Tag Archives: malignant mesothelioma

Kidney Cancer Drug Slows Mesothelioma Growth in Mice

A drug that has been shown to slow the growth of renal cell carcinoma may have moved a step closer to becoming a viable addition to the arsenal of patients fighting malignant mesothelioma. Temsirolimus is a kinase inhibitor that appears to work against mesothelioma, in part, by blocking the action of a protein that tells cancer cells to replicate. In laboratory tests on isolated tumor cells, temsirolimus effectively blocked the gene pathway known as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) that is responsible for signaling the growth and division of all types of mesothelioma. Now, a new study conducted by scientists in Greece and the UK suggests that the compound may do the same thing in living patients. The doctors induced … Continue reading Kidney Cancer Drug Slows Mesothelioma Growth in Mice »

Mesothelin Flawed But Still the Best Mesothelioma Biomarker

Patients who are suspected of having mesothelioma often want to know whether there is a test to determine for certain if they have the disease. Unfortunately, no such test exists. Instead, mesothelioma diagnosis typically involves a complex combination of work and family history, symptoms, scans, biopsies and, often, a test for a protein called mesothelin. While mesothelin is not a perfect biomarker for malignant mesothelioma, a team of Australian mesothelioma researchers has confirmed that it is probably still the best one available. Biomarkers are measurable substances that can help indicate whether a patient has a particular disease. As the search for the most effective mesothelioma biomarkers continues, doctors at the University of Western Australia’s National Center for Asbestos Related Diseases … Continue reading Mesothelin Flawed But Still the Best Mesothelioma Biomarker »

Nuclear Workers Face Higher Mesothelioma Risk

Pleural mesothelioma is most often associated with asbestos exposure, but a new study suggests that nuclear workers may also be at higher risk for the cancer because of long-term, low-level radiation. A new National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study pooled a group of 119,195 US nuclear workers. The workers were employed at one of four Department of Energy nuclear weapons facilities or at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. They were followed from the start of their radiation work, between 1944 and 1952, though 2005. Their risk of death from mesothelioma and other cancers was then compared to that of the general population. “For most outcomes, mortality was below expectation compared to the general population, but mesothelioma and pleural … Continue reading Nuclear Workers Face Higher Mesothelioma Risk »

Too Much Airborne Asbestos Means Higher Mesothelioma Risk for Workers

A new study evaluating trends in workplace concentrations of asbestos over time and across industries has some good news and bad news about mesothelioma risk for workers. Researchers at Cardno ChemRisk, a  California-based scientific consulting firm, analyzed data collected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) between 1984 and 2011. OSHA conducts inspections to measure asbestos concentrations because of the link between asbestos exposure and lung diseases like malignant mesothelioma. The bad news is that many of the air samples collected contained dangerously high levels of asbestos fibers, well beyond what OSHA allowed. This was the case even decades after asbestos was identified as the primary cause of mesothelioma. “Asbestos compliance sampling data associated with the construction, automotive repair, manufacturing, and … Continue reading Too Much Airborne Asbestos Means Higher Mesothelioma Risk for Workers »

New Immune Therapies May Offer Best Hope for Mesothelioma

Immunotherapies, cancer drugs designed to alter the immune system, are emerging as one of the most hopeful methods of treating and perhaps even curing malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an almost universally fatal cancer of the membranes that surround the lungs and line the abdomen. Conventional cancer therapies, including the chemotherapy regimen that has become the standard-of-care for mesothelioma, have done little to improve survival. Even after decades of research and the development of multi-modal treatments, most mesothelioma patients still die of the disease within a year of diagnosis. But now, the outlook for this deadly cancer may finally be changing thanks to the emerging field of immunotherapy. Immunomodulators target the body’s own anti-tumor responses, effectively “turning them on” by blocking the processes (usually … Continue reading New Immune Therapies May Offer Best Hope for Mesothelioma »

Orphan Drug Approval Could Mean New Mesothelioma Treatment Option

A drug designed to fight cancer by destroying the stem cells that give rise to new cancer cells has been granted orphan drug status for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The designation paves the way for mesothelioma patients, who often have few treatment options, to get access to VS-5584 earlier than it would otherwise be available. VS-5584 is a powerful inhibitor of a signaling pathway that regulates cancer progression and the survival of cancer stem cells. According to Verastem, the Boston-based maker of VS-5584, the drug has already received a similar designation for mesothelioma in Europe. “This is an important regulatory milestone for Verastem and… will facilitate our global development of VS-5584 to help improve the available treatment options for patients suffering … Continue reading Orphan Drug Approval Could Mean New Mesothelioma Treatment Option »

Mesothelioma Risk from Recycled Textiles

Sorting rags for Italy’s textile industry may not sound like a dangerous occupation. But a new study in the Annals of Occupational Hygiene finds that rag sorters in the industrial province of Prato have a significantly elevated risk of malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a fast-growing and incurable cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Most people who contract mesothelioma have either worked in asbestos mines or with asbestos-containing products in the construction or shipbuilding trades. However, a hundred and seventy-two cases of mesothelioma were recorded among textile workers in Tuscany between 1988 and 2012. Almost half of them (46.5%) were residents of Prato and half of those Prato workers were rag sorters. In fact, the incidence of mesothelioma among rag sorters in … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk from Recycled Textiles »

Could Your Hairdryer Cause Mesothelioma?

A recent issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health contains some sobering news for hairstylists. A frightening new report highlights the potential link between the frequent use of hairdryers and a higher risk of deadly malignant mesothelioma. Hairdressers are not typically counted among the occupations at elevated risk for mesothelioma. Construction workers, electricians, plumbers, and others who work with asbestos-containing insulation have the highest incidence of mesothelioma, which is caused by inhaling the tiny fibers. But the same qualities that make asbestos such a good insulator in construction products, also make it ideal as an insulator and heat shield inside hairdryers. Hundreds of models from almost every major manufacturer were once made with asbestos. The asbestos heat shields were … Continue reading Could Your Hairdryer Cause Mesothelioma? »

Ingredient in Vinegar Kills Mesothelioma Cells in Minutes

There is new evidence that the primary ingredient in vinegar might eventually be used to help fight deadly malignant mesothelioma. Acetic acid is the colorless organic compound that gives vinegar its pungent smell and distinctive sour taste. It makes up 3 to 5% of vinegar. (The remaining 95-97% is water) In its pure form, acetic acid is used in the production of cellulose acetate for photographic film and polyvinyl acetate for wood glue, as well as some synthetic fibers and fabrics. It is also used as a food additive to regulate the acidity of certain foods and condiments.   Acetic acid was added into the cell cultures at different concentrations and for different lengths of time. The researchers then analyzed … Continue reading Ingredient in Vinegar Kills Mesothelioma Cells in Minutes »

In Search of a Better Mesothelioma Blood Test

A team from the Center of Molecular Medicine in Bochum, Germany tested the blood of 43 male mesothelioma patients along with 52 control subjects that had been exposed to asbestos but hadn’t developed mesothelioma. Blood was analyzed for the presence of mesothelin, a protein that is the most common blood-based mesothelioma biomarker, and miR-103a-3p, a microRNA gene. When the team attempted to identify the mesothelioma patients by mesothelin levels alone, they were able to correctly identify 74% of the sick patients. At the same time, the mesothelin-only blood test correctly ruled out mesothelioma in 85% of the healthy control subjects. The micro RNA gene proved to be a more accurate identifier of mesothelioma. Using the microRNA gene as their only … Continue reading In Search of a Better Mesothelioma Blood Test »