Verastem: FDA Grants New Mesothelioma Orphan Drug Approval to VS-5584
Mesothelioma patients may see a potential new treatment option in another drug that targets and kills cancer stem cells. Drugmaker Verastem Inc. this month announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted VS-5584 — a drug that can reduce cancer stem cells efficiently — an orphan drug designation for mesothelioma. Last month, the drug received similar status in Europe. "We look forward to taking full advantage of the opportunities in order to bring this potential new treatment option to patients as rapidly as possible," Verastem CEO Robert Forrester said. "This is an important regulat...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 27, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Officials Will Release List of Mr. Fluffy Asbestos Homes to the Public
Government officials in Australia are making public a list of properties that tested positive for traces of deadly Mr. Fluffy asbestos insulation products. Affected homeowners and others have mixed reactions to the June 30 publication of the list containing more than 1,000 homes across Canberra and parts of New South Wales in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Safety advocates say publishing the list of hazardous homes is in the public's best interest to protect others from asbestos exposure that could lead to deadly diseases, such as mesothelioma. While some homeowners feel it's an invasion of privacy and will make m...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 23, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Lorraine Kember Tags: Asbestos Exposure & Bans Source Type: news

Researchers Find 21 New Mesothelioma Cases in Minnesota's Iron Range
Nearly two dozen newly diagnosed cases of malignant mesothelioma among taconite workers in northeastern Minnesota's Iron Range region is sounding alarm bells among the state's health officials. The 21 new cases of the deadly asbestos-related cancer bring the total number of diagnosed cases to 101. Only three men from all confirmed cases are alive. "We know this is a horrible disease. We have always expected to see additional cases as time went by," state Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said in conference call with reporters. "We expect to see still more cases going forward." All these cases are part of...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 20, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Asbestos Exposure & Bans Source Type: news

Environmental Asbestos Exposure Linked to Mesothelioma Cases in Nevada
A higher-than-expected percentage of women and younger residents in southern Nevada are dying from malignant mesothelioma, sparking concerns that naturally occurring asbestos exposure has become a potential threat. A group of scientists and researchers from Nevada, Hawaii and Pennsylvania analyzed governmental statistics, as well as soil, rock and air samples, and concluded the surrounding environment in Clark and Nye counties is triggering mesothelioma in some of its residents. "There is an environmental risk of exposure to carcinogenic fibers in southern Nevada," University of Hawaii epidemiologist Francine Bau...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 19, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Asbestos Exposure & Bans Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Survivors Endorse Baylor's Lung Institute in Houston
Thoracic surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker disappointed some patients in 2014 when he left Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where he had forged his reputation as the nation's foremost authority on the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston now is Sugarbaker's new home. There, he continues to build a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program that caters to cancer patients with mesothelioma. His departure, though, has been a godsend for others – particularly two patients who needed him in Texas. "Sometimes God answers prayers in strange ways,"...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 17, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Schiffman Adds Peritoneal Mesothelioma Expertise to Allegheny
The Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh didn't have to look far in 2014 to recruit one of the country's talented young surgeons, skilled enough to offer technically advanced care for patients with peritoneal mesothelioma. Surgical oncologist Dr. Suzanne Schiffman was just across town. Schiffman, an expert in complex abdominal malignancies, recently completed her dual fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). She served previously as chief administrative resident at the University of Louisville. She was a natural choice and another key component today in the recent resurgence of Allegheny, wh...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 10, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Department of Defense Doubles Cancer Research Funding in 2015
Doctors and researchers seeking a cure for mesothelioma will soon be able to tap into millions of dollars set aside by the U.S. Department of Defense for cancer research. The Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) invested $50 million in the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) for 2015 — an amount that doubles the money awarded to the program last year. With the additional funding, asbestos-related cancer researchers can extend current studies and launch new ones to improve traditional treatments, introduce emerging therapies or test new cancer drugs. Funding in 2014 was $25 m...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - February 5, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Walter Pacheco Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Effectiveness of Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Patients After Surgery
Researchers in the U.K. are measuring the post-surgery effectiveness of prophylactic radiotherapy in reducing the chances of a patient developing new tumors along the incision path. Although the procedure became standard practice more than a decade ago, continued debate over its effectiveness has led to the latest, multicenter clinical trial that began recently with more than 200 new mesothelioma patients. "This [trial] will answer the question, 'Is prophylactic radiotherapy of benefit to patients with large biopsy or chest wall incision sites in mesothelioma?'" lead researcher Dr. Nick Maskell, of the University...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 29, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

