Legal Fight Continues Over Asbestos Disease in Libby, Mont.
The Center for Asbestos Related Disease in Libby, Montana, dodged a potential setback recently when officials from the U.S. Department of Justice decided against joining a lawsuit alleging fraudulent medical practices. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway filed the original suit in 2019 against the center – known as the CARD Clinic – alleging Medicare fraud that included unnecessary screenings and misdiagnosing patients with various asbestos-related diseases. The railroad giant is facing more than a thousand asbestos-related injury claims stemming from its transportation of asbestos-laden products through its r...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - March 5, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Johnson & Johnson Preparing $3.9 Billion for Talc Settlements
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has set aside $3.9 billion for talc-related litigation, according to a regulatory filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C. The company said it’s now facing more than 25,000 lawsuits related to various talc products that have allegedly caused cancers, primarily from asbestos fiber contamination. The $3.9 billion is almost double the amount that Johnson & Johnson reported being set aside for litigation expenses in its 2020 fiscal year-end results. A Missouri Court of Appeals earlier last year upheld a lower-court ruling, but reduced t...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 24, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Amy Edel Source Type: news

Study: Which Mesothelioma Patients Will Immunotherapy Benefit?
This study also is designed to better understand the biological mechanisms affecting the immune system. The goal is to use both the cellular organization and molecular pathways to develop a test that can predict the response to the checkpoint inhibitor drugs. Upon completion, a clinical trial would follow, in which treatment would depend on the results of the individual’s test. “Within the next year or two, we’ll have a good idea of whether these components are working,” Burt said. The post Study: Which Mesothelioma Patients Will Immunotherapy Benefit? appeared first on Mesothelioma Center - Vital S...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 23, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Amy Edel Source Type: news

Winter Storm Delays Cancer Treatment Across U.S.
Severe winter storms have affected multiple central U.S. states with power outages and water supply disruptions. State officials in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi say restoring power to everyone could still take several days. Over the past week, problems with state infrastructure left millions of residents across Texas and Oklahoma without heat and potable water. Dr. Raja Flores, a thoracic surgeon at Mount Sinai Cancer Center in New York, says the weather has also affected cancer patients in his area. “With the storm, many services are not available,” Dr. Flores told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. ...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 22, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Amy Edel Source Type: news

FDA Fast-Tracks Mesothelioma Vaccine Development
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Fast-Track Designation this week to ONCOS-102, an immunotherapy vaccine that targets malignant mesothelioma and other hard-to-treat tumors. This designation is expected to expedite the regulatory approval process. The vaccine’s developer, Targovax, a small biotech company that focuses on oncolytic viruses, sees this as an early endorsement from the FDA. “Yes, this opens the door for us,” Dr. Magnus Jaderberg, chief medical officer of Targovax, told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. “It validates what the FDA believes is a potentially promising...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 19, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Amy Edel Source Type: news

Research Reinforces Gene Mutation Links to Mesothelioma
More than ever, Dr. Michele Carbone at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center believes early testing for genetic mutations can lead to fewer cases of malignant mesothelioma and a longer survival time for many who do contract the disease. Lives can be saved. Years can be added. “It could change the way we treat these patients,” Carbone told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. “And, in some cases, it could prevent the cancer entirely.” Carbone is director of thoracic oncology at University of Hawaii and a world leader in identifying the role of genetics in the development of mesothelioma cancer. ...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 11, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Still Prevalent in Canada Following Asbestos Ban
More than two years after implementing a much-celebrated ban of asbestos, Canadians have come to realize the real fight has only just begun. Malignant mesothelioma cancer isn’t going away any time soon. Asbestos exposure may be the only confirmed cause of mesothelioma, but the nationwide ban of the toxic mineral is not predicted to slow the rise in cases for decades. It is expected to change the face of those being diagnosed. “It’s going to be awhile before we see any major decline in numbers,” Dr. Paul Demers, director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre at Ontario Health, told The Mesotheli...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 8, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Opdivo Study Offers Hope to Relapsed Mesothelioma Patients
A recent study out of the United Kingdom finds patients with relapsed malignant mesothelioma can be treated effectively with single-agent nivolumab, safely improving overall and progression-free survival. Nivolumab, also known by the brand name Opdivo, is an immunotherapy drug already being used successfully with non-small cell lung cancer. It is the first drug to show a significant survival advantage for relapsed mesothelioma in a phase III clinical trial, according to principal investigator Dr. Dean Fennell, medical oncologist at the University of Leicester in England. “This is very encouraging news,” Fennell...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 4, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Researchers: Mesothelioma Trials Need More Inclusive Criteria
Clinical trials for mesothelioma need more inclusive criteria to better reflect the patients being seen at major cancer treatment centers, according to a recent study conducted in Sydney, Australia. The study demonstrated a significant difference between those carefully selected for clinical trials and real-world patients with pleural mesothelioma. “A broader patient population more resembling real life would be able to access the novel treatment early,” Dr. Steven Kao, medical oncologist at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse hospital and one of the study authors, told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. &ldquo...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 2, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

