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Researchers Work to Develop Mesothelioma Drug

A joint team comrpised of researchers from Chinese and American companies is working to develop a new drug to aid in the battle against cancer.  The drug, currently called OSI-930, is an inhibitor which helps stop the spread of cancerous cells, which prevents the spread of the disease.

According to the researchers, the KDR/Kit inhibitor is showing good signs of stopping the spread of both small and non-small cell lung cancer.  The team is hopeful that the drug will also show positive signs of eliminating the spread of mesothelioma cancer, the deadly form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

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New UK Study Finds Mesothelioma Deaths Will Peak in 2016

A new study released by the United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive found that although mesothelioma deaths are at their highest ever, they won’t peak until 2016.  The study found that 2,156 deaths in 2007 were due to mesothelioma, up from 2,058 in 2006, and 2,046 in 2005.

In the United Kingdom, men are five times more likely to develop mesothelioma than women.  The figures taken into account for this study include only men, because the figures are not currently available for women.

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Oil Field Consultant's Widow Awarded $1 Million

The widow of a Texas oil field consultant who died as a result of mesothelioma has been awarded $1 million in damages by a Bazoria County jury.  The man had worked for Dowell Company between 1975 and 1985, during which time he worked with drilling fluids which contained asbestos, long known to cause mesothelioma.  The jury found that the two remaining clients on the suit, Union Carbide and Montello, Inc, were both 15% liable for the man’s contraction of mesothelioma.

According to the man’s testimony given before he died, he used asbestos-filled drilling mud several times a week for the course of four or five years.  The asbestos dust was so thick it was like a smokestack, he said, and blocked out street lights.

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California Man Charged with Fraudulent Asbestos Training Program

A California man has been charged with operating a scam involving lying about how much training students of the program were actually receiving.  Under California law, asbestos removal workers have to pass a training course which runs four days and has eight hours of training per day, with a total of no fewer than 14 hours of hands-on training.  According to prosecutors, though, the class in question met for as little as 25 minutes a day.  Moreover, the man gave out the answers to the test at the end of the course, going so far as to filling out the test for a student who didn’t show up that day.

The man was charing companies hundreds of dollars for the class without providing any acutal training, compounding the dangers of asbestos exposure by putting undertrained workers into the industry of removing it.

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Trial Begins for Utica Asbestos Removal Scam

Two brothers from Utica, New York have been brought to trial for running an illegal asbestos removal company.  According to prosecutors, the brothers have been illegally removing asbestos from all over the Central New York area.  This violates the terms of the conviction of one of the brothers, who was barred in 2003 from being involved in an asbestos removal company after violations of the Clean Air Law.

If convicted, the brother with the record faces up to 55 years in prison and a fine of up to $2.5 million, while the other brother could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,00.  The severity of these punishments is indicative of the dangers of unsafely removing asbestos.

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Five Plaintiffs Name 84 Companies in Asbestos Lawsuit

Five plaintiffs have named a total of 84 companies as defendants in a Texas asbestos exposure lawsuit.  The plaintiffs allege that either they or a recently deceased relative contracted mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses as a result of exposure to the substance caused by the companies.  The five people or their deceased relatives worked in refineries and chemical plants throughout Texas.

According to the suit, the companies failed to provide a safe work environment, thereby putting the plaintiffs or their relatives at an increased risk for illness.

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Oxford University Unveils New Mesothelioma Test

Oxford University in England has developed a new mesothelioma test which, unlike traditional tests which look for cancer cells, looks for high levels of certain types of protein in the mesothelium, the membrane in which mesothelioma first develops.  Because it tests for protein levels rather than cancer cells, the test can actually predict a patient’s likelihood of developing mesothelioma long before it appears, making treatment better and more proactive.

Additionally, the test is less invasive than current tests, and more relaible.  The researchers believe it is the future for mesothelioma testing.

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New Bill Could Increase Mesothelioma Research

Senate majority leader Harry Reid is trying to bring cancer research funds to his home state of Nevada through the introduction of a new bill.  The bill, a so-called “rifle shot” bill because of the specificity of its scope, would increase research funds for four different cancer research centers across the country, including a new institute in Nevada.

The government money given to these four centers will help reimburse them for the high costs of cancer treatment, making them better able to focus on patients’ regimes.  The institutes receiving the money include University Hospital in Cleveland, the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  The funds will help provide cancer research, including mesothelioma.

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Report Finds Mesothelioma Survival Rate Affected by Depression

A new report by the University of British Columbia asserts that the survival rate of patients being treated for mesothelioma and other types of cancer is significantly lower in those exhibiting signs of depression.  The article, which was published in the American Cancer Society’s journal, analyzed 26 previously conducted studies and found that cancer patients who described having symptoms of depression were 25% more likely to die than those who did not.  Even more alarming, patients diagnosed with minor or major clinical depression were a full 39% more likely to die during treatment as patients who did not.

The study was quick to point out that it is dangerous to make patients feel as though they must put up a false front of optimism, as this will also negatively impact recovery.

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Grim Report Linking Carpenters and Mesothelioma Comes Out of UK

According to a report released by Cancer Research UK and the British Health and Safety Executive, an astounding 1 in 17 UK carpenters born in the 1940s are expected to die of mesothelioma, the cancer caused by asbestos exposure.  Additionally, plumbers, electricians, and decorators from the same demographics have a 1 in 50 chance of developing life-threatening mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer, and although there are other ways to get it, approximately 90% of mesothelioma cases stem from asbestos exposure.

While these sobering statistics are true only in Britain, they serve to underscore the danger of frequent asbestos exposure and the emphasize the dangers faced by anyone who handled it in a professional setting.

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