James Hardie Proposes Compensating Asbestos Victims in Installments
Asbestos victims who filed claims against James Hardie Industries, an Australian building materials company, may never live to see their legal compensation if a court approves the manufacturer's plan to pay claimants in installments, and not the traditional lump-sum payments. The reason for the installment plan: Hardie's Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund is headed toward a $184 million cash shortfall in 2017 because of a spike in mesothelioma claims. If the Supreme Court of New South Wales (NSW) grants approval, the installment plan will take effect July 1. Advocates for those affected by mesothelioma are outraged by the...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 22, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Lorraine Kember Tags: Legislation, Laws & Litigation Source Type: news

Acetic Acid in Vinegar Kills Mesothelioma Cells
For more than 2,000 years, people have used vinegar to preserve and flavor food, disinfect wounds and treat a wide range of ailments, from stomach aches to diabetes. Yet modern scientists remain skeptical of these storied medicinal benefits, often dismissing vinegar-based treatments as folk remedies with questionable proof behind them. However, a recent study published in the December 2014 issue of Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology suggests this perception soon may change — especially when it comes to mesothelioma treatment. "Acetic acid is a powerful anticancer agent," wrote Susumu Okabe, lead aut...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 21, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Joey Rosenberg Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Italian Researchers Predict Impending Global Mesothelioma Crisis
Two prominent Italian researchers predict a future international mesothelioma crisis if the widespread use of toxic asbestos continues unabated. They paint a dire picture for hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting victims. Claudio Bianchi and Tommaso Bianchi, from the Center for Study of Environmental Cancer at the Hospital of Monfalcone in Italy, believe the incidence of the asbestos-related cancer will climb rapidly, despite many health organizations' efforts to curb or ban the use of asbestos. The Indian Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine recently published their findings outlined in the study, "Gl...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 20, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Asbestos Exposure & Bans Source Type: news

New Stem Cell Trial Fuels Hopes for Mesothelioma Treatment
Early results from an international clinical trial involving the targeted killing of mesothelioma stem cells are better than anticipated, fueling considerable hope for the future of treatment. The phase II trial of the drug defactinib (VS-6063) currently includes 180 patients enrolled at 55 sites in 13 countries. Verastem, Inc., a relatively small biopharmaceutical company based in the Boston area, markets the drug. The drug also is being tested - with equally encouraging results - for ovarian and non-small-cell lung cancers. "We're onto something really important here," Verastem president and Chief Financial ...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 16, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Mount Sinai Hospital Doctor Touts Pleurectomy/ Decortication Treatment
Renowned thoracic surgeon Raja Flores, M.D., isn't ready to abandon the aggressive and once-preferred extrapleural pneumonectomy procedure for patients with mesothelioma, but now he is convinced there is a better surgical option. Flores, chairman of the department of thoracic surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, is part of a growing number of mesothelioma specialists around the world who believe the more precise, lung-sparing pleurectomy/decortication is a better choice for most patients. Flores joined Emanuela Taioli, M.D., Ph.D., of Hofstra University School of Medicine; and Andrea Wolf, M.D., of Mount Sinai Hos...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - January 9, 2015 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Improved Radiation Therapy Extends Lives of Mesothelioma Patients
This study gives a definitive edge to the P/D procedure. Median overall survival was 28.4 months for the P/D group compared to just 14.2 months for the EPP group. The progression free survival was 16.4 months for P/D, compared to 8.2 months for the EPP patients. The over survival and progression free survival at the one-year mark for P/D patients was 76 and 67 percent, respectively. It was 56 and 34 percent at two years. For the EPP patients, the overall survival was 55 percent and the progression free survival was 44 percent at one year. Radiation Causes Pulmonary Decline There was one noted downside to the IMRT that has...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 30, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Asbestos Found on Rottnest Island Angers Activists, Medical Community
The discovery of asbestos near vacation bungalows on Rottnest Island, an idyllic Western Australian tourist destination, and the local government's claim that the substance is "low risk" has raised red flags among activists, members of the medical community and other lawmakers. Dr. Michael Gannon, president of the Australian Medical Association (WA), said Rottnest Island authorities downplayed the severity of the asbestos health threat. "It's not zero risk, and it's time for the Rottnest Island Authority to have a look at this accommodation and try to make it zero risk," media reports show. President of...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 19, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Lorraine Kember Tags: Asbestos Exposure & Bans Source Type: news

