Category Archives: Meso Treatments

2017 District Council 16 Aim to Cure Mesothelioma event

October 2, 2017

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
DC16 Organizer John Ferruccio speaks to supporters ahead of the always popular raffle. We cannot thank Mike Layton, John Ferruccio and the DC16 staff enough for all of the efforts in making their events such a success! Thank You!!

The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America would like to congratulate and thank the Southern California Pipetrades District Council 16 for organizing a fantastic event to help find a cure for mesothelioma. This year’s DC16 Aim to Cure Mesothelioma event was held at the Moore ‘N Moore Sporting Clays facility in San Fernando, CA and was successful in generating approximately $35,000 for mesothelioma research! Representing the Foundation were Founding Board Members Jim Kellogg and Jerry Neil Paul, Executive Director, Elizabeth Ann Paul, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee Dr. Parkash Gill, Assistant Executive Director Shane Rucker. As always, 100% of the money generated at the event will go directly to mesothelioma research to support research and clinical trials for better treatment options with the mission and hope for an eventual cure.

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
Foundation’s Board Member, Jerry Neil Paul and Executive Director Elizabeth Ann Paul join to give those who attended the event a brief history of the Foundation and thank sponsors for supporting the event, year after year, and making it what it is today.

After a beautiful day in the Angeles National Forest, the event’s supporters gathered for a barbeque lunch and the always popular raffle of prizes. Before giving away some amazing prizes, sponsors and supporters learned where their hard earned money was going and how it was being used to fight this terrible disease. Speaking at the event on behalf of the Foundation were Executive Director, Elizabeth Ann Paul, Board Member, Jerry Neil Paul, and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee Dr. Parkash Gill. After thanking John Ferruccio and Mike Layton for organizing another fantastic event, as well as everyone in attendance, Elizabeth and Jerry Paul spoke about the roots of the Foundation and the massive efforts taken in developing new drugs for the treatment of mesothelioma. They then introduced Dr. Parkash Gill who spoke about the development of EPH-B4 and it being a direct result of the support seen at events such as the DC 16 clayshoot and golf invitational. Dr. Gill also reported the promise that EPH-B4 has continued to show in the FDA Clinical Trials conducted at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. This was fantastic news that was met with applause and hope for future treatment options.

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
This year’s DC16 Aim to Cure Mesothelioma Event saw a great turnout! Everyone had a fantastic time at the Moore N Moore Sporting Clay Facility in Southern California and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

The Foundation would like to personally thank all of those who organized and supported this year’s events. Without the support and organizing skills of people such as DC 16 Business Manager Mike Layton, DC 16 Director of Organizing John Ferruccio and Retired International Pipetrades Representative Jim Kellogg these types of events would not be possible.

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
Assistant Executive Director, Shane Rucker, Founding Board Members, Jerry Neil Paul and Jim Kellogg, and Executive Director Elizabeth Ann Paul would like to thank everyone who attended and made this event possible. We could not do it without your support!


USC Norris earns best-ever rating from National Cancer Institute

USC Norris earns best-ever rating from National Cancer Institute
The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Centered earned an “outstanding” distinction from the National Cancer Institute rating as part of its five-year core grant renewal process.

U.S.C. Norris earns best-ever rating from National Cancer Institute

The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has received an elite score from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as part of its five-year core grant renewal process.

The June site review produced the best result ever for the cancer center, earning an “outstanding” distinction from the NCI reviewers.

“This highly laudatory review is a validation by the nation’s cancer experts of all the considerable effort and talent of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center senior leaders, program, and core directors and administration, “said Stephen B. Gruber, MD. PhD, MPH, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer.

“The NCI recognition reaffirms the center as a scientific leader as well as a vital community and regional resource,” said Carman A. Puliafino, MD, MBA, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Established in 1971, the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has benefited from continuous recognition and funding from the NCI since 1973, when it was named one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers in the country. In its previous review, USC Norris had received a score in the range classified by the NCI as “excellent.”

“We are now poised to build upon the incredible accomplishment to further strengthen our efforts to push the boundaries of cancer discovery in order to better prevent, diagnose, treat and cure cancer,” said Gruber, an oncologist and geneticist who holds the H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman Cancer Research Chair at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

The review recommends continued full funding from the NCI to continue its support of a broad range of clinical, research and educational programs at USC Norris. The award is designed to reduce the impact of cancer upon the lives of people in California and beyond.