EPA ’s Asbestos Risk Evaluation Faces Litigation
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization continued its challenge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, filing a petition for review Jan. 26 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and an intent to sue notice under the Toxic Substances Control Act. ADAO, the leading nonprofit aimed at preventing asbestos exposure and raising awareness about mesothelioma, was joined by five public health groups and six doctors and scientists in its latest filings. The petition for review is aimed at the EPA’s Final Risk Evaluation for Asbestos from earlier this month that was roundly criticized for underestimating ...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 27, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Study: Mesothelioma Survival Rates Rise with SMART Protocol
Using accelerated high-dose radiation prior to surgery produced an unprecedented 65.9-month median survival for a cohort of pleural mesothelioma patients who were part of a larger clinical trial at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. Lancet Oncology recently published results of the study, named SMART, an acronym for Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy. The SMART study involved 96 patients with pleural mesothelioma who were treated in Toronto from 2008 to 2019. All received the intensity-modulated radiotherapy before extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery, an unconventional treatment regimen. Among the...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 21, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Thoracic Chemotherapy May Advance Mesothelioma Treatment
Thoracic surgeon Dr. Marcello Migliore is convinced that adding hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy to aggressive surgery can extend survival significantly for patients with pleural mesothelioma cancer. He wants others to know that, too. This seldom-used, controversial procedure, also known as HITHOC, involves circulating a heated, high-concentration chemotherapy solution throughout the chest cavity for 60 minutes immediately following aggressive mesothelioma surgery. The idea is to kill any microscopic tumor cells that evaded the surgeon, hopefully slowing a potential cancer recurrence. Unlike HIPEC, a similar procedu...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 19, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Statins May Give Boost to Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Drugs
This study, which included both patients with pleural mesothelioma and with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, found a potential synergy with the immunotherapy drugs. Opdivo and Keytruda, generically called nivolumab and pembrolizumab, respectively, are known as PD-1 inhibitors, drugs that restrict a protein from stopping immune response to cancer cells. “Statins may lead to prolonged antigen retention on cell membrane and strengthen antigen presentation to T cells, thus suggesting a potential synergy with PD-1 inhibitors,” the authors wrote. “The anti-tumor effect of statins might be attributed to an i...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 7, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

