Tag Archives: Meso Treatments

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

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.”


PhRMA Golf Invitational raises $11,000 for mesothelioma cancer cure research

October 29, 2012

PhRMA Golf Invitational

The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America was blessed with a sixth and final event to finish our 2012 season of  fundraising efforts. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America hosted a Golf Invitational at the Napa Valley Country Club, and with the assistance and support of the California State Building and Construction Trades the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America was the benefactor of the event! The event’s proceeds totaled nearly $11,000, of which 100% will go towards research in finding a cure for mesothelioma!

Read more…

Mesothelioma – A Quick Short Introduction

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that occurs in the tissue covering the stomach and bowels (peritoneal tissue) or in the tissue covering the outside surface of the lung (pleural tissue). 90% of the cases of Malignant Mesothelioma are caused by exposure to Asbestos.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a silicate mineral made up of masses of tiny fibers that are as strong as steel and are highly resistant to heat and chemicals. Fibers of Asbestos are inhaled or swallowed and are able to penetrate to the outside surface of the bowel or to the outside surface of the lung where they become trapped. These trapped fibers can cause a reaction that leads to Mesothelioma Cancer. Mesothelioma symptoms may not appear until about 20 or 40 years from first exposure to airborne Asbestos fibers.

Mesothelioma Treatments

Mesothelioma treatments include radiation to shrink cancer tissue or cells, chemotherapy to stop the reproduction of cancer cells, photodynamic therapy and some times, surgery to remove cancerous tissue.  There also some progressive Clinical Trials offering  the hope of a cure found in their research for new solutions.  Clinical trials are available to qualified volunteers.

You Are Entitled To Compensation!

People,  who are faced with Mesothelioma Diagnosis, are entitled to compensation from the manufacturers of any asbestos-containing product to which they were exposed in sufficient quantities to cause disease.  You can discover a qualified Mesothelioma lawyer on the Internet.   Be sure to evaluate and consider the success case references when looking for counsel and representation.

The JOHNS Donate $5,000 For Mesothelioma Cancer Research

Press Release
March 14, 2012

The entire staff at the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America stops and takes a deliberate moment to recognize and send a sincere thanks to the JOHNS for their donation of $5,000 designated for mesothelioma cancer research. The JOHNS event is held annually to honor a dear deceased friend, John S. Lyons, by acknowledging today’s Labor Leader of the Year as well as raise money for cancer research and other local charities. As always, 100% of the donation received by the Foundation will go toward research into treatment options for mesothelioma cancer. We also give a special thank you to our friends at the JOHNS who made this possible. Our relationship with medical research facilities in San Diego has been made possible by the help of the San Diego County Building Trades Business Manager and JOHNS Co-Chairman, Tom Lemmon and his fellow JOHNS award recipients, Retired U.A. Local 230 Business Manager, Nico Ferrarro, and current U.A. Local 230 Business Manager Kirk Crosswhite. These good allies are at the forefront of encouraging Dr. Parkash Gill and this Foundation to continue having a nexus in San Diego, CA where Dr. Gill is actively working with a lab of researchers furthering his research into better treatment options for Mesothelioma cancer, as well as other cancers that demonstrate a response to anti-angiogenesis treatments. More about anti-angiogenesis treatments (non-chemotherapy drugs) and Dr. Gill’s research can be found at:


Cancer Monthly Journal and Database for Mesothelioma Research

Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) March 08, 2012

Cancer Monthly is proud to announce that it now provides treatment results for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and Bladder Cancer. Cancer Monthly is the only centralized source of cancer treatment results. Founded more than seven years ago, Cancer Monthly now provides information on the actual performance for nearly 1,000 different treatments for Bladder, Brain (anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma), Breast, Colon, Kidney, Liver, Lung (non small cell), Melanoma, Mesothelioma, Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, Ovarian, Prostate, and Rectal Cancer.

For each individual treatment the data includes: actual survival rates, quality of life indicators, drug information, and more. The purpose of the Cancer Monthly is to provide patients with better tools to have more effective discussions with their doctors, explains Michael Horwin the President of Cancer Monthly. Most of the data focuses on cancers in the more advanced stages because in those situations time is at a premium and Cancer Monthly can help patients save research time.

Cancer Monthly has been used by several million patients and doctors over the last seven years. This internet database is free and easy to use. Visitors simply select the kind of cancer they are researching, the types of treatments they are interested in, and where they are located. Treatment types include: Alternative, Biologic therapy, Chemotherapy, Gene Therapy, Hormone, Immunotherapy, Radiation, and Surgery. The database then provides the various treatments that meet these requirements. The data is sorted by the highest survival rate but the user can also sort by hospital, country, date, and toxicity of the treatment. Once a treatment of interest is identified the user can print out an abstract describing the therapy and share it with their doctor. Users can also email the doctor responsible for the therapy if they would like to obtain further details. All of the data comes from the peer reviewed oncology literature medical articles written by physicians and researchers.

Cancer Monthly is just one time-saving tool to help patients perform research on cancer treatments, says Horwin. Because the data comes from the medical journals it can help patients make more informed treatment decisions with their doctors.

To visit Cancer Monthly go to http://www.cancermonthly.com

More Mesothelioma Press Releases

Treatments for Pericardial Mesothelioma including Veglin

Pericardial Mesothelioma Introduction

Pericardial Mesothelioma is an extremely difficult cancer to treat and presently, all treatment methods used have a poor success rate.  The chances of a patient’s survival depend largely on how early and how aggressively the cancer is treated.  If pericardial mesothelioma is treated when it has fully matured and developed then the chances of survival are very slim and the prognosis for a patient could be only a couple of months.  The latency period of pericardial mesothelioma (20 – 50 years), and its symptoms which are ordinary of other more common diseases such as pneumonia, make it extremely difficult to diagnose and therefore difficult to treat in its early stages.  In this way, a lot of pericardial mesothelioma treatments do not aim to cure patients but instead focus on reducing the symptoms.