GRAPHENE strips as “flying carpets” deliver cancer cure drugs

GRAPHENE – New Research
That May Help Mesothelioma Victims


An international team of researchers has developed a drug delivery technique that utilizes GRAPHENE strips as “flying carpets” to deliver drugs to cancer cells.  The technique was found to perform better well when tested in a mouse model targeting a human lung cancer tumor.

Graphene Tests Succeed

GRAPHENE successfully proved itself in lab tests against six kinds of cancer cells. Flaked Graphene oxide preferentially hits these cancers right in the stem cells.

The Graphene strip works when a cancer drug treatment can be physically integrated and bound to it because of similar molecular structures of Graphene and the drug.  So, various drug treatments can be attached to the surface of the Graphene by a combination of amino acids known as peptides.

Dr. Parkish Gill, on behalf of the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America will determine if there is a way to apply and proceed with his non-chemotherapy treatments using the Graphene strip technique.

Click this link to read the complete story

Possible New Treatment for Mesothelioma with MicroRNA Research

Today’s cancer cure researcher will frequently dig deep into the genetic makeup of the cancer disease to understand how it grows.  While in search for the most effective treatment to cure lung cancer and mesothelioma, and by genetically figuring that out, the researcher can stop the aggressive cancers by halting its growth.  Currently, Oncologists believe that a pair of microRNAs should be focused on for suppressing tumor growth in lung cancer.microRNA genetic research mesothelioma

microRNAs, or miRNAs, are tiny molecules found within cells that serve a function in primary biological processes.  These processes include organ development, fat metabolism, and cell proliferation.  A person remains healthy when miRNAs are functioning properly.  And, miRNAs can inhibit tumor growth when used as a therapeutic agent.

While miRFAs let-7 and miR-34 are known to be effective individually at stopping cancer growth, researchers at the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) found that by combining these two molecules the pair are even more effective.

MicroRNA and Lung Cancer

Specifically, the miRNAs were unleashed on cancer pathways RAS and p53, two oncogenes, genes that have the potential to transform a cell into a cancer cell, known to lead to the aggressive growth of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  The resulting two-molecule agent was found to be safe and effective in a lung cancer mouse model and demonstrated efficacy showing survival advantage.

According to one of the authors, Frank Slack, PhD (Director of the Institute for RNA Medicine in BIDMC):   “We know that miRNAs target many oncogenes.  We, therefore, hypothesized that a combination of two miRNAs could similarly offset resistance.  We have performed these timely in vivo studies using a liposomal microRNA delivery agent already in clinical trials, which could accelerate the translation of this combinatorial miRNA therapeutic approach into the clinic.”

Dr. Slack also said that currently there are no approved drugs that are effective for patients with RAS and p53 mutations. He mentioned reports that the K-RAS mutation is found in 25 percent of NSCLC patients while 50 percent are affected by the p53 mutation.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer equally as aggressive as NSCLC, is diagnosed in close to 3,000 Americans each year.  And while microRNA research is focused on lung cancer, every new breakthrough in lung cancer research also brings new hope to patients with mesothelioma cancer.

The study was published in the Sept. 1 issue of Oncogene.

New Drug Targets Cancer Caused By Asbestos

May 26, 2014

Mesothelioma lung cancer can come to those persons who loved, and simply hugged their parent who worked around asbestos.  For example, now at age 45, Heather Von St. James recalls her father working as a building demolition employee around materials containing asbestos.  He would return home each day thoroughly covered by dirt and dust. She remembers how much she enjoyed hugging her father each night.mesothelioma-studies

By age 36, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the deadly yet to be cured cancer connected with exposure to asbestos particles.  Mesothelioma can take decades to develop and it often kills within months after symptoms appear. Heather was a new mother to a 3-month-old daughter, and she was told her only chance to live was by having a lung removed.

In 2013, more than 107,000 people died worldwide from mesothelioma.  However, Heather opted for the surgery instead, and removed the disease in time to stay alive.   According to Ms. St. James, “There’s a lot of people who don’t.”