EPA Evaluation Finds Asbestos Still An Unreasonable Risk
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released Part 1 of its Final Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, reaffirming preliminary findings from March that were roundly criticized for underestimating the dangers of exposure to this toxic mineral. Six ongoing use categories of asbestos were evaluated by the EPA, which found 16 conditions of use that presented unreasonable risk to human health through either occupational exposures or consumer uses. Part 1 of the evaluation, released in late December 2020, involved the chrysotile type of asbestos. Chrysotile is the only type of asbestos being imported, processed or distributed for u...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 6, 2021 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Judge Rules EPA Must Tighten Asbestos Data Collection
United States District Judge Edward Chen has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to improve its data collection on the amount of asbestos and asbestos products that are coming into the country. Chen issued his ruling Tuesday in San Francisco, stemming from a lawsuit brought against the EPA by a group of nonprofit organizations wanting to close the current asbestos reporting loopholes. The EPA has contended that the voluntary reporting today by manufacturers, processors and importers provided adequate data. “EPA has not articulated a satisfactory explanation for its decision not to use its significant enforcem...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 23, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Top 10 Mesothelioma and Asbestos News Stories of 2020
Growing allegations of asbestos-contaminated talc in various consumer products, coupled with historic approval of a new treatment for pleural mesothelioma, made 2020 a year filled with both anxiety and hope. Johnson & Johnson stopped selling its iconic baby powder in May after being hit by thousands of lawsuits contending its talc-based product was causing various cancers, including ovarian cancer and malignant mesothelioma. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the immunotherapy combination of Opdivo and Yervoy in October, the first new drug regimen approved for first-line treatment of unresectable disease in...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 15, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Study: Immunotherapy Vaccine for Mesothelioma Still Promising
The ONCOS-102 immunotherapy vaccine continues its move toward future, first-line standard of care treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma, based upon the latest study follow-up data. When combined with standard chemotherapy, the genetically modified adenovirus has produced a median overall survival of at least 18.2 months, according to results released in late November from the ongoing clinical trial. Median overall survival was more than four months better than the control group receiving chemotherapy alone in the randomized trial. ONCOS-102 is manufactured by Targovax, a small Scandinavian biotech company focused on...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 3, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Patient Research Expanding in United Kingdom
The University of Sheffield has launched the Mesothelioma UK Research Centre-Sheffield, the country’s first experience-based program designed to improve the treatment and care of patients diagnosed with this aggressive, asbestos-related cancer. Based in South Yorkshire, England, the University of Sheffield hopes to become an international pioneer in patient-led mesothelioma research. “The program will build on our legacy of research from a number of years,’’ Dr. Clare Gardiner, of the University of Sheffield Health Sciences School and program co-director, told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.co...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - November 30, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Surgery with Organ Removal Extends Survival
Removing major organs to achieve a more complete cancer resection did not increase severe complications or hinder survival benefits of aggressive surgery for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, according to a recent report. The increased complexity of organ resection surgery will not adversely affect long-term outcomes, according to the multicenter study published in Annals of Surgical Oncology. By comparison, an incomplete cytoreduction that can spare the organs is associated with increased mortality and shorter overall survival. The study, which involved 174 patients across 12 specialty centers within the U.S., accent...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - November 17, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Latest T-Cell Clinical Trial Opens for Mesothelioma Patients
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City has begun recruiting patients with pleural mesothelioma for its latest — and potentially most promising — clinical trial involving T-cell therapy. The novel study stems from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent Investigational Drug Application approval of ATA2271, a chimeric antigen receptor known as CAR T-cell therapy. This latest therapy will be tested in a phase I, dose-escalation clinical trial. It will involve the removal and genetic modification of a patient’s T cells, a type of white blood cell, that will be separated in the la...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 8, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Congress Fails to Vote on Asbestos Ban Legislation
The U.S. House of Representatives last week failed to advance once-promising legislation that effectively would have banned asbestos, frustrating advocates once again. H.R. 1603, titled the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2020, had been expected to pass easily under a Congressional procedure reserved for broadly supported, non-controversial legislation. The bipartisan House Committee on Energy and Commerce had voted earlier, 47-1, to move it forward, fueling considerable optimism leading into the latest Congressional session. If passed, the bill would have then moved to the U.S. Senate, which also had shown bipartis...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 7, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Johnson & Johnson Will Pay $100M in Baby Powder Lawsuits
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle more than a thousand lawsuits claiming its iconic talc-based baby powder caused cancer, according to Bloomberg News. The settlement stems from burgeoning litigation after earlier asbestos-contaminated talc was found in one of its products. Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest maker of health care merchandise, recalled 33,000 bottles of its baby powder in 2019, “out of an abundance of caution.” It also stopped selling talc-based baby powder the same year in the United States and Canada, switching to a corns...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 6, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Matt Mauney Source Type: news

