Mesothelioma Risk Could Rise Under New EPA Rule

Today is the last day for the public to weigh in on a new EPA rule some say could open the door for companies to begin using toxic asbestos in new ways, raising the risk for mesothelioma for thousands of people. Asbestos causes tens of thousands of cases of deadly malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis around the world every year. Decades worth of science indicates that no level of exposure to the toxin is safe. Yet, while while the link between mesothelioma and asbestos has driven dozens of other countries to ban the substance, the US has failed to do so. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has policed the substance, regulating how, where, and by whom it can … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk Could Rise Under New EPA Rule »

Another Win for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drug Keytruda

There has been another win for one of the most promising new drugs for mesothelioma, the immunotherapy drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab). The makers of Keytruda today announced  that, when combined with the mesothelioma drug Alimta (pemetrexed) and the platinum-based drug cisplatin, it significantly extended the survival of lung cancer patients. According to Bloomberg, the news will likely make Keytruda an even more popular choice among immunotherapy drugs, which are believed to offer the greatest chance for curing cancers such as lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Keytruda and Cancer Survival Keytruda inhibits a protein called PD-1, which is produced by lung cancer and mesothelioma tumors as a way to evade detection by the immune system. PD-1 inhibitors have become an important … Continue reading Another Win for Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drug Keytruda »

Glitter Makeup Pulled from Shelves Amid Mesothelioma Fears

asbestos in cosmetics

Despite decades of evidence that asbestos exposure can cause malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other illnesses, the toxin is still being used in some unexpected and potentially dangerous ways. CNBC is reporting that the jewelry story Claire’s has pulled several different glitter-containing makeup products from its shelves amid fears that they may contain asbestos. WJAR-TV in Rhode Island broke the story last week after a local woman suspected there might be asbestos in her daughter’s glitter makeup kit and sent it away to an independent lab to be tested. The woman works for a law firm that specializes in asbestos class-action lawsuits. Mesothelioma-Causing Tremolite Found Scientific Analytical Institute reportedly confirmed that the kits – including the bedazzled rainbow heart makeup … Continue reading Glitter Makeup Pulled from Shelves Amid Mesothelioma Fears »

Antibody-Drug Conjugate Fails to Stop Recurrent Pleural Mesothelioma

A new drug designed to treat recurrent malignant mesothelioma while minimizing side effects has failed to meet expectations. Anetumab ravtansine, is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) developed with biotechnology firms ImmunoGen and MorphoSys and owned by Bayer.  It had been the focus of a Phase II clinical trial for pleural mesothelioma. The trial has now been stopped. Understanding ADCs Many of the most dangerous side effects of standard mesothelioma chemotherapy are caused by the destruction of normal cells along with cancer cells. ADCs like anetumab ravtansine are supposed to help get around the problem by delivering potent cancer-fighters specifically to tumor cells. They combine a cancer-fighting medication with an antibody that targets a protein overproduced by the cancer cells. In the case … Continue reading Antibody-Drug Conjugate Fails to Stop Recurrent Pleural Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Awareness Day Gets a Boost from Social Media

    Victims of mesothelioma and their families are being invited to make their voices and their stories heard on social media in advance of the 11th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day on September 26th. The invitation is being extended by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), an organization committed to ending the scourge of asbestos diseases like mesothelioma through education, advocacy and community. Founded in 2004, ADAO protects the rights of mesothelioma victims and others with asbestos diseases and works with public health organizations to prevent asbestos exposure. They have long called for the US Congress to enact an asbestos ban. “Currently in the United States, we are witnessing one of the most crucial moments in Toxic Chemical reform and … Continue reading Mesothelioma Awareness Day Gets a Boost from Social Media »

European Group Issues Updated Treatment Guidelines for Mesothelioma

physician and colleagues

A group of medical researchers has just released an updated set of clinical practice guidelines for treating patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, one of the rarest and most treatment-resistant forms of cancer. The guidelines, released by the European Society for Medical Oncology and published in the newest issue of the Annals of Oncology, contain six sets of recommendations designed to support clinicians in the management of mesothelioma from diagnosis to treatment and follow-up. Recommendation for Mesothelioma Diagnosis The updated ESMO mesothelioma guidelines recommend that all patients undergo a thorough occupational history with emphasis on asbestos exposure and a CT scan of their chest. They also recommend that all patients with pleural thickening have a biopsy but do not recommend routine … Continue reading European Group Issues Updated Treatment Guidelines for Mesothelioma »

Skin Cancer Drug Produces Exceptional Results in New Mesothelioma Trial

Respiratory Disease

A drug approved to treat skin cancer has produced what researchers are calling “unprecedented” control of malignant pleural mesothelioma. As announced at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research which met in Philadelphia in April, pembrolizumab either stopped tumor growth or even reversed it in more than three quarters of the mesothelioma patients tested. Pembrolizumab (brand name Keytruda) is a monoclonal antibody designed to block a cell surface receptor called PD-1. As part of a phase 1B clinical trial known as KEYNOTE-028, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania gave the drug to 25 mesothelioma patients between March and December 2014. These patients all had tumors that tested positive for PD-1 expression. Most had already been through at … Continue reading Skin Cancer Drug Produces Exceptional Results in New Mesothelioma Trial »

Mesothelioma Vaccine Receives Orphan Drug Approval

woman mesothelioma doctor holds syringe

Mesothelioma patients who are not candidates for surgery may soon have another treatment option. The FDA has granted orphan drug approval to a new cancer vaccine called CRS-207. CRS-207 is manufactured by Aduro Biotech, Inc. and is made from an attenuated (less potent) version of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. CRS-207 triggers a powerful immune response against cells that produce mesothelin, a tumor-associated antigen produced by several types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Because it works in conjunction with the body’s natural immune responses, CRS-207 is classified as a type of immunotherapy. Aduro Biotech is currently enrolling mesothelioma patients in a Phase 1b clinical trial of CRS-207. They are looking for 40 mesothelioma patients who have inoperable cancer and have not yet … Continue reading Mesothelioma Vaccine Receives Orphan Drug Approval »

Multi-Center Study Reveals “Genomic Basis” of Mesothelioma

Doctors with the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, and the Departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Genome Technology at New York’s Langone Medical Center, have identified four specific genes they believe are directly linked to mesothelioma development. Scientists have long known that asbestos in the tissue can trigger genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma. But, while past studies have focused on small sets of genes and have provided a limited view of these mutations, this new study is the first to analyze the entire gene for all possible genetic alterations. The new study involved whole exome sequencing – or a complete analysis of the DNA – on 22 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients. “Integrative analysis … Continue reading Multi-Center Study Reveals “Genomic Basis” of Mesothelioma »

New Mesothelioma Treatment Boosts Chemotherapy Response

An important new study from one of the country’s top mesothelioma research labs has found a way to significantly boost the impact of chemotherapy on mesothelioma patients who are not eligible for surgery. Dr. Raffit Hassan and his colleagues at the National Cancer Institute have been focusing their efforts on an immunotoxin – a potent toxin inked to an antibody – to selectively target mesothelioma cells. The immunotoxin, called SS1P, is designed to target a protein called mesothelin, which is overexpressed in mesothelioma cells. While previous studies have shown some promise in SS1P treatment by itself, especially when the immune system is suppressed, the newest study tests the value of SS1P in combination with the most popular mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs, … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Treatment Boosts Chemotherapy Response »

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