Fortunately for other people with mesothelioma, or those that will discover they have the deadly disease, a new wave of drugs developed and being tested are giving new hope that mesothelioma cancer may be slowed or stopped.  Drug researchers, like Verastem Inc. (VSTM), GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), and Dr. Parkash Gill of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have announced that they are testing new cancer fighting drugs.

According to Dean Fennell, a lead researcher doing a trial study with a new drug by Verastem:

“[Mesothelioma] is not a curable cancer; it’s not a disease that can be wiped out completely by surgery as you see with lung cancer. Finding ways to stop that process or slow it down can have big implications for patient survival.”

Unlike lung cancers, Mesothelioma affects the cell tissues that cover the lungs.  It can also affect the tissues around the heart and abdominal organs.  Like all cancers, mesothelioma is treated by doctors with cutting the cancer tissue out, or irradiating it, but both methods sometimes have dangerous side effects.

New Drugs Offer New Hope to Replace Old Treatments

Verastem (based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts) has developed a drug (VS-6063) that is now in late-stage human testing. Consecutively, Glaxo (based out of London) has a compound that is being tried in combination with another product in an early-stage study. The drugs from these two companies each target an enzyme involved in cell movement that permits the cancer to spread.

The enzyme is a key marker of aggressive cancers and is overabundant in many tumors that spread quickly. Also, patients with an inactive gene called Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) respond well to the test drugs being developed where nearly half of mesothelioma patients have inactive NF2s.

In the U.S. and Europe, the VS-6063 treatment has been granted orphan drug status.  This means that Verastem with their VS-6063 product is given seven (7) years of exclusive marketing.  A Bloomberg report states that according to four (4) analysts, the VS-6063 drug could possibly generate $450 million in sales by 2019 if the product is cleared for public use.

Earliest Stage

Defactinib is the medicine that targets early stage cancer stem cells.  These are considered to be theorigin of the cancer and frequently are resistant to existing therapies.   The cancer stem cells for mesothelioma are known to be particularly resistant to chemotherapy.

Now, Mr. Dean Fennell does not have an economic connection with Verastem, nor is he a paid consultant to the company.  And yet, Mr. Fennell (who is chairman of thoracic medical oncology at the University of Leicester in England) stated during an interview:

“The hope is we can suppress the cancer in such a way that it becomes a more chronic disease, rather than have a disease that’s going to progress relentlessly and kill the patient”

Verastem with a market value of about $215 million is developing the drug assisted by several renowned pharmaceutical companies providing guidance. The development team includes former Genzyme Corp. CEO Henri Termeer; Human Genome Project leader Eric Lander; and Phillip Sharp, a Nobel laureate at Biogen Idec Inc.

Other Drug Combinations

Under a license from Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca Plc of London is testing a drug called tremelimumab, on mesothelioma in a mid-stage trial. The treatment works differently from the other developmental drugs in that it helps the patient’s immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells.  According to

Carolyn Buser-Doepner (VP for tumor signaling at Glaxo, the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker), there are plans to combine a new drug GSK2256098 with some other medicines to potentially make cancer treatments more effective.  In one early-stage trial, it will be paired up with Glaxo’s Mekinist, which is approved for melanoma.  She said, “The pre-clinical data are very encouraging. We’re very excited about it.”

Boehringer’s Drug

A fourth drug, nintedanib from Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, is in early-stage testing for mesothelioma, according to a spokesman. Unlike the previous mentioned medicines, this one works by targeting proteins directly related to the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors.

According to the director of research at the British Lung Foundation, Noel Snell, the kind of research studies most likely to yield improvements in cancer care are those that investigate the nature of the disease itself.  Still, treatments being tested today on mesothelioma are most encouraging.

Snell said in a statement:

“It is shameful that this kind of fundamental research remains so drastically underfunded, and that the number of trials available for mesothelioma patients is still dwarfed so dramatically by the number available to other cancer patients.”

Dr. Gill and EphB4 Treatment

For several years, Dr. Parkash Gill of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has proceeded with Phase I Clinical Trials with the new cancer fighting drug Eph-B4 made available to qualifying mesothelioma patients. With generous support from the Mesothelioma Research
Foundation of America
, the initial Phase I Trial Eph-B4 has been available to newly diagnosed patients who have not Ask Dr. Gill about the most recent clinical trials avaialbleundergone any conventional lung cancer treatment options, as well as those patients who have exhausted all other treatment options such as surgery and chemotherapy.

