Mesothelioma Empowerment Update - July 23, 2010

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July 23, 2010

California Senate Passes “Drop the Rock” Measure Sparking Political “Rock Throwing”

In California, a campaign is being waged to remove serpentine, the host rock for asbestos--a known carcinogen responsible for the death of thousands of Americans every year, as the state rock of California.

The campaign began nearly three years ago through the efforts of the Pacific Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and The John McNamara Foundation, three groups dedicated to raising public awareness of the dangers posed by asbestos exposure and providing resources to families affected by asbestos disease. The campaign recently gained “traction” when Senator Gloria Romero, of Los Angeles, proposed to remove serpentine as California’s state rock in Senate Bill 624, which was unanimously passed by the State Senate and the California Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. The measure is now awaiting an Assembly floor vote which could take place in the coming days. More...


Celebrating Living Well with Cancer: the 6th Annual Tour Des Chutes 

Under blue skies on a bright sunshiny day seemingly within a stone's throw of the snow capped Cascade Mountains, thousands of cancer survivors, caregivers and supporters gathered to celebrate the 6th Annual 2010 Tour Des Chutes. For the third year, The Punch Worthington Lab proudly sponsored the fundraiser and fun ride to support efforts in Central Oregon to help cancer patients survive and thrive.

The Punch Worthington Laboratory, located at UCLA, is the home of novel research into cures for asbestos cancer under the direction Dr. Robert Cameron of the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute. The lab is dedicated to David "Punch" Worthington, a union sandblaster, genetics professor and beloved father and grand-father who lost his lengthy battle with asbestos cancer in 2006. More...


 

Surgery:

Surgery for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

The role of surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma encompasses the need for rapid diagnosis, preoperative staging and surgical resection, and also the need for a greater biological understanding of this rare and aggressive malignancy. Pending the discovery of new drugs, the focus of clinical research over the next 5 years will emphasize refinements in patient selection, pathologic staging, molecular staging and other novel adjuvant therapies. More... 


Immunotherapy:

Low-dose cyclophosphamide synergizes with dendritic cell-based immunotherapy in antitumor activity \

Mesothelioma tumor-bearing mice were treated with dendritic cell-based immunotherapy alone or in combination with low-dose of cyclophosphamide. The addition of cyclophosphamide improved immunotherapy leading to an increased median and overall survival. Future studies are needed to address the usefulness of this combination treatment for mesothelioma patients. More...


Diagnosis / staging:

Secretion of intelectin-1 from malignant pleural mesothelioma into pleural effusion

It is hard to diagnose mesothelioma at the early stage because a sensitive and reliable diagnostic marker for mesothelioma has not been found in plasma or pleural effusion. Study found that pleural effusion of mesothelioma patients contained a higher concentration of intelectin-1 than that of lung cancer patients. These results suggest that detection of intelectin-1 may be useful for a differential diagnosis of epithelioid-type mesothelioma in immunohistochemistry and that a high concentration of intelectin-1 in pleural effusion can be used as a new marker for clinical diagnosis of mesothelioma. More...

Imaging in pleural mesothelioma: A review of Imaging Research Presented at the 9th International Meeting of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group

Imaging of mesothelioma poses many challenges for imaging specialists and clinicians due to the anatomic location and unique growth pattern of this tumor. The use of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) at the point of diagnosis, in prognostication, and in the assessment of response to chemotherapy showed a high sensitivity and specificity for differentiation of benign from malignant pleural disease when combined with CT scans. More... 

Development of an Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay for the Detection of Human Calretinin in Plasma and Serum of Mesothelioma Patients

Study developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for human calretinin in blood and to assess its usefulness as a potential minimally invasive diagnostic marker for mesothelioma. Study found novel assay is highly sensitive and applicable to human serum and plasma. Calretinin appears to be a promising marker for the blood-based detection of mesothelioma and might complement other markers. More... 

Soluble Mesothelin-related Peptide and Osteopontin as Markers of Response in Malignant Mesothelioma

In mesothelioma radiologic assessment of disease status is difficult. Both soluble mesothelin-related peptide (SMRP) and osteopontin (OP) have utility in distinguishing mesothelioma from benign pleural disease. Study found that percentage changes in SMRP levels, but not changes in OP levels, are a potentially useful marker of disease course. These findings should be validated prospectively for a role as an objective adjunctive measure of disease course in both clinical trials and clinical practice. More...


Chemotherapy: 

The Investigation of Effects of Qquercetin and its Combination with Cisplatin on Malignant Mesothelioma Cells in Vitro

This study investigated the antiproliferative effect of Quercetin (QU) and its combination with Cisplatin (CIS) on mesothelioma. Our experiments showed that QU significantly reduced the proliferation of cell lines and altered the cell cycle distribution. Additionally, the combination of QU + CIS was found more effective when compared with individual treatment of agents. More...

In Vitro and in Vivo Therapeutic Efficacy of the PPAR-gamma Agonist Troglitazone in Combination with Cisplatin Against Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Cell Growth

This study examined the therapeutic efficacy of the PPAR-gamma agonist troglitazone (TGZ) in combination with cisplatin against a human mesothelioma cell line, both in vitro and orthotopically inoculated into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. Theresults suggest that TGZ in combination with cisplatin may become a novel therapy for mesothelioma.  More...  


Novel and Alternative Treatments

Valproate-doxorubicin: Promising Therapy for Progressing Mesothelioma.

A phase II study In vitro data suggested that valproic acid (VA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), had pro-apoptotic effect and synergized with doxorubicin (D) to induce apoptosis in mesothelioma cells. Study aims to determine response rate of combined VA and D in patients with unresectable mesothelioma failing after platinum-based CT. More...


Awareness:

Asbestos is Still With Us: Repeat Call for a Universal Ban

All forms of asbestos are proven human carcinogens and there is no safe threshold of exposure. Asbestos is now banned in 52 countries and safer products have replaced many materials that once were made with asbestos. Nonetheless, a large number of countries still use, import, and export asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Countries of the world must once again join in the international endeavor to ban all forms of asbestos. More...