VA Continues to Fall Short for Veterans with Mesothelioma
Michael Johnson watched his father, retired U.S. Marine Corps veteran John Johnson, die prematurely almost three years ago from mesothelioma after the VA health care system misdiagnosed and mishandled his case more than once. His biggest point of contention — which ultimately cost his father's life — is that patients within the VA health care system have no way of knowing there is a mesothelioma specialty center that can provide the care they need and likely extend their lives. "It's mind-boggling the way the VA works," Johnson told Asbestos.com. "If my father had been diagnosed correctly, he'd s...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 18, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Veterans & Military Source Type: news

Landreneau Forging New Path for Mesothelioma Patients in Pittsburgh
Renowned thoracic surgeon Dr. Rodney Landreneau once hoped the number of pleural mesothelioma patients would have declined significantly by now — decades after the widespread use of asbestos dropped dramatically in America. But his hope never materialized. Landreneau, a mesothelioma and lung cancer specialist, and pioneer in treatment advances, remains in high demand today. Last month, he moved back to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he helped carve his reputation as a surgical innovator 25 years ago. "Unfortunately, there still are a lot of patients being diagnosed with mesothelioma in this area...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 15, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Vegetable Compound May Reduce Mesothelioma Treatment Side Effects
For a cancer as rare and difficult to treat as mesothelioma, innovative thinking is vital to making progress that helps survivors live longer and feel healthier. While experimental therapies for this disease have harnessed genetically modified viruses, leopard frog eggs and laser-activated drugs, innovation doesn’t always come from exotic sources. Sometimes treatment breakthroughs are hiding in plain sight. Take the veggies on your dinner plate, for example. A research team has reported an anti-cancer vegetable compound called PEITC could have interesting therapeutic benefits for pleural mesothelioma patients. The ...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 9, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Joey Rosenberg Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

New Drug Ofev Gaining Momentum in Fight Against Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma patients battling shortness of breath — a symptom that makes everyday activities increasingly difficult — may soon find relief with nintedanib, a new anti-cancer drug shown to relieve respiratory distress. Nintedanib recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a lung scarring condition with similarities to asbestosis. German-based drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim markets the drug under the brand name Ofev. The European Commission also granted the marketing of the drug as Vargatef for use with docetaxel to combat...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 8, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Taconite Miners at Higher Risk of Developing Mesothelioma
After six years, a study investigating why Minnesota's Iron Range taconite miners were at higher risks of developing deadly mesothelioma, lung cancer and heart disease unearthed few answers. Preliminary findings of the $4.9 million study showed a taconite miner's risk of developing mesothelioma increased by 3 percent every year that miner spent working in an iron ore mine. Their rate of diagnosis also was three times that of the general Minnesota population. Researchers on Monday released the final results of the taconite miners study and said they were unable to determine if the short, needle-like fibers found in the dus...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - December 5, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Genetic Mutation Increases Survival Time for Mesothelioma Patients
In conclusion," the report said, "we found that MM [malignant mesothelioma] patients with germline BAP1 mutation have an overall seven-fold increased long-term survival, independently of sex and age. Appropriate genetic counseling and clinical management should be considered for MM patients who are also BAP1 mutation carriers." Joining Carbone in this most recent study was Dr. Harvey Pass, chief of thoracic oncology at NYU Cancer Center; Dr. Emanuela Taioli, Hofstra-North Shore School of Medicine; and Drs. Haining Yang, Francine Baumann, Erin Flores, Andrea Napolitano and Shreya Kanodia from the University o...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - November 25, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Australian Government Will Compensate Residents of Mr. Fluffy Homes
In a landmark decision, the Commonwealth of Australia has offered the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) a concessional loan of $1 billion to mitigate the catastrophic aftermath caused by the notorious Mr. Fluffy insulation product that contained deadly asbestos. The Mr. Fluffy insulation company pumped loose-filled asbestos into the roofing spaces of more than 1,000 homes across the ACT during the 1970s. The company marketed the product as "Asbestosfluf" because of its fluffy appearance. A 1980s government-funded cleanup operation failed to completely remove the asbestos product from those homes in Canberra. Of...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - November 20, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Lorraine Kember Tags: Asbestos Exposure & Bans Source Type: news