Johnson & Johnson Settles 1K Baby Powder-Asbestos Lawsuits
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle an more than a thousand lawsuits claiming its iconic baby powder caused cancer, according to Bloomberg News. The settlement stems from burgeoning litigation after earlier asbestos-contaminated talc was found in one of its products. Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest maker of health care merchandise, recalled 33,000 bottles of its baby powder in 2019, “out of an abundance of caution.” It also stopped selling talc-based baby powder the same year in the United States and Canada, switching to a cornstarch-ba...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 6, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Matt Mauney Source Type: news

FDA Approves Opdivo, Yervoy Combination for Mesothelioma
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the immunotherapy combination of Opdivo and Yervoy for first-line treatment of unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma. It was the first new drug regimen approved for mesothelioma in 16 years and only the second systemic therapy ever. The historic treatment approval for this cancer without a cure was the first since the FDA approved the chemotherapy combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin in 2004. “This marks the beginning of a new era for mesothelioma,” Dr. Bernardo Goulart, medical oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, told The Mesothelioma Center a...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 5, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

FDA Approves Opdivo, Yervoy Combination for Mesothelioma
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the immunotherapy combination of Opdivo and Yervoy for first-line treatment of unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma. It was the first new drug regimen approved for mesothelioma in 16 years and only the second systemic therapy ever. The historic treatment approval for this cancer without a cure was the first since the FDA approved the chemotherapy combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin in 2004. “This marks the beginning of a new era for mesothelioma,” Dr. Bernardo Goulart, medical oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, told The Mesothelioma Center a...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 5, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

KCIC Report: Mesothelioma Lawsuits on the Rise in US
While the incidence of malignant mesothelioma in the United States continued its gradual decline, the tendency to sue for damages drastically increased in recent years, according to a KCIC study. Lawsuits filed by those stricken with the deadly asbestos-related cancer increased 65.7% from 2007 to 2017. Meanwhile, the overall incidence rate of mesothelioma dropped 16.2% during the same period. KCIC, a well-regarded consulting firm in Washington, D.C., that manages asbestos product liabilities, published the study of mesothelioma and asbestos litigation last week. Study author Megan Shockley, senior manager at KCIC, was unav...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 29, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Gene Therapy Clinical Trial for Mesothelioma Moving Forward
This study will compare the effectiveness of the drug against a control group receiving only the gemcitabine and celecoxib. Patients have a one-in-two chance of being randomly assigned to either the adenovirus treatment or the control group. Adenovirus-delivered interferon Alpha-2b is designed as a second- or third-line treatment for patients who have failed in earlier regimens. Patients who previously had aggressive mesothelioma surgery but whose tumors have since progressed would be eligible to enroll. Success at the phase III level would mark the culmination of 20 years of researching and fine tuning gene therapy for us...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 23, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Trial to Test Cancer Vaccine with Immunotherapy
A research team at Oslo University Hospital in Norway has opened a mesothelioma clinical trial using the novel UV1 cancer vaccine alongside a promising immunotherapy combination. UV1 is a peptide-based vaccine designed to induce a specific T-cell response and increase the effectiveness of the immunotherapy drugs. This is the first time UV1 will be studied with mesothelioma cancer, but it already has shown safety and signs of efficacy when used on malignant melanoma, prostate cancer and lung cancer in studies worldwide. It will be used with the immunotherapy combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab, also known by brand names...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 14, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Peer Review Finds EPA ’s Asbestos Risk Evaluation Flawed
The Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals found considerable failings and an underestimation of danger to the general public in a draft risk evaluation of asbestos submitted earlier this year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. SACC, which serves as a scientific, peer-review mechanism for the EPA, released its recommendations last week in the ongoing governmental reevaluation of asbestos. This is the latest step in the amended Toxic Substances Control Act that requires the EPA to conduct evaluations on specific chemicals to determine whether they present unreasonable risk under conditions of use. The committee w...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 2, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Georgia-Pacific Pledges $1B to Bestwall Asbestos Trust Fund
Georgia-Pacific has pledged $1 billion to fund an asbestos trust for bankrupt affiliate Bestwall LLC, clearing the path to a settlement of longstanding liability claims involving mesothelioma cancer. Bloomberg Law reported earlier this month that Georgia-Pacific made the financial commitment to advance a consensual resolution in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Bestwall is a wallboard and joint compound product manufacturer that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017 with more than 62,000 pending claims involving asbestos. It was known earlier as Bestwall Gypsum Company, and was purcha...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 25, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