The results of these recent clinical trials have truly been exciting as Dr. Gill reports that Eph-B4 is showing great promise as a solo treatment, or in conjunction with other drugs like Alimta, Cisplatin and Carboplatin.

The research of Dr. Gill, in conjunction with similar studies by other Oncologists, have improved the understanding among Primary Care physicians about the detection process, and given them better options to offer patients with lung cancer including mesothelioma.

Eph-B4 as a Better Treatment

Treatments have also gotten better because we now understand two principles: a)molecular changes in lung cancer with very specific mutations; and b)medication (like Eph-B4) that is specific to addressing the treatment of only one cellular abnormality.

As Dr. Gill with the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America continues the goal to make mesothelioma a disease of the past, our understanding of the human body immune system has also improved.    From this we have Eph-B4, an immune specific treatment that assists a patient with lung cancer to live longer with fewer side effects.

His studies have contributed to the evolution of mesothelioma cancer research over the last decade.  Collectively, researchers are producing a canonical story in which the range of research works has grown a consensus among recognized oncologists and Primary Care physicians of a “great” or “major” break through with the two principles mentioned above.  Basically, we can now identify subsets of cancer in a patient at the molecular level and bring a retardant treatment (immunity) to that cancer in those patients.  And this observation continues to this day to be repeated by many research projects.  More than ever before, researchers continue to identify specific cancer mutations and use similar drugs to shut down these cancers and improve patient survival.

Asbestos: The Miracle Fiber That Kills

Asbestos was named the “miracle fiber,” but has become the topic and issue of many lawsuits claiming losses as well as damages from illness caused by asbestos products.  It was commonly used in building materials such as insulation for years because it was cheap, abundant and heat-resistant.

Many countries have banned asbestos mining.  However, the World Health Organization estimates that as many as 125 million people worldwide continue to be exposed to asbestos either at work or in their homes because it continues to be mined and made into  products from in RussiaChina and India.

Unfortunately, mesothelioma cancer can lay dormant for as long as 50 years before spreading, which explains why rates have risen long after many countries have banned the asbestos.

New cases of mesothelioma cancer in the United Kingdom, where asbestos was restricted starting in the 1980s and outlawed fully in 2006, were 2,125 in 2012.  These numbers are expected to peak in 2015.  In the United States, the number of new cancer cases has been stable, hovering around 3,000 per year since 2000.  This stability was expected because of extensive efforts put into public education.  Still, a complete ban of Asbestos in the U.S. was overturned in the courts.  One of the world’s largest asbestos exporters, Canada, closed its remaining mines in 2011.

An Asian Asbestos Mesothelioma Cancer ‘Tsunami’

In Japan, asbestos was banned in 2006, the Japanese government pays the full cost of treatment for related illnesses, and rate of new cases of cancer are predicted to continue rising until 2027.  The director of a World Health Organization occupational health group, Ken Takahashi, has warned Asian governments to prepare themselves for an “asbestos tsunami.”

Again, Dean Fennell reminds us:

 “In the early ’70s, this was an incredibly rare disease. Now my clinic is full of patients with mesothelioma. Because the rates are increasing, we have a real need now to identify effective treatment.”

A cure for mesothelioma can not be found fast enough.  Still, there are survivors like Heather Von St. James, who breaths with great effort during Minnesota winters with her one remaining lung, and she volunteers her time to be a coach to other mesothelioma patients.   By her personal experience with mesothelioma, she wants other victims of mesothelioma to understand:

 “If they can keep it under control,
that’s the first hope.”


Phase II Clinical Trials of CRS-207 New Cancer Vaccine Begin

CRS-207 Clinical Trials Proceed

The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America is pleased to announce that Aduro Bio Tech has begun conducting phase II clinical trials on a new cancer vaccine called CRS-207.  Aduro Bio Tech has enlisted the first group of mesothelioma patients that will take the experimental vaccine.CRS-207 mesothelioma vaccination

CRS-207 comes from a relatively new field of study called Immunology that has recently been at the forefront of mesothelioma research.  Immunology is the practice of working with the bodys natural immune system to succor the body and manipulate its ability to ward off cancer cells. CRS-207 is classified as a type of immunotherapy.

