On Friday, Sept. 26, National Mesothelioma Awareness Day will shed light around the nation on a dangerous form of cancer. Established in 2004, this awareness day, established and promoted by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation), has been the driving force behind the movement to bring attention and funding to mesothelioma research. In the past ten years, National Mesothelioma Awareness Day has raised nearly $1 million, received numerous local, state, and national government proclamations, and been the focus of dozens of media stories. Volunteers around the country unite to spread their message about mesothelioma through events and activities on this day every year. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘research’
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) 2013 Symposium kicks off Thursday, March 7, in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you can’t attend in person this year, don’t worry! You can attend “virtually” with a live streaming broadcast of the conference! (more…)
Professional golfer Fred Couples designated $25,000 from the 2011 Presidents Cup tournament to go to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. The Presidents Cup tournament raised a record-setting $4.5 million in proceeds to be distributed to charitable organizations around the world. Beneficiaries are chosen by the 30 players, captains and captains’ assistants. Couples chose the Meso Foundation with his girlfriend and caddy, Midge Elo Trammell, whose father, George Sheldon Elo, passed away in 2009 after a battle with pleural mesothelioma. (more…)
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) offers live teleconferences featuring experts in the field of mesothelioma, who will discuss developments in research and treatment. If you miss the live broadcast, the Meso Foundation offers the program as a podcast on its website. There is no cost to participate. (more…)
This week the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) announced it will provide an additional $500,000 in grant money for research projects directed toward finding treatments and a cure for mesothelioma. This will bring the Foundation’s current level of financial commitment to mesothelioma research projects to $7.6 million. (more…)
The results of a study published recently in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery supports the use of extrapleural pneumonectomy-based multimodal therapy in carefully selected patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The Journal is published by The American Association for Thoracic Surgery.
According to the research summary, the objective of the study was to evaluate the perioperative and long-term outcomes associated with extrapleural pneumonectomy for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the chest cavity and lungs. Other forms of mesothelioma include pericardial, which affects the lining of the heart and is extremely rare; and peritoneal, which affects the lining of the abdomen. Mesothelioma is atributed almost exclusively to asbestos exposure.
According to the Multimedia Manual of Cardiothoracic Surgery, extrapleural pneumonectomy was introduced in the 1940s for the treatment of extensive infections of the lung and pleural space. Over the past 20 years, the extrapleural pneumonectomy technique has been modified and applied to the treatment of locally advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma, achieving substantial reductions in mortality. The surgery involves the removal of the lung with visceral and parietal pleurae, pericardium and diaphragm.
Researchers selected 70 patients between October 1994 and April 2008 to undergo the procedure. Prognostic factors included age, gender, side of disease, asbestos exposure, histology, positron emission tomography, date of surgery, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, completeness of cytoreduction, lymph node involvement, peioperative morbidity, adjuvant radiotherapy and pemetrexed-based chemotherapy.
The mean age of patients was 55 years. The median survival was 20 months, with a 3-year survival of 30 percent. Analyses showed improved survival for patients with asbestos exposure, negative lymph node involvement, and receipt of adjuvant radiation or postoperative pemetrexed-based chemotherapy.
The study was conducted by physicians from the University of Sydney, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical; Department of Medical Oncology, Sydney Cancer Center, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; and Department of Radiation Oncology, Sydney Cancer Center, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; all in Sydney, Australia.
It was announced this week that Warnex Medical Laboratories, a division of Warnex Inc., will be the Canadian distributor for three recently launched genetic biomarker diagnositc tests produced by Rosetta Genomics, Ltd. The tests, branded as miRview™, include a test for the detection and diagnosis of mesothelioma.
Warnex is a life sciences company providing laboratory services to the pharmaceutical and health care industries. The company will market the miRview™ products and will send samples gathered from the tests from Canada to the Rosetta Genomics laboratory in Philadelphia for analysis. Warnex has three facilities, located in Laval and Blainville, Quebec, and Thunder Bay, Ontario.
We’ve written about the miRview™ products on this site in the past. They include miRview™ mets, which can identify the primary tumor site in patients presenting with metastatic cancer; miRview™ squamous, which differentiates squamous from non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); and miRview™ meso, which leverages microRNA’s high specificity as biomarkers to differentiate mesothelioma from other carcinomas in the lungs.