New Lung Cancer Trial Could Benefit Mesothelioma Patients
Pharmaceutical giant Merck has teamed up with Novocure to test its cornerstone immunotherapy, pembrolizumab (Keytruda), alongside Tumor Treating Fields. The new phase II clinical research trial is focusing on non-small cell lung cancer and will enroll approximately 66 patients across the U.S. Keytruda, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, works as a checkpoint inhibitor and allows the immune system to identify and attack cancer cells hiding within the PD-1 pathway. The FDA approved Keytruda for mesothelioma as the first immunotherapy treatment for the disease in 2020. Novocure, a global oncology company, has been developing...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 19, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Immunotherapy Combination Extends Mesothelioma Survival
Standard-of-care treatment for unresectable pleural mesothelioma cancer could be changing soon, sparked by a recently completed international study of a novel immunotherapy combination. Patients in the randomized mesothelioma clinical trial who were treated with ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) had a median overall survival of 18.1 months, compared to 14.1 months for those receiving chemotherapy. The results of the mesothelioma trial, which was sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb, were presented at the recent World Conference on Lung Cancer virtual meeting. Authors of the study said it was the first time an immuno...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 11, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Clinical Trials Resume After COVID-19 Disruption
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck earlier this year, clinical trials at medical centers around the world slowed enrollment or placed trial activities on hold. As businesses begin to reopen in the United States, more treatment centers are resuming mesothelioma study activities and ramping up enrollment. Clinical research trials offer patients access to experimental mesothelioma treatments that haven’t yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These treatments may provide higher chances of survival than the current standard of care. “So far, every patient I have seen during the COVID-19 pande...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 10, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Mesothelioma T-Cell Therapy Shows Early Effectiveness in Trial
A mesothelioma clinical trial involving genetically modified T cells has opened to considerable acclaim, shrinking tumors in the first five patients who were treated. The phase I portion of the clinical trial is designed to define the safety profile and optimal dosage level of TC-210, a novel immunotherapy targeting mesothelin, a cell-surface protein often overexpressed in several cancers. While T cell modifications in the laboratory are proving safe and well tolerated, the initial signs of consistent efficacy became an early bonus in phase I. Four of the patients treated had mesothelioma. The fifth had ovarian cancer. All...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 4, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Specialty Centers Rank on 2020 Best Hospitals List
For the sixth consecutive year, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was named the top Adult Cancer Hospital in America by U.S. News & World Report. Several of the top-tier cancer centers on the list have specialty programs for mesothelioma that contributed to their high ranking. The 2020-21 Best Hospitals for Cancer rankings, announced this week, are part of a broader Best Hospitals Honor Roll done annually by U.S. News & World Report. Top five cancer center rankings also included Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 29, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