Before a patient is treated, a doctor will evaluate him or her, and afterwards decide which treatment method is most suitable for the patient’s situation.  The patient’s age, medical history, general well being and even weight are taken into account before the doctor will decide which of the three treatments are most appropriate.  These treatments are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.


There are two different types of surgery that can be used one of which is called aggressive surgery.  This is the most dangerous of all the treatment methods available and only the fittest of people are deemed strong enough to undergo this.  Aggressive surgery consists of removing large chunks of cancerous cells from inside the patient.  This is extremely dangerous in the case of pericardial mesothelioma seeing as the cancerous cells are in extremely close proximity to vital organs such as the heart and lungs.  Extremely skilled surgeons are needed to perform this operation.

The second type of surgery is palliative procedures and this type of surgery is used only for the purpose of reducing the symptoms of the cancer.  Palliative procedures are performed when pericardial mesothelioma is in its latest stages and is practically impossible to cure.


Chemotherapy is the most well known cure of cancers and involves using drugs to kill of cancerous cells.  However, many of the drugs used do not have a high success rate although researchers are discovering new combinations of drugs that work more effectively.  Many pharmaceutical companies are also endeavouring to find new drugs.  Researchers predict that they will soon discover a drug with a significantly improved success rate.

Radiation Therapy

This form of treatment uses doses of radiation to kill cancerous cells.  However, in the case of pericardial mesothelioma this is extremely difficult because as well as damaging cancerous cells, the radiation also damages vital organs such as the heart and lungs.  This makes using radiation therapy most effectively extremely difficult.  The dose of radiation is usually too weak to make a significant impact on curing pericardial mesothelioma.

Dual Therapy

Dual therapy is just a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  This consists of using surgery to remove the majority of the cancer cells and then using chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill off any remaining cells.  This has proved to be an effective treatment method however also very dangerous.  Only the fittest young people are able to undergo this treatment.

Non-Chemotherapy Veglin Drug: Clinical Trials

Veglin is an anti-angiogenesis non-chemotherapy drug (angiogenesis inhibitor) that was developed by Dr. Parkash S. Gill, Oncologist and Lead Contributor for the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America, for the treatment of a variety of malignancies including mesothelioma. Veglin is one of several newly developed non-chemotherapy drugs being tested for possible utilization in the ongoing struggle to combat malignant mesothelioma.

About Veglin as an Angiogenesis Drug

Angiogenesis refers to the physiological process by which new blood vessels are formed from existing blood vessels. Angiogenesis is a natural process of cellular growth and development; however, it also fuels tumor metastasis (spread and growth of cancer). Tumors have a limited capacity to grow unaided. In order to continue to grow and metastasize, tumors require a continuous flow of oxygen and essential nutrients. In order for tumors to receive such a continuous flow, they require blood vessel growth into the cancerous mass. Tumors induce the required blood vessel growth by secreting a variety of growth factors (VEGF). It is believed (and proven effective in early clinical trials) that preventing the formation of new blood vessels can prevent the growth and spread of tumors.


Individuals who were exposed to asbestos and have developed symptoms of mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis or another asbestos-related disease should seek a  professional medical opinion.  The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America (a not-for-profit research organization) provides free access to our mesothelioma research team for answers to your medical questions.  Simply Ask Dr

What Mesothelioma Treatments Are Available?

Currently, mesothelioma treatments include chemotherapy treatments, radiation treatments, surgical treatments and experimental therapies and drugs. Research news reports the limited success of present treatments for Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma research news indicates that traditional treatments viz. single or multi-drug chemotherapy has a response rate of about 20%. Radiation treatments, usually used in conjunction with surgery or chemotherapy treatments can relieve pain and shrink tumors, making breathing easier. However, radiation treatments can also cause severe side effects.

Efforts To Treat Mesothelioma Cancer

Mesothelioma can take between ten and sixty years to develop after inhalation of respirable asbestos fibers, but Mesothelioma progresses fast. Radical surgeries as mesothelioma treatments have had limited success. Surgical treatments attempted include extra-pleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy.

Recent news about mesothelioma treatments  indicates that in EPP over 15% patients die soon after surgery. EPP involves removal of pleura, diaphragm, pericardium, part of the phrenic nerve and the entire tumor-affected lung and has to be supported by chemotherapy or radiation.

The pleurectomy treatments involve removal of the pleura without removing the whole lung. These treatments are best in patients with good lung expansion who tend to accumulate fluid. In combination with radiation pleurectomy is reported in treatment news to have given 22-month survival in 50% and 24-month survival in 41% cases in a 27-patient group with mesothelioma of the epithelial subtype.

Surgical treatments of mesothelioma have not been shown to offer significant advantages over the limited non-surgical treatments. Experimental drugs under evaluation include treatments by Onconase, Lovastatin and an Endostatin and angiostatin combination.

USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center with Veglin treatment for Mesothelioma
Dr. Parkash S. Gill and Veglin treatment for Mesothelioma cancer



The Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America is funding research by Dr. Parkash S. Gill on a mesothelioma cure. Dr. Gill, working at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, has completed Phase I Clinical Trials his new mesothelioma treatment drug called Veglin. Continued research and Phase II Clinical trials of Veglin have begun in July 2004, opening exciting treatment possibilities with a cure for mesothelioma victims.