioma in Northumberland are especially high.  Mesothelioma diagnosis usually requires a biopsy. The new study finds that medical thoracoscopy enabled “high diagnostic sensitivity” with few serious complications.   Understanding Medical Thoracoscopy Medical thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the pleura. The pleura is a membrane that surrounds the lung. People with mesothelioma and some other diseases can develop fluid between the pleura and the lungs. The fluid is … Continue reading Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment

Fast Track designation

An immunotherapy treatment called ONCOS-102 has received fast track designation from the FDA as a pleural mesothelioma therapy. Targovax is a Norweigian company that makes ONCOS-102. The company made the announcement today. It means that ONCOS-102 could be available to help people with pleural mesothelioma sooner.  Fast-track designation is for therapies with the potential to address serious medical conditions that have no good treatments. Right now, there is no cure for pleural mesothelioma and very few viable treatment options. The FDA based its decision on encouraging animal studies and early human trials of ONCOS-102.   Importance of Fast Track Designation ONCOS-102 is an experimental treatment made from a modified virus. The virus allows ONCOS-102 to overcome one of the biggest challenges … Continue reading ONCOS-102 Gets Fast Track Designation for Mesothelioma Treatment »

Radiotherapy Outcomes in Mesothelioma Linked to Metabolism

radiotherapy outcomes

Italian researchers say metabolic markers may hold the key to predicting radiotherapy outcomes in people with mesothelioma. Metabolism is the process by which cells produce energy. Metabolism is necessary for cancer cells to live. Mesothelioma cells metabolize faster than healthy cells.  Radiotherapy affects cancer cell metabolism. A new study shows that compounds produced during metabolism may impact radiotherapy outcomes. It suggests that a patient’s metabolic profile – or metabolome – could help doctors choose good candidates for radiation. Radical Hemithoracic Radiotherapy and Mesothelioma  Pleural mesothelioma is a rare lung-related cancer caused by asbestos exposure. There is no cure for mesothelioma. Most mesothelioma patients have a combination of therapies. Radiation is one of the methods doctors use to help slow its … Continue reading Radiotherapy Outcomes in Mesothelioma Linked to Metabolism »

Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics

chemoresistance in mesothelioma

A team of Swiss and German researchers have a theory about why so many mesothelioma patients experience chemoresistance.  Chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for asbestos cancer. But fewer than half of patients respond to it.  The new study suggests that this may have to do with an alteration on the BAP1 gene. Medicine cannot change a person’s underlying genetics. But knowing who is likely to experience chemoresistance could help patients and doctors choose the most effective treatments.  BAP1 Expression and Mesothelioma BAP1 stands for BRCA1 associated protein-1. People who have an inherited mutation of this gene produce less of the BAP1 protein. This seems to increase their risk for malignant mesothelioma and several other conditions. People with BAP1 loss … Continue reading Chemoresistance in Mesothelioma: The Role of Genetics »

Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study

maintenance therapy

Dutch researchers say administering maintenance therapy with gemcitabine after chemotherapy may help mesothelioma patients live longer than supportive care alone.  Gemcitabine is an antimetabolite sold under the brand name Gemzar. Oncologists use it to treat several other types of cancer. When cancer cells absorb gemcitabine, they can no longer divide into new cancer cells.  Most mesothelioma patients have chemotherapy as their first-line treatment. If they are healthy enough, they may also have mesothelioma surgery. A maintenance therapy is a treatment that follows the main treatment. It is an effort to maintain the effects of the treatment.  The new Dutch study shows gemcitabine may be a safe and effective choice for maintenance therapy. What Does Maintenance Therapy Mean? Right now, there … Continue reading Maintenance Therapy with Gemcitabine Extends Mesothelioma Survival in Dutch Study »

Epithelioid Subtype Leads to Longer Survival Regardless of Treatment

epithelioid subtype

Danish researchers say people with the epithelioid subtype of pleural mesothelioma tend to live longer than those with other subtypes, even if they don’t receive treatment.  The study is the latest to confirm what prior research suggests: that epithelial mesothelioma is more survivable than other subtypes.  In the newest report, mesothelioma patients with the epithelioid subtype lived longer, even when they were not good candidates for curative treatment. Mesothelioma Subtypes and Symptoms Pleural mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer on the membrane around the lungs. Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma.  There are three main mesothelioma subtypes. They are the epithelioid subtype, the sarcomatoid subtype, and the biphasic subtype. Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common subtype. Sarcomatoid is … Continue reading Epithelioid Subtype Leads to Longer Survival Regardless of Treatment »

Asbestos in Agriculture May Be Hidden Mesothelioma Risk

hidden mesothelioma risk

Occupational health researchers in Italy say asbestos exposure in agricultural products and equipment may present a hidden mesothelioma risk for farm workers.  The study appears in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  Agriculture is not an industry typically associated with asbestos exposure. But the new study suggests that there may be more of this hidden mesothelioma risk on farms than previously thought.  Occupational Mesothelioma Exposure Malignant mesothelioma is an occupational disease. Most people diagnosed with this rare cancer worked in an industry that used asbestos. The longer and heavier the exposure, the higher the risk for mesothelioma.  Asbestos was mostly a hidden mesothelioma risk until the 1950s. Mining companies produced asbestos for many industries. The construction industry … Continue reading Asbestos in Agriculture May Be Hidden Mesothelioma Risk »

Exercise and Nutrition Advice Could Help Some Mesothelioma Patients

exercise and nutrition

Most mesothelioma patients would welcome exercise and nutrition advice that might help them cope with their cancer and its symptoms better.  That news comes from a study in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology. Researchers wondered if seniors with lung cancer or mesothelioma would even be open to recommendations about their exercise and nutrition.  The study found that they would and that it would probably help them feel better. But there are barriers to getting this kind of information into the hands of people who need it.  Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that affects the lungs. Mesothelioma patients have many of the same symptoms as lung cancer patients. Among other things, they tend … Continue reading Exercise and Nutrition Advice Could Help Some Mesothelioma Patients »

Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Have Similar Psychological Challenges

mesothelioma and COVID-19

Researchers in Italy say malignant mesothelioma and COVID-19 present patients with similar psychological challenges. In both cases, group therapy may help. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the lung lining. COVID-19 is the respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus. The two illnesses may not seem to have much in common.  But psychology researchers at the University of Turin say there are similarities between mesothelioma and COVID-19. They say understanding how mesothelioma affects patients psychologically could help providers support people with COVID-19.  Coping with Pleural Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Pleural mesothelioma is usually the result of asbestos exposure. Most people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis either worked with asbestos or lived near it. Many of them had no idea … Continue reading Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Have Similar Psychological Challenges »

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