As November comes to an end, so too does Australia’s Asbestos Awareness Month. Australians across the country have been participating in an Asbestos Awareness campaign, overseen by a combination of government agencies and research and preventative initiatives, throughout the month of November.
Posts Tagged ‘Australia’
After road workers in Australia completed construction and renovation on the Sydney Harbour Bridge nearly 10 months ago, the public has just been made aware of the discovery of asbestos beneath concrete slabs on the structure.
According to Daily Mail Australia, Duncan Gay, the NSW Nationals Minister for Roads and also a qualified hygienist, was only told of the asbestos earlier this month. Fortunately for those living nearby the bridge, Gay did confirm that the asbestos had low potential for airborne exposure. Local authorities will also be investigating where the excess material taken from the site went and whether or not it was disposed of properly. (more…)
Mesothelioma may be growing differently than experts previously believed.
A recent discovery by researchers at Australia’s Flinders University suggests mesothelioma tumors promote growth through creating blood vessels, defying available medical treatments for the cancer.
Existing treatments target blood vessels that grow into a mesothelioma tumor, not those that develop from within a tumor. (more…)
Australian authorities are warning consumers to avoid a brand of Crayons made in China that have tested positive for asbestos, a silicate mineral that can cause devastating health problems for people exposed to it. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said that so far only trace amounts of asbestos have been found in children’s crayons marketed with images of Dora the Explorer, Mickey Mouse, and Peppa Pig. However, the agency added that the “presence of asbestos in crayons at any level is unacceptable because asbestos is a prohibited import.” (more…)
An Australian company called Octfolio has launched what it is touting as a “pioneering technology platform” that it says will help achieve the government’s goal of ridding the country of asbestos by 2030. (more…)
In Australia, which has the highest per capital rate of mesothelioma in the world, doctors and researchers are seeing a new wave of younger people diagnosed. They call these patients the “third wave” or the “bystander wave.” (more…)
Bionomics, an Australian biotechnology company, has announced the beginning of Phase II clinical trials for its vascular disrupting agent BNC105 as a treatment for mesothelioma. The company announced its plans to test the drug on mesothelioma patients in December 2009. It will partner with the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group (ALTG) and the NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) Clinical Trial Centre.
The clinical trial involves 60 patients at 12 centers in Australia.It is a single arm, unblinded study for patients with mesothelioma who have progressed on platinum/pemetrexed chemotherapy. BNC105 will be administered on days 1 and 8 of 21-day cycles. Treatment will continue until disease progression. The primary objective is to determine the tumor response rate.
Principal investigator for the trial is Dr. Anna Nowak, professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Australia and consultant medical oncologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. According to information on the company’s web site, Bionomics has already commenced Phase II testing of the anti-cancer properties of BNC105 in renal cancer in the United States. The commencement of this Phase II trial follows a successful BNC105 Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced cancers at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Western Hospital, Austin Health and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Dr. Nowak says, “Mesothelioma remains a substantial problem in Australia and other parts of the world. An early clinical trial of BNC105 suggested some promise in mesothelioma. This Phase II trial will provide hope and an opportunity to participate in a research study for people with mesothelioma who do not have other options for treatment.”
Dr. Deborah Rathjen, CEO and Managing Director of Bionomics, says the company expects to report interim results of this study in mesothelioma patients in early 2011.
More information about the clinical trial is available online. Inquiries may be directed to:
Dr Deborah Rathjen
CEO & Managing Director
+61 8 8354 6101 / 0418 160 425
+61 3 9620 3333
One of the many mesothelioma community members on Facebook posted a question today about a clinical trial being conducted at the Mesothelioma Center, located at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. MyMeso discussed this clinical trial in a July post. The clinical trial is a program of targeted radiation and chemotherapy protocol for pleural mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lung’s lining almost always caused by asbestos. In response to the Facebook thread, meso survivor and awareness advocate (read: warrior) Debbie Brewer, who many of you know from her story and updates here (thanks Debbie!), mentioned a similar study currently ongoing in Australia.
Debbie provided a link to a story published in November 2009 by ABC News that outlines the work of specialists at Austin Health Centre in Victoria. The treatment, spearheaded by Dr. Malcolm Feigen, a radiation oncologist at the Centre, uses high doses of radiotherapy, concentrated on specific areas of the lining of the lungs to target mesothelioma tumors.
According to the ABC report, 13 patients participated in a pilot program to test this new targeted radiotherapy treatment. Most had some surgery prior to the radiotherapy treatment, and some also had chemotherapy before or after the treatment, although Dr. Feigen believes the patients showed the most benefit primarily as a result of the radiotherapy regimen.
Participants in the U.S. clinical trial at the Mesothelioma Center receive a multi-modality therapy that incorporates surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy in combination.
Listen to the interview with Dr. Feigen about the Australian research, which was broadcast on ABC’s AM morning current affairs program.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that biotechnology company Bionomics is set to begin a Phase II clinical trial of its anti-cancer drug, BNC105, at up to 12 cancer treatment centers across Australia. The company plans to include 60 mesothelioma patients in the drug trial.
According to the Herald report, this Phase II study comes on the heels of a successful Phase I clinical trial of Bionomics’ BNC105, which was administered to patients with advanced cancers at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Western Hospital, Austin Health and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Bionomics has contacted the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group (ALTG) and the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre (CTC) to conduct the clinical trial. No date has yet been set for the trial start.
BNC105 is described as “a novel anti-cancer agent which is both a vascular disrupting agent (VDA) and an inhibitor of cancer cell proliferation.”
For more information about the Phase II clinical trial of BNC105 for mesothelioma patients in Australia, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more information about ongoing clinical trials in Australia and New Zealand by visiting the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) at www.anzctr.org.au.