Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

UK schools plagued by asbestos safety concerns, report says

27 Feb 2017 by under News

asbestos warning 100x100 UK schools plagued by asbestos safety concerns, report saysThe ’s schools are facing a serious health crisis after a government report has found thousands of schools are failing to follow safety guidelines.

One-fifth of schools that responded to the government survey were found to be “not fully compliant” with procedures, according to The Telegraph, and of that fifth, 100 were deemed “a significant cause for concern” and required intervention. The Department for Education said it emailed schools and determined the asbestos issues are now safe. (more…)


Wales’ oldest cinema suffering after asbestos find

7 Feb 2017 by under News

War memorial  cinema Brynmawr   geograph.org .uk   3572345 100x100 Wales oldest cinema suffering after asbestos findWales’ oldest cinema first opened when Queen Victoria was the reigning monarch of the . Since its opening in 1894, it has survived two world wars and outlasted 28 UK prime ministers. Market Hall Cinema is Wales’ oldest continuously running theater, earning the title of National Cinema of the Year in 2014. Now the Market Hall Cinema and Arts Trust charity is working to raise enough money to keep its tradition alive after was found in the building in December 2016. (more…)


Asbestos exposure in UK schools costs local governments

5 Dec 2016 by under News

renovations South Oak Cliff High School 100x100 Asbestos exposure in UK schools costs local governmentsAsbestos exposure in has forced local governments in the to pay millions to staff and students affected by the mineral known to cause mesothelioma cancer.

New figures released by BBC News after Freedom of Information Requests show 32 councils have settled claims topping £10 million with former teachers, students and staff concerning the presence of asbestos in schools.  (more…)


The South West Mesothelioma Support Group to host event for those affected by mesothelioma

27 Jun 2014 by under Events

Saltram House Plympton UK courtesy Plymouth Herald 100x100 The South West Mesothelioma Support Group to host event for those affected by mesotheliomaOn July 4, a special event will be held at the Saltram House in Plympton, U.K., in memory of those affected by one of the deadliest forms of cancer, . (more…)


Startling statistic revealed during UK pleural plaque debate

3 Dec 2009 by under Legal, News, People

There is an ongoing debate in the United Kingdom about whether the country’s Labour department is responsible for compensating workers suffering from pleural plaques. In 2007, the Law Lords ruled that pleural plaques did not qualify for worker’s compensation. Pleural plaques are areas of fibrosis, or scar tissue caused by exposure to . They are usually found on the inside of the diaphragm.

A champion for the rights of workers who have developed pleural plaques as a result of exposure to asbestos in the workplace is Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn. In a meeting at the House of Commons on Nov. 27, he argued the issue of pleural plaques is “immensely important” to workers and pensioners, and insisted it is the duty of members of both sides of the House to overturn the “disgraceful and unjust decision by the Law Lords to bar this terrible illness from classification as a designated illness for compensation purposes,” according to a report in The Chronicle.

Hepburn also told the Commons that pleural plaques sufferers are 1,000 times more likely to develop a more serious form of asbestos-related cancer. Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the chest cavity and lungs (pleural) or the lining of the stomach (peritoneal). It may also rarely affect the lining of the heart (pericardial). There is no known cure for mesothelioma.

During the heated debate, The Daily Mirror reports that statistics were revealed that show mesothelioma rates in the have nearly doubled in 10 years. According to the news source, hospitals treated 7,349 cases of mesothelioma in the past year, compared to 3,773 cases during the timeframe of 1998-99. The Mirror calls mesothelioma an “asbestos timebomb,” citing the disease’s long latency period.

The Mirror quotes Hepburn as saying, “We’re seeing the legacy of workers exposed to asbestos in the 1960s.”


Merck begins vorinostat Phase III meso trial

10 Jun 2008 by under News, Research/Treatment

Merck & Co. announced May 27 that it is proceeding to Phase III clinical trials for vorinostat, which is currently marketed under the name Zolinza. The drug is an oral histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, and is being tested in patients with advanced malignant pleaural mesothelioma previously treated with systemic . Merck is currently enrolling patients in the Phase III trial.

According to the company’s news release, available in its entirety on the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation web site, the trial is moving forward after a favorable review of currently available safety and efficacy data from the Phase II portion of the study. This is an international study, expected to enroll 660 patients with testing centers in the United States, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It will be an ongoing randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Information provided by Merck says the trial will examine the safety, tolerability and anti-tumor activity of oral vorinostat with best supportive care as compared to best supportive care plus placebo in patients with advanced mesothelioma who have failed or are intolerant to prior chemotherapy, icnlucing pemetrexed in combination with either cisplatin or carboplatin.

Primary endpoints of the Phase III trial include overall survival as well as characterization of the overall safety and toxicity of vorinostat in patients with advanced malignant mesothelioma.

Patients interested in more information about the trial and how to enroll should call toll-free 1-866-890-6619 (in the U.S.) and 1-888-577-8839 (outside the U.S.) or visit the Merck Cancer Trials web site.

Zolinza is currently approved in the U.S. for treatment of cutaneous manifestations in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) who have progressive, persistent or recrruent disease on or following two systemic therapies.


