05/09/2011 // Chicago, IL, USA // Mesothelioma Lawyers – Cooney & Conway // Cooney & Conway
A drug commonly used to treat kidney cancer may benefit mesothelioma patients as well, according to an Austrian study published in the May issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. The drug, temsirolimus, appears to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy for mesothelioma, a particularly aggressive cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure.
Asbestos attorneys and experts say the discovery marks rare—and much welcome—progress in the fight against one of the deadliest of cancers.
Mesothelioma is one of several diseases, among them lung cancer and asbestosis, that have been scientifically linked to asbestos exposure. It results in a scarring of the lungs that causes severe respiratory problems. Mesothelioma originates when asbestos—which can still be found in many older buildings, including homes and schools—is inhaled and particles lodge in the lungs.
Although mesothelioma can take many years, even decades, after asbestos exposure to develop, by the time it is detected, a victim’s prognosis is typically grim. There is no known cure for the disease, and even the most advanced treatments usually only extend life expectancy by a matter of months.
While asbestos attorneys have been successful in obtaining large settlements and verdicts for victims of asbestos exposure, researchers have struggled to understand the disease and how to defeat it. That makes the recent discovery all the more significant.
What the Vienna-based researchers found was that temsirolimus—which can slow tumor growth in some renal cancer cases—also showed success slowing the growth of malignant pleural mesothelioma cells. However, mesothelioma cells that are resistant to cisplatin, a widely used chemotherapy drug, showed hypersensitivity against temsirolimus. That finding suggests that the renal cancer drug might be a promising treatment in combination with chemotherapy.
“Malignant mesothelioma is a severe human malignancy characterized by a very bad prognosis, with a mean patient survival time of less than one year,” said one of the study’s authors, Professor Walter Berger of the Institute of Cancer Research at the Medical University of Vienna. “Consequently, novel therapeutic options for this devastating disease are urgently needed.”
*This news story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we have been advocates for those injured due to the wrongful actions of others. We have litigated and resolved some of the nation’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, bringing justice—and financial compensation—to victims of asbestos exposure and the lung cancer, mesothelioma and other deadly diseases it can cause.
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