All three of the miRview tests utilize MicroRNA technology. According to Rosetta Genomics, microRNAs (or miRNAs) are recently discovered, naturally occurring, small RNAs that act as master regulators and have the potential to form the basis for a new class of diagnostics and therapeutics. This is because microRNAs have been shown to have different expression in various pathological conditions, the observation of which can provide a novel diagnostic tool for many diseases.
According to Rosetta Genomics, the miRview™ meso product is a highly accurate test that can help physicians to more easily identify mesothelioma, which can be hard to differentiate from other cancers. The test also can help rule out a meso diagnosis in patients who have been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lung and who also have been exposed to asbestos, which is known to cause mesothelioma.
An article published in the most recent edition of the Surgical Endoscopy Journal shares the results of a recent study of an electrocautery pleural biopsy technique using a specialized insulated-tip diathermic knife (IT knife). The study hoped to prove this new procedure would allow physicians to obtain a larger sample than traditional biopsy methods, thereby making pathological examination easier, and allow more accurrate diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
The study was headed by Shinji Sasada of the Department of Thoracic Malignancy, Osaka Prefectural Medical Center for Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, Osaka, Japan. Scientists compared specimens obtained using the IT knife, as compared to standard flexible forceps (SFF) during semirigid pleuroscopy, and resulting diagnoses, in 20 patients. Subjects all had unexplained pleural effusion.
Results revealed that the IT knife biopsy was superior to SFF in 8 of 20 patients, produced diagnositc yields from specimens in 85 percent of cases (17 of 20 cases) versus 60 percent of cases using SFF (12 of 20 cases).
Researchers conluded that “electrocautery biopsy using the IT knife during semirigid pleuroscopy has great potential for diagnosing smooth abnormal pleura which are difficult to biopsy with SFF.”
Last year, we reported on the establishment of a mesothelioma research project in Minnesota, which is examining the possible link between taconite mining and mesothelioma. The five-year research program received $4.9 million in funding from the Minnesota state legislature in April 2008, and is being directed by the University of Minnesota in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health.
This week, university researchers announced they are ready to begin recruiting current and former taconite workers on Minnesota’s Iron Range, and their spouses, to participate in a screening program.
Preliminary research actually began in Summer 2007, but got a boost from the legislature’s funding, allowing the study to expand significantly. The funding established the Minnesota Taconite Workers Lung Health Partnership task force.
There are four health studies associated with the project:
- a motality study under the direction of the Minnesota Department of Health related to miner deaths
- a cancer rate incidence study
- a respiratory health assessment for miners or former miners
- an occupational exposure study
According to an update in the Star Tribune, which serves the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, “since last year, researchers have been collecting data they need to determine why Iron Range miners die from mesothelioma at higher rates than others.”
Researchers hope to recruit around 1,200 current and retired workers for the new screenings, plus about 800 of their spouses.
Mesothelioma has been linked exclusively to asbestos exposure, so this study seeks to determine what similarities may exist in the taconite mining industry and the taconite mineral that produce high incidences of mesothelioma among its workers.
Asbestos is still not completely banned in the United States. It can still be found in a great number of products. WHY?
Asbestos industry documents from as early as 1924 indicate that manufacturers knew there was a danger to workers who inhaled asbestos fibers.
Then in 1953, Dr. Irving Selikoff, a pulmonary specialist, began studying the link between asbestos exposure and lung disease. He noted a much higher percentage of lung disease among workers who inhaled asbestos fibers. Selikoff’s groundbreaking findings about of the occupational danger of asbestos expsoure was published in 1964.
And yet, it wasn’t unitl the mid-1970s that asbestos use was widely banned, and even today, its use is not completely banned.
Selikoff hoped his findings would make the future brighter for workers, protecting them from such devastating illnesses as those suffered by the generations who had come before. Sadly, Selikoff passed away in 1992, before ever seeing asbestos eliminated in America, or seeing the threat of mesothelioma become a thing of the past.
With such clear evidence of the link between asbestos and mesothelioma, why is this still even a question??