Tag Archives: malignant mesothelioma

Could Statin Drugs Help Fight Mesothelioma?

Lab Tech

A new study suggests that some of the most popular drugs used to treat high cholesterol may also help combat deadly malignant mesothelioma. That finding comes from Japanese research, published recently in the medical journal, Cancer Letters. The study found a “synergistic effect” in mesothelioma cells between two statin drugs, atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor) and gamma tocotrienol (y-T3), a form of Vitamin E. “Statin+y-T3 combinations induced greater cell growth inhibition more than each single treatment,” write the authors in the summary of their findings. The combination of statin drugs and gamma-tocotrienol appears to work by inhibiting an important metabolic pathway inside the mesothelioma cells, making it impossible for them to synthesize or utilize certain critical molecules. When the researchers … Continue reading Could Statin Drugs Help Fight Mesothelioma? »

FDG PET-CT Results Could Lead to Improved Mesothelioma Treatment


In a recent study, researchers say a better understanding of certain diagnostic criteria could result in more targeted treatments for malignant mesothelioma. In a recent published report, doctors from the medical school at Dicle University in Diyarbakir, Turkey measured the relationship between PET-CT scan results and survival in 177 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The patients were diagnosed between April 2007 and April 2011. They had a mean age of 55.4 and most (56%) were male. Patients in the study all had FDG PET-CT scans before beginning their mesothelioma treatment. FDG PET-CT scanning is a powerful imaging tool for mesothelioma and other cancers that combines a radioactive tracer with a combination of positron emission tomography and computed tomography scanning.  Because … Continue reading FDG PET-CT Results Could Lead to Improved Mesothelioma Treatment »

Volunteers Warned Against Mesothelioma Risk in OK


As volunteers from across the country continue to head to tornado-ravaged Oklahoma for the cleanup effort, they are being warned about a potentially serious threat to their own health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says damage to homes and buildings in Moore, Oklahoma has exposed a host of toxins including asbestos, the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma. Although asbestos has been phased out of most new construction materials, it can still be found in the insulation, caulk and joint compound, floor and ceiling tiles, and shingles of many older homes and buildings. According to the Huffington Post, many of the houses destroyed in Moore had been built in the 1960s and 1970s when asbestos use in construction was at its peak. … Continue reading Volunteers Warned Against Mesothelioma Risk in OK »

Macrophages May Hold Key to Fighting Mesothelioma


Researchers in Western Australia are investigating new ways of bolstering the immune system in an effort to fight cancers like mesothelioma. Like most types of cancer, malignant mesothelioma occurs primarily in people over 65. That is also the time in life when the immune system typically weakens. Researchers from Curtin University and the University of Western Australia say it is no coincidence that people become more susceptible to mesothelioma as their immunity wanes. In addition to age-related immune dysfunction, mesothelioma patients experience a further decline in immunity caused by the growing tumor itself. To better understand the connection between declining immunity and the onset of mesothelioma, the researchers are focusing on a particular type of immune system cell called a macrophage. … Continue reading Macrophages May Hold Key to Fighting Mesothelioma »

Skin Growths May Point to Mesothelioma

Could benign skin tumors be a warning sign for mesothelioma? One of the world’s leading authorities on mesothelioma says the same genetic mutation that predispose certain people to skin cancer may also put them at higher risk of malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare but serious cancer of the membranous tissue that surrounds and encases the lungs, heart and abdominal organs. Its primary cause is exposure to airborne asbestos. However, one of the great mysteries of this highly aggressive cancer is why it strikes some asbestos-exposed individuals and not others? Dr. Michele Carbone and colleagues at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, home to one of the world’s leading mesothelioma research programs, have been working on the problem for years. … Continue reading Skin Growths May Point to Mesothelioma »

Iron Range Mesothelioma Patients May Get Answers

People who live in Minnesota’s Iron Range and have contracted malignant mesothelioma may finally get some explanation as to how it happened. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks internal body membranes. It is almost always associated with exposure to the mineral asbestos. But, in the Iron Range, where the mesothelioma rate has been found to be 300 times higher than the rest of the state, the primary mineral is taconite, which is mined for its iron content. Alarmed by the unusually high rate of mesothelioma among taconite miners, the Minnesota Department of Health launched a study of iron range workers in conjunction with the University of Minnesota.  The Taconite Workers Health Study, which started in 2008, is focused on the nearly … Continue reading Iron Range Mesothelioma Patients May Get Answers »

Can Chest X-rays Help Prevent Mesothelioma?

A mesothelioma doctor believes that lives might be saved if people exposed to asbestos in the workplace received annual chest X-rays. Asbestos is the cause of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that affects the membranes around the lungs, heart or abdomen. Asbestos is still used in some industrial applications and is present in the insulation, floor tiles and shingles of tens of thousands of older homes and buildings. People who work or live around asbestos are at significantly higher risk of eventually developing mesothelioma. There is, as yet, no way of predicting which asbestos exposed individuals will develop mesothelioma, but, as with many cancers, early detection improves the odds of survival. Because mesothelioma usually does not cause many symptoms until in its … Continue reading Can Chest X-rays Help Prevent Mesothelioma? »

Medicinal Plant for Mesothelioma?

A new study suggests that a plant used for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic medicine may be a powerful weapon in the fight against deadly malignant mesothelioma. The bioactive compound Withaferin A (WA) is isolated from the root of Withania somnifera, a plant in the nightshade family also known as Indian ginseng.  A number of previous scientific studies have found evidence to suggest that WA has anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, anti-angiogenic, and anti-cancer properties. In the latest study, published online in the open-access peer-reviewed journal PLos One, researchers at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit tested the compound in live mice (in vivo) as well as in mesothelioma cells taken from human patients (in vitro). Their objective was to determine whether WA would have … Continue reading Medicinal Plant for Mesothelioma? »

Mesothelioma Diagnosis: SMRP Not the Answer

Soluble mesothelin-related protein (SMRP), a protein found in the blood serum of some people, may not be as effective a biomarker for mesothelioma as it was once thought to be. Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the internal membranes that surround the lungs, abdominal organs or heart. It is most often triggered by exposure to asbestos and is difficult to diagnose in its early stages. Biomarkers, like SMRP, are often used to try to make cancer diagnoses earlier since these compounds are often produced in larger quantities by cancer cells than by healthy cells. But in a report in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, a team of researchers suggests that SMRP has some significant limitations when it comes to detecting mesothelioma. The … Continue reading Mesothelioma Diagnosis: SMRP Not the Answer »

Mesothelioma Now Covered by Zadroga Act

First responders and others who have contracted malignant mesothelioma because of their exposure to asbestos during the 9/11 attacks in New York are now eligible for government compensation under the Zadroga act. The announcement was made by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health on the eve of the 11th anniversary of the attacks. The Zadroga Act, approved by Congress in 2012, was designed to help those were made sick because of the World Trade Center attack. Initially, the $2.8 billion fund was not available to people who contracted any type of cancer. Scientists had said there was little evidence to suggest that the toxic dust cloud created by the collapse and burning of the two buildings could cause cancer. But … Continue reading Mesothelioma Now Covered by Zadroga Act »