Australian Government Will Compensate Residents of Mr. Fluffy Homes
In a landmark decision, the Commonwealth of Australia has offered the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) a concessional loan of $1 billion to mitigate the catastrophic aftermath caused by the notorious Mr. Fluffy insulation product that contained deadly asbestos. The Mr. Fluffy insulation company pumped loose-filled asbestos into the roofing spaces of more than 1,000 homes across the ACT during the 1970s. The company marketed the product as "Asbestosfluf" because of its fluffy appearance. A 1980s government-funded cleanup operation failed to completely remove the asbestos product from those homes in Canberra. Of...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - November 20, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Lorraine Kember Tags: Asbestos Exposure & Bans Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Survivor Credits Cannabis Oil Treatment to His Recovery
Twelve months ago, doctors told Ruth Ashcraft it was time to look seriously into a palliative care or hospice facility for her husband, Andy, whose health had taken another turn for the worse. He already had surpassed the typical survival time for a pleural mesothelioma patient, and his experimental, clinical trial drug had stopped working. He was struggling to breath and deteriorating steadily. They had just drained more than three gallons of fluid from around his lungs and inside his abdomen. It was time, doctors said. Ruth listened, but she didn't listen very well. She had other plans — cannabis oil. The oil is ex...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - November 14, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

New Skin Cancer-Fighting Drug Keytruda Boosts Mesothelioma Survival
Help could be on the way for future mesothelioma patients who need it the most. Researchers in Spain are the first to successfully identify a specific protein found only in mesothelioma patients with the shortest survival times. The findings should provide a clearer target for potential therapy advances, giving those cancer patients more of a fighting chance. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year granted accelerated approval for the drug pembrolizumab, known by its brand name Keytruda, which is designed to target skin cancers. However, the drug also targets proteins in other cancers. Results Are Promisin...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - November 7, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Surgeon David Mason Building Thoracic Program at Baylor in Dallas
A decade after thoracic surgeon and mesothelioma specialist Dr. David Mason built his practice at the Cleveland Clinic, he has begun building a new multidisciplinary program at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. The progression has been invigorating for Mason, the center's new chief of thoracic surgery and lung transplantation, as well as for the patients he now serves. Mason is constructing the new thoracic surgery program - the first of its kind in Dallas - that will attract top specialists in pulmonology, radiology, pathology, oncology and surgery. These specialists will work together to improve patient care ac...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 23, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Brigham and Women's Study Shows Benefits of EPP Mesothelioma Surgery
This study indicates that if you have the surgery in a center that does a lot of them, it's not the gloom and doom scenario that you may hear about with high operative mortality and short survival," Richards said. "The five- and 10-year survival rates are significant." Under Sugarbaker's guidance, Brigham and Women's has been a long-time leader in mesothelioma care. During the study period, there were 1,258 major mesothelioma surgeries at the hospital. Within that total were 832 EPPs, including 528 with the epithelioid sub-type. The remaining cases were P/D or partial pleurectomy surgeries. Revision to Sta...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 14, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Immunotherapy Trials May Result in Breakthrough Mesothelioma Treatment
Melinda Bachini thought she was spending quality time with family and friends on her son's 14th birthday. Instead, doctors in 2009 diagnosed the mother of six with a rare, incurable bile duct cancer in its final stage. Options were slim, and her prognosis grim. Hope seemed lost after surgery and chemotherapy failed her, but in 2012 she enrolled in a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health involving an immunotherapy called adoptive cell transfer (ACT). In the simplest terms, it uses patients' immune system T cells to fight their cancer — and it appears to be working. Although she continues with regular ...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 10, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Michelle Whitmer Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Component in Asian Spice Could Slow Mesothelioma Tumor Growth
The active ingredient in a common Asian spice is being scrutinized closely now for its ability to inhibit the growth of mesothelioma tumor cells, prompting scientists to search for a derivative that can be absorbed easily in the blood stream. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color, but its medicinal value is found in curcumin, the active ingredient long-touted for both its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists at the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Ohio and the Georg-Speyer-Haus in Frankfurt, Germany, recently published a study demonstrating how curcumin activates the specific ...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - October 3, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute to Hold Mesothelioma Fundraiser
