A new study on mesothelioma incidence in the US contains some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the incidence of the asbestos cancer is finally dropping in the US, after years of growth. The bad news is that, if you live in the Northern part of the US, you are more likely to be exposed to the toxin and your mesothelioma risk is higher. The Good News About Mesothelioma Incidence in the US Asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma around the globe and in the US. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that is resistant to fire and corrosion. It was mined at several sites in the US and used in thousands of consumer products … Continue reading Mesothelioma Incidence in the US: The Good News and the Bad News
There is new evidence that mesothelioma can affect more than just the part of the body where a tumor occurs. Along with lung-related symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath, a new study suggests that shoulder pain can also be an early sign of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Polish researchers reached that conclusion after studying the cases of 49 mesothelioma patients treated at the Central Clinical Hospital in Warsaw between 2006 and 2012. In looking over the patients’ medical records, they found that seven of the patients (14.3%) listed shoulder pain as the very first symptom of mesothelioma. In most cases, the shoulder pain among mesothelioma patients was relatively mild, with an average severity of 4 on a scale of … Continue reading Shoulder Pain: An Early Symptom of Mesothelioma?
A new biobank of mesothelioma cell samples in the UK is set to help advance mesothelioma research around the world. The recently-opened mesothelioma tissue bank, called MesobanK UK, will be an international resource of cells specifically for use in mesothelioma research. Mesothelioma Cell Samples and More When the biobank is complete within the next few years, it is expected to contain samples of tissue, blood and pleural fluid from 300 patients with mesothelioma as well as 26 new mesothelioma cell lines. In addition to these cells, which are vital for mesothelioma research, the biobank will also include details from the medical records of these mesothelioma patients, collected by permission. “MesobanK has been created to establish a bioresource of pleural mesothelioma … Continue reading Mesothelioma Research Gets a Boost From New Tissue Bank
When it comes to evaluating treatment response in mesothelioma, functional imaging techniques may do a better job than standard imaging. That is the word from a team of UK researchers who compared different types of imaging techniques in the evaluation of pleural mesothelioma patients for an article in the journal Lung Cancer. Imaging Techniques for Mesothelioma Tumors Functional imaging, which includes techniques like positron emission tomography (PET), dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, and diffusion-weighted MRI, are designed to tell doctors more than just the size or shape of the mesothelioma tumor. By using certain kinds of injectable tracers, these imaging studies reveal important information about cellular processes like metabolism, which is typically higher in mesothelioma cells than it is in normal cells. “By … Continue reading Best Tools for Measuring Mesothelioma Treatment Response
A mutation of the BAP1 gene may not be the only reason mesothelioma can sometimes run in families. A more complex genetic picture may also help explain why some asbestos-exposed workers get the disease and some do not. Exposure to asbestos is the number one cause of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that starts on the membranes that surround internal organs. But only a tiny percentage of people exposed to asbestos – many of whom were construction workers, asbestos plant employees, or veterans – ever contract mesothelioma. Past studies have explained the disparity, in part, by showing that a mutation on the BAP1 gene appears to make some people more susceptible to the damaging effects of asbestos. But a new … Continue reading Could Other Gene Mutations Be Behind Mesothelioma?
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
The best second-line treatment for mesothelioma patients who fail to respond to standard chemotherapy is probably to enroll in a clinical trial. The authors of a newly-published paper on the subject reached that conclusion after reviewing the results of 29 studies on potential second- or third-line mesothelioma treatments. Most patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive malignancy associated with asbestos exposure, will undergo chemotherapy, either as a stand-alone treatment or as part of a multimodal approach. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of mesothelioma patients treated with standard pemetrexed/cisplatin chemotherapy will show a response. Even those who respond to chemotherapy often relapse again later. Scientists around the world are searching for new drugs and drug combinations to offer mesothelioma patients … Continue reading Clinical Trial May be Best Second-Line Approach for Mesothelioma
Some Italian workers are paying a high price for Italy’s former position as the top European producer of asbestos. According to a new study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, both men and women who lived and worked in areas of heavy asbestos production are far more likely than their peers elsewhere in the country to contract peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the rarer form of a very rare cancer. While the more common pleural mesothelioma occurs in the membranes around the lungs, peritoneal mesothelioma starts on the membrane that surrounds abdominal organs. Like all forms of mesothelioma, it is asbestos-related, hard to treat, aggressive, and usually lethal. To get an idea how prevalent peritoneal mesothelioma is in Italy … Continue reading Peritoneal Mesothelioma Rates Higher in Italy’s Asbestos-Producing Regions
Targeted therapies may be the future of mesothelioma treatment. That word comes from a team of some of the world’s top mesothelioma researchers at the University of Hawaii and New York University. The group has just published a review detailing what is known about how mesothelioma develops – also called “pathogenesis” – and how that growing knowledge may help scientists develop more effective treatments. “Novel treatments are needed, as current treatment modalities may improve the quality of life, but have shown modest effects in improving overall survival,” writes Dr. Michele Carbone, corresponding author on the review and a top name in mesothelioma research. Dr. Harvey Pass, chief of the division of thoracic surgery at New York University’s Langone Medical Center … Continue reading Emerging Therapies Target Mesothelioma in New Ways
Researchers in Japan are enrolling mesothelioma patients into a trial to test whether blocking a growth signaling pathway inside mesothelioma cells could slow down this aggressive cancer or even stop its progression. The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-Met signal pathway is highly active in mesothelioma and many other types of cancer cells, telling them to grow and replicate quickly. In the lab, scientists have shown that the NK4 gene, which shares a molecular structure similar to HGF, can interrupt this signaling pathway and keep cancer cells from growing out of control. In a new study launched this summer by researchers at several Japanese universities, scientists will be testing a method of delivering NK4 to the site of mesothelioma tumors by administering a virus designed … Continue reading Could a Virus-Delivered Gene Slow Mesothelioma Growth?