CRS-207 Boosting the immune system

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer vaccines stimulate the immune system to attack diseased cells that are marked by specific antigens.  Using CRS-207, scientists also hope that this reaction will cause the immune system to remember the malignancy and prevent it from coming back.

Therapeutic vaccines are typically formulated with cancer cells, parts of cells or antigens, according to the ACS.  Aduro’s candidate treatment CRS-207 uses proprietary attenuated Listeria monocytogenes strains to trigger an immune response against mesothelin tumor-associated antigen. This protein can be found on tumors associated with mesothelioma, non-small-cell lung cancer and malignancies of the ovaries and pancreas.

The new CRS-207 drug is a derivative from a weakened version of Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that is the cause of a food-born illness known as Listeriosis. Scientists have manipulated the bacteria in order to generate an immune response to stop cells from producing mesothelin, a tumor-associated antigen that is produced by various types of cancer cells including those produced by mesothelioma.

Phase I of the CRS-207 vaccine trials was concluded on 17 mesothelioma patients, all of who were in various stages of the mesothelioma disease.  Although mesothelioma patients in the advanced stages face a very short life expectancy of a few months, six out of 17 patients who took the CRS-207 vaccine lived 15 months or longer.

Phase II trials will have newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients begining treatment by receiving two CRS-207 vaccinations in addition to the traditional mesothelioma chemotherapy treatment of cisplatin with pemetrexed. Once chemotherapy has concluded, the patients with receive at least two more doses of CRS-207. A group of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer will also participate in phase two trials.

Dr. Scott Antonia of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida and Dr. Raffit Hassan of the National Cancer Institute are leading the clinical trials. Phase II trials of CRS-207 will center on testing for safety and efficacy in efforts to create the best dosage profile. Patients in the early stages of mesothelioma are currently being enrolled, with trials set to end by December 13th.

The study of Immunotherapy has been an expanding topic among leading mesothelioma researchers, with several recent developments yielding positive results among patients. Asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma have long been plagued with low survival rates.  Several recent developments in Immunology have produced new hope among the mesothelioma community as well as other groups in the fight against mesothelioma cancer.

More Mesothelioma Cancer Press Releases

Other Alternative CRS-207 Treatments for Mesothelioma

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Mesothelioma Treatment Stages

Mesothelioma is the term used for a cancerous tumor, which involves the mesothelioma cells of lungs, heart or abdominal organs. Mesothelioma medical experts provide treatment to a patient after assessing the developmental stage of the cancer in patient’s particular case.  The location of the cancer, the level to which it is spread and the age and general health condition of the patient are analyzed by the medical specialist.

Four Stages of Malignant Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma is a disease in which the malignant cells are found in the sac that lines the chest or abdomen. There are four stages of malignant mesothelioma.

Stage One – Localized Mesothelioma

The first stage is localized mesothelioma and the remaining three are considered advanced stages of mesothelioma. Localized mesothelioma is the phase wherein the cancer is discovered in the lung, diaphragm or in the lining of the chest cavity. The patients in their first stage of mesothelioma get their cancer surgically removed by pleurectomy or decortication or extrapleural pneumonectomy.

Stage Two

In the second stage, the cancer is detected to have spread beyond the lining of the chest cavity.

Stage Three

In the third stage, the tumor growth spreads into several areas that include chest wall, center of the chest, heart, and throughout the diaphragm. The treatment in the second, third and fourth stages of mesothelium are done in tandem with supportive care. The treatment for these advanced stages focuses on providing a patient with relief from symptoms, as total cure is generally not achieved. The treatment methodology includes thoracentesis that removes fluid accumulation in the chest cavity, operations to remove the tumor and radiation therapy or chemotherapy aimed at easing symptoms.

Stage Four

In the fourth stage, the cancer is in the process of distant metastasis, which implies that it has spread to other organs and tissues far from its site of origin in the pleural, peritoneal, or pericardial mesothelium. Patients suffering from the fourth stage should enroll themselves in clinical trials that evaluate the newest treatment possibilities in large medical centers. Pain management is an essential aspect of the care of such patients. It is important for patients to know that medications are available to effectively treat pain due to mesothelioma. They should request pain medications or discuss pain control problems with their cancer care team.