Brothers Kevin and Gerry McCarthy won't be there physically when the dressed-in-green "Irish Stampede" gathers again later this month at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, California to help raise money for mesothelioma research. They will be watching from high above, arms draped over each other's shoulder, saluting approval with pints of Guinness Stout raised high — proud Irishmen who died much too young. The McCarthy brothers are the spark behind the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute's third annual 5K Walk/Hike for Mesothelioma held on October 12. Both died of mesothelioma, the rare and aggressi...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 30, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Georgia Regents University Launches Immunotherapy Clinical Trial
The Georgia Regents University Cancer Center, a national leader in immunotherapy research, has opened its first clinical trial for mesothelioma patients. The Phase 2 trial is open to patients with unresectable peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma, providing a promising new treatment option for this rare and aggressive cancer. Immunotherapy involves triggering the body's own immune system to identify and destroy the cancer cells without harming the healthy ones. This multicenter trial will study the drug tremelimumab, which has shown an ability to stimulate the immune system and attack tumors. It already has shown potential ...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 22, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Joe Sample, Jazz Pioneer, Dies of Mesothelioma
Joe Sample, a musician who became a household name by pushing the limits of jazz music, died of mesothelioma on Sept. 12 in his hometown of Houston. He was 75. The legendary keyboard player and composer is known as the founder of the Jazz Crusaders, a bebop ensemble that originated in his high school days. The group later dropped “Jazz” from its name and became known as The Crusaders — a band with a distinctive, amalgamated jazz, funk, blues and soul sound. Although his family confirmed he died of mesothelioma, news reports do not explain how he developed the asbestos-related cancer that affects nearly 3...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 21, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Kaitlyn Fusco Tags: Celebrities Source Type: news

Aggressive Therapy Shows Hope for Peritoneal Mesothelioma Patients
Repeating an aggressive procedure that removes recurring cancer tumors from a patient's abdominal cavity and bathes the area in a heated chemotherapy solution is extending the lives of some peritoneal mesothelioma patients. A recent retrospective analysis of 161 peritoneal mesothelioma patients at the Washington Cancer Institute shows those who repeated cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) two or three times after the initial procedure are living five, 10 or more years beyond their prognosis. The median overall survival rate at the cancer institute was 77 months for those underg...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 16, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Researchers Evaluating Proposed Peritoneal Mesothelioma Staging System
Data gathered by an international group of peritoneal mesothelioma experts is leading to changes in the way patients with this rare asbestos-related disease are diagnosed and treated. The cancer's rarity and resistance to treatment have complicated past efforts to create a formal staging system. Its low incidence also has limited the amount of data necessary to ensure a staging system is useful. Dr. W. Charles Conway, of the Ochsner Cancer Institute in New Orleans, offers insight into a batch of data collected over a 20-year span that is paving the path toward formalizing a staging system for this rare cancer. "The...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 12, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Michelle Whitmer Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Surgeons Make Cancer Cells Glow Bright Green to Reduce Recurrence
Making cancer tumors glow in the dark may sound like 1950s science fiction, but specialists say the luminous invaders could help reduce recurrence. Thoracic surgeons, who are mostly limited to sight and feel in identifying tumors and their margins, often inadvertently leave behind cancer cells that increase the chance and rate of a cancer returning. However, doctors in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania are injecting lung cancer patients with a dye that makes cancerous tissue glow bright green under near-infrared light (NIF), making tumors more identifiable during surgery and less likely miss...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 9, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Using Light Energy to Kill Mesothelioma Cancer Cells
A clinical trial at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center will start using light energy to kill cancer cells in patients with malignant mesothelioma. Doctors at that cancer center have successfully used the treatment on patients with esophageal and lung cancer, but this is the first time they will use the therapy on patients with the deadly asbestos-related disease. The treatment, known as photodynamic therapy (PDT), is not meant as a cure for mesothelioma. Instead, doctors want to see if it can help control or delay recurrence of the illness, killing any microscopic cancer cells left behind after the surge...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - September 8, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Deadly Mr. Fluffy Asbestos Products Are Still Affecting Australians
Despite a national cleanup effort two decades ago to eliminate the notorious Mr. Fluffy-brand asbestos products from homes in Australia, new evidence shows more than a thousand of those homes still are toxic. Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government officials recently discovered that homes in Canberra, previously deemed safe after asbestos removal programs in the 1980s, still contained asbestos fibers in the walls, under the houses and inside living spaces. Exposure to asbestos is linked to the development of mesothelioma and other serious and potentially fatal respiratory diseases and cancers. Residents of other hom...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 29, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Lorraine Kember Tags: Asbestos Exposure & Bans Source Type: news