Mesothelioma and chemotherapy research

19 May 2008 by under News, Research/Treatment

This week BBC News / Health reported on a recent study published by The Lancet, which features independent and authoritative commentary on global medicine, including research and analysis from all regions of the world. The study suggests that chemotherapy is not effective in dealing with mesothelioma, which is an asbestos-induced cancer that effects the lungs and, more rarely, the abdomen.

The results are based on a study of 409 patients, mostly from the United Kingdom, which set out to assess the potential benefits of combining active symptom control, which usually involves steroid drugs and radiotherapy, with chemotherapy. Results showed no real benefit from adding the chemotherapy drugs compared with just treating the symptoms of the disease.

The BBC quotes one of the authors of the study, Dr Richard Stephens from the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit, as saying, “While thousands are and will be affected by this deadly disease, our trial, which is one of the few large trials ever conducted in this disease, emphasizes how difficult mesothelioma is to treat. This is mainly because mesothelioma forms in the lining of the lung. This makes it hard to target.”

One chemotherapy drug, vinorelbine, was shown by the study to have some promise, but researchers do not think blanket chemotherapy treatment is a promising direction for treatment of mesothelioma, according to the Lancet report.

Researchers do not necessarily consider these findings to be bad news, as a study that defines what does not help can be beneficial to patient health because it helps reduce the chance that patients will undergo stressful treatments that are ineffective.

Results of a completely different chemotherapy study conducted by researchers at Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center were released May 18, revealing that chemotherapy given in conjunction with cancer vaccines may actually boost the immune system’s response to the vaccines, according to a report by ScienceDaily.

The Duke study focused on a drug used to treat lymphoma, but could have implications for clinical trials with vaccines being used to treat many cancers including lung cancer, brain tumors and colorectal cancer.

According to the FDA, it is the goal of cancer vaccine clinical trials not to prevent cancer, but to treat existing tumors. The idea is to train the person’s immune system to recognize the living cancer cells and attack them.

In July 2007, the American Association for Cancer Research examined the issue of cancer vaccines and, according to a report by Medical News Today, they found that “ongoing therapeutic cancer vaccine trials have yet to show evidence of vaccines spurring a patient’s immune system to shrink tumors – yet patients who receive these vaccines in trials tend to live longer and respond better to subsequent treatment.”

The full study, titled Cancer Vaccines: Moving Beyond Current Paradigms is available to read online at Clinical Cancer Research.

Full results of the Duke study will be presented May 31 at the meeting in Chicago, Ill.


Debbie in UK tackles Mesothelioma diagnosis

25 Apr 2008 by under People

 Debbie in UK tackles Mesothelioma diagnosisI recently came across a blog titled Mesothelioma and Me, written by a really neat woman in the , Debbie Brewer. The blog is a record of her thoughts, feelings and experiences since being diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2006.

Like Charlene, who shared her story with us recently, Debbie is a young woman – only 49 years old. It is suspected that she contracted mesothelioma through contact with her father brought home on his clothing. She says he was a lagger with the Ministry of Defense and would often scrape from pipes.

Reading Debbie’s blog – she posts regular diary entries – is by turn heartbreaking and funny (she has named her tumor “Theo,” and tells him not to grow), and inspiring, and can make you really angry, along with her, as she rails against her illness and fights for awareness.

She mixes stories about her treatments with accounts of daily family life, vacations with her kids, changes at work, experiments with her diet, and her growing role as an advocate for mesothelioma in the UK.

Debbie’s site is a great way to learn about the real people behind mesothelioma. Visit and get to know her. I’m glad I did!


UK Prime Minister called to rule on pleural plaque

9 Apr 2008 by under News

A report on WebWire Tuesday, April 8, 2008, says United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been called upon to intervene regarding last October’s ruling regarding compensation for workers diagnosed with pleural plaques.

The House of Lords decision eliminated compensation for people diagnosed with pleural plaques after being negligently exposed to asbestos at work, the story reports. Pleural plaques are a scarring of the lungs causes by exposure to asbestos particles, and can be a precursor to or mesothelioma.

In the past, workers received compensation for pleural plaques, and could also receive additional compensation if they later developed mesothelioma or asbestosis.

The story reports that several Members of Parliament (MPs), along with trade union groups, have called for Brown to review questions raised in the House of Commons earlier this year about this issue.

Brown is quoted as saying, “Asbestosis and mesothelioma are terrible diseases, and all of us who have seen the effects they cause know that we have to do more to help the victims of those diseases. On pleural plaques, we are looking at the matter at this very moment.”

Brown expects to publish a consultation document on the matter very soon, and will meet with delegations representing both sides of the issue.


Today is Mesothelioma Day 2008 in the UK

27 Feb 2008 by under Events

british lung foundation.thumbnail Today is Mesothelioma Day 2008 in the UKToday is Action Mesothelioma Day 2008 in the . This annual event, which started in 2006, is spearheaded by the British Lung Foundation. The Action Mesothelioma campaign is centered on the Mesothelioma Charter, which calls for better care and treatment, better protection for employees and more funding for research. It was presented to 10 Downing Street on February 27, 2006, with more than 14,000 signatures to mark the launch of the first Action Mesothelioma Day. For a list of Action Mesothelioma Day events, visit the British Lung Foundation online.