MD Anderson Leads List of Top-Tier Cancer Hospitals
For the sixth consecutive year, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was named the top Adult Cancer Hospital in America by U.S. News & World Report. Several of the top-tier cancer centers on the list have specialty programs for mesothelioma that contributed to their high ranking. The 2020-21 Best Hospitals for Cancer rankings, announced this week, are part of a broader Best Hospitals Honor Roll done annually by U.S. News & World Report. Top five cancer center rankings also included Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 29, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Study Shows Peritoneal Mesothelioma Surgery Underutilized
The continued underutilization of aggressive surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma is shortening survival time dramatically for patients who could qualify for, and benefit from, the highly effective procedure. Only a third of those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma are undergoing potentially curative cytoreductive mesothelioma surgery, according to a comprehensive study of the National Cancer Database by researchers at Inova Fairfax Medical Center in Virginia. Annals of Surgical Oncology published the mesothelioma study earlier this year. “Patients who have the surgery perform much better than those who do not. Ye...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 28, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Merck, Targovax Team Up for New Mesothelioma Clinical Trial
Standard-of-care treatment for malignant mesothelioma could change significantly, depending upon the results of an upcoming clinical trial of two immunotherapy agents used in combination with chemotherapy. The mesothelioma clinical trial will involve pembrolizumab, also known by the brand name Keytruda, and its synergy with ONCOS-102, a lesser-known, genetically modified adenovirus. Individually, both have shown modest efficacy for mesothelioma patients when used with chemotherapy. Together, there is potential for a much greater impact in significantly extending patient survival. The clinical trial is a partnership between...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 22, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

More Mesothelioma Cancer Centers Using Tumor Treating Fields
Tumor Treating Fields is one of the newest treatments on the market for pleural mesothelioma cancer patients with metastatic disease. The device is also available to patients with locally advanced cancer who are not candidates for mesothelioma surgery. Clinical trials of the treatment, previously known as NovoTTF-100L, extended the survival of mesothelioma patients by more than six months compared to those receiving only chemotherapy. The device is now called Optune Lua and has been available outside of clinical trials for over a year. More physicians and treatment centers are becoming certified to prescribe the treatmen...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 21, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

EPA Leaving Libby After Massive Asbestos Cleanup
Mike Cirian came to Libby, Montana, in 2005 to lead the largest asbestos cleanup project in American history, a decontamination effort of unprecedented proportion. He never left. Cirian helped turn a dark, deadly past into a much brighter, celebrated future. As manager of the EPA’s asbestos Superfund site ­– stemming from the massive asbestos-contaminated vermiculite mine that killed hundreds and sickened thousands – Cirian is nearing the end of his role. On July 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially transferred oversight and responsibility for much of the sprawling project to the Mon...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 15, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Nonprofits Call for Worldwide Halt of J & J Baby Powder Sales
National advocacy group Black Women for Wellness joined more than 170 other nonprofits from 51 countries last week in demanding that Johnson & Johnson stop the worldwide distribution of its iconic Johnson’s Baby Powder. The demand for a global distribution ban stems from the potential for asbestos in talc, which has led to various cancers and thousands of personal injury lawsuits. A majority of talc cases pertain to women and ovarian cancer. A small percentage of the legal claims involve mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer caused primarily by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers. Johnson & Jo...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 13, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

