What Mesothelioma is and why law firms are going crazy over it?

The study used a gene therapy to increase the expression of the suicide gene in cells that are characteristic of mesothelioma. This increased expression caused the cells to become more sensitive to radiation and other treatments.
  • #1
Can anyone give me some information on what Mesothelioma is an why law firms are going crazy over it? I see commercials all the time still. It appears there is a class action suit against the government.
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  • #2
Here it is off the top of my head;
Mesothelioma is a rare(ish) form of cancer, linked to asbestos exposure. It affects an important lining in the chest and/or abdomen which allows your internal organs to slide against one another as the body moves (inhale, exhale, etc.). It might get you in the colon also, but I think that it begins in the chest, leaves visible red or purple signs on the outside, spreads rapidly, and the last I knew was incurable. I want to say about 6-months to a year is all the time it takes to kill you. The actor Steve McQueen died from this, but not after traveling to Mexico for treatment (coffee enemas, among other therapies). I believe it is a painful way to go, but I’m not certain.

That is the extent of my recollections on the subject, and most of it is about 20+ years old.

It was known 20 years ago that those engaging in the asbestos abatement business wouldn’t be 100% safe from asbestosis and other related illness. But it was also known that it would take about 20 years before workers began to come down with illness, if indeed such a thing were to happen at all. So the timing is right for the workers to be getting ill. It’s industrial disease, and the lawyers want to sue the companies.

I can tell you from having had direct contact with one particular company owner, that his plan was to get in while the market was ripe, make a few million, then get out and close the business before the lawsuits, if any, began to roll in.
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  • #3
Are new treatments for mesothelioma being studied and what are the newest advances in treating the cancer?

I wonder with all the removal of asbestos if more cases will be coming out of the wood word. I know I have some family that needs removal. I am concerned about it.
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  • #4
Because radiation, surgery and resective therapy yield dismal results, right now only single agent or dual agent chemothearapy palliative therapy is the norm. Even then, the response rate is at the most 20 percent, meaning extending their life for up to 10 months after confirmed diagnosis. However, hope is on the way.

Although relatively little is known about the biology of malignant mesothelioma, there is growing interest in the multiple factors involved in angiogenesis. One target of particular interest is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signal transduction pathway. VEGF is considered the best-characterized proangiogenic factor upon expression, VEGF binds to receptors on endothelial cells and initiates a signaling cascade that stimulates new blood vessel formation. In vitro data demonstrate that VEGF is one of the various autocrine growth factors that play an important role in the aggressive growth and metastasis of mesothelioma, such that VEGF, VEGF-C, and its receptors are expressed by mesothelioma cell lines

Agents currently being studied for their anti-VEGF potential include SU5416, thalidomide, PTK787/ZK222584, and bevacizumab

Bevacizumab is a recombinant monoclonal antibody that blocks VEGF from binding to its receptors and is the first antiangiogenesis agent to prove effective in a phase 3 trial. In combination with bolus IFL (irinotecan, 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin), bevacizumab increased survival, progression-free survival, and response rate and duration in 800 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer vs bolus IFL alone.A randomized phase 2 trial, sponsored by the University of Chicago Consortium, is currently underway to evaluate the effectiveness of gemcitabine/cisplatin with or without bevacizumab in 106 patients with malignant mesothelioma. So the results are not published yet.
  • #5
How about gene therapy trials? The first article I read:

Anticancer Res. 2003 Mar-Apr;23(2B):1405-9.

Suicide gene therapy using keratin 19 enhancer and promoter in malignant mesothelioma cells.

Ishiwata N, Inase N, Fujie T, Tamaoka M, Yoshizawa Y.

Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan.

To achieve the specific expression of a transfected suicide gene in malignant mesothelioma cells, we applied the enhancer-promoter fusion sequence of the keratin 19 (K19) gene. Northern blot analysis of three mesothelioma cell lines demonstrated that K19 mRNA was expressed most abundantly in the H2052 mesothelioma cell line. Subsequently, in a luciferase reporting assay, K19 promoter (260 bp) exhibited higher promoter activity in H2052 cells than in the other two cell lines. In addition, ligation of a 3' enhancer (80 bp) of the K19 gene to upstream of the K19 promoter sufficiently enhanced the promoter activity. After transfecting an expression vector containing the K19 enhancer-promoter bound thymidine kinase gene (pK19-TK) into the H2052 cells, the pK19-TK transfected cells became more sensitive to GCV than non-transfected cells in vitro and in vivo. In a mouse peritoneal model of malignant mesothelioma, in vivo transfection of pK19-TK by cationic liposome and systemic administration of GCV inhibited the growth of peritoneal tumors. The K19 enhancer-promoter sequence seemed to be specific and efficient enough for the expression of the transfected suicide gene in malignant mesothelioma cells. Anticancer Res. 2003 Mar-Apr;23(2B):1405-9.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was commonly used in construction and manufacturing industries.

Why are law firms interested in Mesothelioma cases?

Law firms are interested in Mesothelioma cases because they believe that companies who used asbestos knew about its health risks and failed to warn and protect their employees. This has led to numerous lawsuits and large settlements for victims and their families.

What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma?

The most common symptoms of Mesothelioma include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and weight loss. These symptoms often do not appear until the cancer has progressed to a later stage, making early detection and treatment difficult.

How is Mesothelioma diagnosed?

Mesothelioma is diagnosed through a combination of imaging tests, such as X-rays and CT scans, and a biopsy of the affected tissue. It is important to seek medical attention if you have a history of asbestos exposure and experience symptoms that may be related to Mesothelioma.

Can Mesothelioma be treated?

While there is currently no cure for Mesothelioma, treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Early detection and treatment can also improve the chances of survival.

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