Carboplatin Remains the Best Chemotherapy Drug for HIPEC Procedure
Surgeon Brian Loggie, M.D., hopes to end the continued debate over which chemotherapy agent is the best to use during the HIPEC procedure that he helped pioneer for peritoneal mesothelioma patients. There is no doubt in his mind: Carboplatin. The American Surgeon recently published a retrospective study in which Loggie and his colleagues at the Creighton University Medical Center concluded that carboplatin clearly was more effective than mitomycin, which several cancer centers are using. The HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy) procedure involves the internal rinsing or bathing of the abdominal area with a ch...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 27, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Clinical Trial Will Test if Vaccine Can Prevent, Delay Cancer Recurrence
Researchers hope the vaccine they soon will begin testing in humans will prevent or delay the recurrence of some cancers. Patients with pleural mesothelioma will be among the first to receive the H1299 lysate vaccine with an Iscomatrix adjuvant. The vaccine is a form of immunotherapy designed to trigger the body's immune system into preventing new cancer growth. The National Institutes of Health(NIH) will begin conducting the three-year trial in September. It’s designed for patients whom recently completed standard treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, and whom have little or no residual disease a...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 20, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Young Cancer Patient's Tenacity Inspires Family, Friends and Strangers
Jimmy E. is a remarkable man. Inspired by the doctors who helped him overcome a rare form of childhood cancer, he forged a career as a skilled surgical nurse in southern California, driven by an urge to serve others. But more than 30 years after beating cancer, Jimmy developed a persistent fever, pneumonia and fluid around his lungs. This time, the diagnosis was a more insidious disease — malignant pleural mesothelioma. Jimmy, who recently turned 38, is far too young for a disease that typically strikes the elderly. As he struggles to rise above each setback, now it's Jimmy inspiring others around him, including fami...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 13, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Stories from Survivors Source Type: news