NCI Studying New Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Combination
Patients with mesothelioma are being recruited by the National Cancer Institute for a phase II clinical trial using a novel immunotoxin prior to pembrolizumab, a combination that has shown preliminary evidence of efficacy. This promising mesothelioma clinical trial involves the drug LMB-100, designed to make immunotherapy agents such as pembrolizumab, otherwise known as Keytruda, more effective. NCI’s trial includes separate cohorts for pleural and peritoneal types of mesothelioma. “This is a very good option for these patients,” medical oncologist Dr. Raffit Hassan, an acclaimed investigator at the Natio...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 8, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Rise in Talc Cases Reshapes Traditional Asbestos Litigation
A recent rise in litigation linking cosmetic talc with mesothelioma and lung cancer will continue throughout 2020, despite companies abandoning the product in the hope of avoiding costly verdicts. The number of legal cases is expected to increase by 10% this year, building on an 11% rise in 2019, according to KCIC, a well-regarded consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., that manages asbestos product liabilities. “A new trend we have started to see is talc allegations showing up in traditional asbestos complaints,” said KCIC Vice President Michelle Potter during a recent webinar that looked at past litigation...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 7, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Cryoablation Study for Mesothelioma Opening at UCLA
Researchers at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center will soon begin studying the pre-surgery use of cryoablation as a potential early adjuvant therapy for patients with pleural mesothelioma. The pilot study will measure immune system stimulation through local tumor infiltration in hopes of extending patient survival in the future. Cryoablation, also known as cryotherapy or cryosurgery, freezes localized tumors with liquid nitrogen or argon gas. It has been proven effective in killing tumor cells with extreme cold. It is currently used on kidney, liver and prostate cancers, but its use in priming a person’s own i...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 1, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Johnson & Johnson Talc-Asbestos Verdict Upheld, Award Cut
The Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a landmark jury verdict that said long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc products, possibly contaminated with asbestos fibers, had caused ovarian cancer in 22 women. The Court of Appeals also reduced the earlier, record-setting award for punitive and compensatory damages from $4.69 billion to $2.1 billion. A Johnson & Johnson spokesperson said the company would appeal again with the Supreme Court of Missouri. Johnson & Johnson has been flooded with more than 19,000 lawsuits in U.S. state and federal courts over its talc products, the majority of which pertain to ova...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - June 25, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Tazemetostat Shows Promise for Pleural Mesothelioma
Five different research groups at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting last month made presentations on the effectiveness of tazemetostat, a novel protein inhibitor, in fighting various cancers. Pleural mesothelioma was one of those cancers in which clear efficacy was demonstrated, raising hopes again for a future second-line therapy option. “It wasn’t the breakthrough you may be looking for, but there is a set of patients now that can benefit from this treatment for a period of time,” Dr. Marianna Koczywas, medical oncologist at City of Hope cancer treatment and research center in Cal...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - June 24, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Chemoperfusion Trial Shows Impressive Results
Study statistics show the benefits of the novel transarterial chemoperfusion treatment being used successfully at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa for patients with relapsed pleural mesothelioma. Russell Lamkins — working on the roof of a neighbor’s house — shows them even better. He is living proof. This latest mesothelioma treatment has potential. Lamkins, 73, was first diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2014. He was the second patient to enroll in the mesothelioma clinical trial in March 2016, soon after standard-of-care chemotherapy and immunotherapy had failed him. “At that point, I had no choice...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - June 22, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

FDA Approves Keytruda for Certain Mesothelioma Patients
Patients with pleural mesothelioma cancer may have another treatment option after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of pembrolizumab for certain metastatic tumors this week. Pembrolizumab, often known by the brand name Keytruda, is a well-known immunotherapy drug already being used with mixed success for several cancers. This latest FDA approval is for the treatment of adult and pediatric cancers with unresectable disease and high mutational burden that have progressed following prior treatment and have no alternative treatment options. A number of mesothelioma patients already are being treated with p...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - June 17, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Study Finds Mesothelioma Therapies Underutilized in Women
A multicenter research team of specialists has uncovered a surprising underutilization of treatments for pleural mesothelioma cancer in women. Clinical Lung Cancer recently published the findings, which showed a significant sex-based disparity in the receipt of care for women when compared with that of men. Women were 15% less likely to receive aggressive mesothelioma surgery that has proven its worth in extending lives for this cancer, which has no definitive cure. They also were 20% less likely to receive chemotherapy than were men. “This is concerning, absolutely,” Dr. Charles Simone, chief medical officer a...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - June 15, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news

Major Cosmetic Companies Moving Away from Talc in Makeup
Consumer concerns and the threat of potentially costly lawsuits are driving cosmetic companies away from the long-standing manufacture of talc-based products. Reuters News Service is reporting that Revlon, Chanel and L’Oreal — three of the biggest names in U.S. cosmetics — have been turning quietly to talc alternatives in the last few years. Talc is the softest mineral on Earth and is used ubiquitously in thousands of personal care and cosmetic products to absorb moisture, provide lubrication and improve feel. Unfortunately, talc also is mined near the Earth’s surface in proximity to asbestos, which...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - June 11, 2020 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Fran Mannino Source Type: news