Discover more about treatment options, and in particular clinical trials for mesothelioma at the web site for Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America. provides detailed information on Mesothelioma Treatment, Mesothelioma Treatment Options, Alternative Mesothelioma Treatment, New Mesothelioma Treatment and more.

Radical Mesothelioma Treatment Can Save Lives

radical mesothelioma treatment is new treatment in research

Mesothelioma Treatment Challenges

The challenge posed by mesothelioma is great and doctors as well as researchers are looking for new options of mesothelioma treatment. Radical mesothelioma treatment, sometimes called experimental treatment, are simply new advancements in mesothelioma treatment.  Occasionally, these treatments are used along with traditional treatments, other times they are used alone.  Because radical mesothelioma treatment is new, the effectiveness of treatment and side effects are unknown.

If you have mesothelioma and are interested in trying a radical mesothelioma treatment, find and sign up for a clinical trial or clinical study.  A clinical trial is a rigorously controlled test using new medicine or a new medical device on human subjects.  When provided in the U.S., clinical trials of an experimental mesothelioma treatment is conducted with the supervision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before the treatment is made available to common public use.

Examples of Radical Mesothelioma Treatment

Gene therapy, immuno therapy, photo-dynamic therapy are examples of radical mesothelioma treatment.

Gene therapy is the modification or replacement of missing or damaged genes in the cancer cells of a mesothelioma patient with functional ones.  This mesothelioma treatment methods differ according to the types of genes used and the methods used to inject them into tissues.

Immuno therapy is the mesothelioma treatment that uses natural substances which the body uses to fight infection and disease. This treatment is generally used along with other treatments to strengthen the mesothelioma patient’s immune system. In this procedure, artificial immune system proteins are sometimes injected to stimulate a patient’s normal ability to fight sickness.

Photodynamic therapy involves a drug which is stimulated by a photosensitizing agent.

Finally, there are complementary and alternative holistic medicine methods sometimes used to treat or alleviate cancer symptoms.  These methods are not considered as valid by many in the medical profession; however numerous patients and alternative healers think these practices are very effective. Acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, therapeutic massage and Eastern medicines are some of the alternative options.

 A Life Saved With New Mesothelioma Treatment



Additional clinical trial information about mesothelioma treatment

More Mesothelioma Treatment Articles

Mesothelioma Treatment Options – asbestos causes mesothelioma cancer

Mesothelioma Treatment Option – cancer mesothelioma asbestos

Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the tissue which surrounds and protects various organs in the body. This tissue is called the Mesothelium, and Mesothelioma causes it to become abnormal, divide without control, and invade and damage nearby organs.

The most common form is pleural mesothelioma which affects the sac that lines the chest cavity and protects the lungs (the pleura). Other forms are peritoneum mesothelioma (which affects the abdominal cavity) and pericardium mesothelioma (affecting the lining around the heart). The tumours can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) although they are most often malignant.

Mesothelioma Causes

Mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation of asbestos, a fibrous carcinogenic.

These fibres lodge themselves in the lining of the lung affecting the mesothelial cells. Sometimes they cause scarring of the lungs (which is called asbestosis) but this is not cancerous. They can, however, trigger tumour growth between 20 to 50 years after they are inhaled (the average is 35 to 40 years). Asbestos fibres which are swallowed can reach the lining of the abdominal cavity where they play a part in causing peritoneal mesothelioma.

It is generally the case that the longer or more intense the exposure to asbestos the more likely Mesothelioma is to occur. However, there are cases of people getting Mesothelioma years after having worked with it for just a few months. The families of asbestos workers are also at risk as they would possibly have been exposed to asbestos fibres on the clothing of their loved ones.

The dangers of asbestos have not always been as well known as they are today.  Before the 1970s asbestos was a primary insulating material with little or no control in its use or handling. The resulting increase in cases of Mesothelioma is a direct cause of these past practices.

Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma is often well advanced before symptoms are recognized.   Consequently, the prognosis for the disease is usually poor with the common survival time for all stages of Malignant Mesothelioma being about one year.  Mesothelioma symptoms resemble pneumonia, which coughs, breathing difficulties and abdominal pain being common.

Mesothelioma Treatments

Mesothelioma can be treated by chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery, or a combination of the three.

  • Mesothelioma Surgery Treatment

Extra pleural pneumonectomy is where the entire lung and a portion of the lining of the chest, the diaphragm, and some or the entire sac which surrounds the heart is removed.