Early Palliative Care Can Lessen Hospital Stays, Improve Well-Being
It is never too early for a patient diagnosed with mesothelioma — or most any cancer — to start consulting with a palliative care specialist, according to a recent study. The message from researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston: The sooner, the better. Results from the study show early palliative care referrals and outpatient referrals were associated with fewer hospitalizations, emergency room visits, intensive-care admissions and hospital deaths compared to those on an inpatient basis. Palliative care focuses on pain relief, symptom reduction and quality of life improvement...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 12, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Simple Blood Test Using UV Light Could Detect Cancer
A new blood test that exposes a person’s blood to ultraviolet light could help doctors in the early detection of cancer. Varying intensities of UV light cause different amounts of damage to the DNA of white blood cells. British researchers say their Lymphocyte Genome Sensitivity (LGS) blood test measures that degree of damage to distinguish between healthy, precancerous and cancerous cells. The blood test could be helpful in the early discovery of cancers difficult to detect like pleural mesothelioma. It also could help patients access treatments earlier, and save money on costly invasive testing procedures like biop...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - August 6, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Simple, New Blood Test Could Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Treatment
A new blood test developed in Japan is raising hopes it can more accurately diagnose mesothelioma, leading to earlier cancer treatment and improved chances of survival. The test involves a protein biomarker in the blood called N-ERC/mesothelin and a new enzyme-linked system for detecting it. This biomarker is overly expressed in patients with the asbestos-related cancer. Researchers reported their test was 95 percent accurate in identifying cases of the disease and 76 percent accurate in ruling it out. Both are higher percentages than previously reported with other blood tests. Most experts agree the key to developing bett...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 31, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Talc Pleurodesis vs. Partial Pleurectomy: British Researchers Cite Mixed Results
There is no long-term survival advantage to the more-complex, video-assisted thoracoscopic partial pleurectomy (VATPP), but it can offer a significant quality-of-life improvement over the less-invasive talc pleurodesis, according to a recent study of mesothelioma patients in the United Kingdom. Both can alleviate fluid buildup between the lungs and the thin lining surrounding them, a common problem with pleural mesothelioma, creating a debate over which procedure is more appropriate. The study showed the talc pleurodesis (which contains a solution of hydrated magnesium silicate and varying amounts of calcium, aluminum, and...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 30, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Should Prove Worth of Photodynamic Therapy
Eli Glatstein, M.D., has touted the benefits of photodynamic therapy for decades, but not everyone was listening. Maybe now they will. Glatstein, vice chairman of the radiation oncology department at Penn Medicine, leads the first randomized clinical trial of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for pleural mesothelioma cancer and aims to prove its effectiveness. "If the results confirm what we expect, this could be a very positive, significant step forward for treatment of this disease," Glatstein told Asbestos.com. "If it doesn't work like we think it will, there's a lot of egg on our face." Glatstein was instr...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 18, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Immunotoxin SS1P Proving Effective Against Mesothelioma
Medical oncologist Raffit Hassan, M.D., has studied SS1P, the genetically engineered immunotoxin, for more than 15 years, believing it could become the key to therapeutic advancements for malignant pleural mesothelioma. He is getting closer to finding it. In Hassan’s latest clinical trial at the National Cancer Institute, SS1P was particularly effective when used in combination with the pemetrexed/cisplatin chemotherapy regimen that has become the standard, first-line treatment for cancer patients. The Phase I study, which began in 2011 and is still ongoing, was designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) ...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 17, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

CDC Reinstates $2.2M Grant to Fund the Mesothelioma Tissue Bank
The mesothelioma community – researchers, doctors, patients, families and advocates – received a much-needed boost this week when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversed an earlier decision and reinstated funding for the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB). Officials at the CDC in June restored a two-year, $2.2 million federal grant that will carry the NMVB through 2016. "Without this [funding], research of mesothelioma could have stagnated," Michael Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, told Asbestos. com....
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - July 3, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Research & Clinical Trials Source Type: news

Could Red Wine Enhance Effectiveness of Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma?
Researchers in South Korea have uncovered an unusual synergy between a chemical found in red wine and a drug used to treat childhood leukemia that has translated into a potential future treatment options for malignant mesothelioma. The combination of resveratrol, which comes from the skin of red grapes, and the drug clofarabine, has shown an ability to make mesothelioma cells much more vulnerable to chemotherapy. Researchers found the resveratrol/clofarabine combination prevented tumor cell proliferation and triggered programmed cell death. It also left healthy cells untouched. "I think that our results showed therape...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - June 30, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news

Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Showing Promise in Stopping Mesothelioma Recurrence
Even after the best multimodal treatment approach – a combination of two or more therapies (chemotherapy, surgery and radiation) – the probability of mesothelioma cancer recurrence remains high because of the diffuse nature of the disease. Researchers are moving closer to fixing that dilemma. Doctors currently are testing a Wilms’ tumor 1 (WT1) peptide vaccine for its ability to halt mesothelioma recurrence in a Phase II clinical trial conducted at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. MD Anderson still is accepting new participants for this randomized study that began in 2013. The expected completion...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - June 25, 2014 Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tim Povtak Tags: Treatment & Doctors Source Type: news