Tag Archives: malignant mesothelioma

Mesothelioma May be Triggered by Suppressed ‘Natural Killer’ Cells

A group of Japanese scientists are offering some new insights into the mechanism by which the toxic mineral asbestos may trigger mesothelioma. For decades asbestos has been linked to malignant mesothelioma, a fast-growing cancer of the mesothelial lining around the lungs and internal organs. But only in recent years have researchers begun to understand the complex physiological responses that give rise to the disease. Because mesothelioma can take 30 years or more to develop symptoms, some scientists have concluded that there is more at work in mesothelioma than the ‘tumorigenicity’ (cancer-inducing properties) of asbestos. Now, researchers from the Kawasaki Medical School in Japan have shown that, in addition to causing cellular inflammation, asbestos may also effectively ‘turn off’ the body’s … Continue reading Mesothelioma May be Triggered by Suppressed ‘Natural Killer’ Cells »

Mixed Results for Mesothelioma From Targeted Therapies

A review of recent clinical trials on various targeted therapies for malignant mesothelioma indicates that, while some are helpful, none are likely to become standard treatments yet. In an article in the international journal Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, a pair of Danish researchers reported their analysis of 32 clinical trials on 17 different targeted agents for mesothelioma. A targeted agent is a medication that takes aim at a specific cellular function within mesothelioma tumor cells. Some inhibit proteins needed for growth or replication. Others may attack the formation of blood vessels or other structures that feed the cancer cells. The extensive look at clinical trials of these targeted agents found that, overall, those that were used as a first-line treatment … Continue reading Mixed Results for Mesothelioma From Targeted Therapies »

Power Plants Workers at High Risk for Mesothelioma

A new German study has confirmed what thousands of power plants workers already know: their exposure to asbestos on the job puts them at high risk for malignant mesothelioma. Because of its heat resistant properties, asbestos was used for many years as an insulator around hot power plants turbines, wires and other sensitive equipment.  Thousands of power plants workers have come in contact with the material on a daily basis, in some cases, for decades. In the newest study on the risk of mesothelioma among power plant workers, German researchers monitored 8,632 former or current power plant employees between 2002 and 2006 who worked with the large turbines.  The researchers took dust fibers from in and around the plants and found … Continue reading Power Plants Workers at High Risk for Mesothelioma »

Immune System May Help Fight Mesothelioma

Proteins and toxins produced by the body’s own immune system could prove to be powerful weapons in the fight against malignant mesothelioma. Manipulating the immune system to fight cancer is known as immunotherapy. One type of immunotherapy is utilizing natural immunotoxins, or cell killers, produced by the white blood cells to attack tumors. Preliminary data shows that a protein produced by these cells called interleukin-4 or IL-4, may have potent cancer-fighting properties. Researchers with the Pacific Heart Lung & Blood Institute in California are planning studies to test the toxin’s value as a way to combat mesothelioma. Their first challenge will be to produce enough IL-4 to conduct tests. When enough of the immunotoxin can be synthesized according to FDA … Continue reading Immune System May Help Fight Mesothelioma »

New Treatment for Mesothelioma Highlighted at Conference

Experts from around the globe will be meeting in Barcelona, Spain this month to discuss the benefits of a targeted type of radiation therapy that has shown promise in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. TomoTherapy is the brand name for an Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy system designed to deliver high doses of radiation directly into tumor cells, while minimizing the damage to surrounding healthy tissues. The developers of the technology will present 82 new studies of its impact on various cancers, including mesothelioma, at the conference sponsored by the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO). Mesothelioma, which involves the lining of the lungs and chest wall, is notoriously difficult to treat with radiation therapy because of the size … Continue reading New Treatment for Mesothelioma Highlighted at Conference »

Mesothelioma and Asbestos: A Continuing Problem in Louisiana

Thousands of people involved in helping to bring Louisiana back from the brink of total destruction after Hurricane Katrina may be facing a risk they hadn’t anticipated.  The majority of homes and buildings destroyed or badly damaged by the 2005 storm contained asbestos, a mineral fiber classified by the EPA as a carcinogen.  People involved in tearing down or repairing those buildings are likely to inhale or even ingest asbestos, putting them at risk for lung cancer, asbestosis (lung scarring) and malignant mesothelioma. Although it is now known to be highly dangerous, asbestos was a common construction material for more than 50 years, showing up in the insulation, wallboards, floor and ceiling tiles, shingles and elsewhere in hundreds of thousands … Continue reading Mesothelioma and Asbestos: A Continuing Problem in Louisiana »

Mesothelioma Diagnosis Improved by New Tests

An international panel of pathologists has released a consensus statement regarding guidelines for the pathological diagnosis of diffuse malignant mesothelioma. Among the key recommendations: antibody tests (immunohistochemical studies) are crucial to distinguishing mesothelioma from other types of cancers, and a patient’s history of asbestos exposure should not play a role in making the pathologic diagnosis. The expert panel included 16 pathologists from the International Mesothelioma Interest Group. Their goal was to provide guidelines to pathologists who do not have extensive experience in diagnosing mesothelioma. “What started the whole project was that our oncologists at the University of Chicago felt there were pathologists who saw maybe one case of mesothelioma every two or three years,” explains Aliya Husain, MD, Professor of … Continue reading Mesothelioma Diagnosis Improved by New Tests »