Wide local excision targets and removes the cancer and a limited amount of the healthy tissue surrounding the cancerous region.

Pleurectomy and decortication removes part of the covering of the lungs, as well as the lining of the chest and portions of the outside covering of the lungs.

  • Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Treatment

Pleurodesis uses a blend of chemicals and/or drugs to create an intentional scar between the layers of the pleura. Post surgery, the space created by the scar must be drained, using either a catheter or chest tube, and is then filled with a chemical which inhibits the accumulation of fluid in the pleura cavity.

  • Mesothelioma Radiation Treatment

Radiation therapy is used to treat Mesothelioma patients with the goal of controlling the spread of cancer in combination with surgery and chemotherapy. Radiation emanates from high energy X-rays, photons, neutrons, cobalt, or other radiation sources. Chemotherapy and Radiation treatments are useful ways to combat other types of cancers but, used alone, have not been very helpful for treating Mesothelioma.

Research continues as the medical field looks for a cure.  Different combinations of drugs and surgery, studies of newly developed drugs, gene therapy, and more are being studied, with clinical trials in the United States and abroad.

Prognosis for mesothelioma is difficult to estimate consistently when looking at different research studies because there are often large differences in the time before diagnosis and the rate of disease progression.  Many factors affect a person’s prognosis, including the type of disease, a person’s age and general health, when the disease was found, and a person’s response to treatment.

 Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial.

For some patients, taking part in a mesothelioma clinical trial may be the best treatment choice.  Mesothelioma clinical trials are part of the cancer research process.  Clinical trials are done to find out if new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment.

Many of today’s standard treatments for mesothelioma cancer are based on previous, earlier clinical trials.  Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new mesothelioma treatment.

Patients who take part in clinical trials also help improve the way cancer will be treated in the future. Even when clinical trials do not lead to effective new treatments, they often answer important questions and help move research forward.

Learn more about Mesothelioma, Asbestos, Symptoms and Treatments

Cisplatin Treatment for Mesothelioma May Prove to be a Safe Alternative

Dr. Chris Carter, a scientist in Europe is working to develop a treatment for mesothelioma that would perhaps be more effective than traditional methods of treatment.  Currently, patients with mesothelioma cancer receive medication through intravenous injections.  But, the new method of treatment would be delivered in the form of an inhaler.  Using an inhaler would bring the Cisplatin medication directly to the cancer cells in the lungs.

As a result of direct and prolonged contact with asbestos, a person will contract a form of lung caner called Mesothelioma.  Because the disease forms in and affects the lungs, treating it directly at the source could be a much more effective way than traditional needles. This new treatment will use a nebulizer to deliver medication directly to the lungs in a vaporized form. Researchers believe that this method could be more effective and could also help to eliminate the commonly felt side effects of mesothelioma treatment which can include kidney disease as well as other complications.

Each year, mesothelioma causes thousands of patients to suffer from this deadly disease but might benefit by the development of this new treatment method.  Mesothelioma cancer brings 2,000 to 3,000 deaths in the United States every year, as well as thousands mores each year in Scotland where research on the new treatment method using Cisplatin nebulizer is being conducted.  Scientists are working on this method with Dr. Chris Carter through the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.   The treatment method  should be released relatively soon for clinical trial, and they are very optimistic that their treatment will work.

Dr. Chris Carter, senior lecturer leading the research team states:

By delivering Cisplatin, one of the most widely used drugs for lung cancer, in a vaporized form, we would be able to get it to the cancerous cells and avoid the damage to healthy cells which can be hugely debilitating to patients. It would make the treatment far less onerous for them and we hope it would help them to live longer.

The new treatment would provide effective dosage to patients who are limited by the type of treatment that they can receive and will help to eliminate harmful side effects of Cisplatin which patients normally feel after intravenous injection of the drug. The nebulizer will target the lungs with the medication, and  allow the drug to be administered into the patients system much faster than traditional treatment.  This too could help to alleviate discomfort from the disease much more quickly.

This research shows that scientists and many health organizations continue in the fight to help patients with this deadly disease. Treatments are constantly being researched as scientists work to find an overall cure for mesothelioma which some doctors considered incurable.

Find More Mesothelioma Treatment Treatments