Mesothelioma lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that scientists at the Griffith University School of medical Science are looking into a new drug applied to the skin in a cream-like form and targets cancerous mesothelioma cells.
The new drug would enter the blood stream through the skin, target and infiltrate cancer cells to try to fight the mutation from the inside. Unlike traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the drug would target and destroy only cancer cells, so the side effects would be substantially less harmful overall.
The Griffith team has conducted several studies already on laboratory mice, which have shown promising results, and are now working toward clinical trials in humans. Griffith began this project by researching mitochondria as targets for anti-cancer pharmaceuticals.
In related news, internationally esteemed mesothelioma expert, Dr. Harvey Pass, along with a team of researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center, recently reported finding a potential mesothelioma biomarker. Their findings were published in the Journal or Thoracic Oncology.
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The biomarker, a protein known as the Ephrin type-B receptor 2 (EPHB2) was indeed overexpressed in all tumors of malignant mesothelioma the researchers tested, yet was not eleveated in benign tumors. EPHB2 regulates an array of cellular processes, including that through which new blood vessels form and grow from older blood vessels.
This is a critical process for the growth and spread of cancer cells, which require food and oxygen to proliferate. Mesothelioma does not have a cure, and traditional cancer treatments – chemotherapy, surgery, radiation – has proven largely ineffective, as the average mesothelioma patient lives no longer than one year after initial diagnosis.
The NYU study found that targeting and destroying EPHB2 in mesothelioma cancer cells directly induced cell death, leading researchers to conclude that EPHB2 may provide potential for new drug treatments and therapies.
Mesothelioma, like asbestosis, is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos, a common, naturally-occurring mineral that was used globally until the late 1970s. At that time, it was publically revealed that asbestos had carcinogenic properties, which manufacturing firms had known and hid since the 1930s. Asbestos is relatively cheap to mine and has an array of useful applications, such as being fire-proof, heat and cold resistant, and sound-proof, so that it was used most abundantly in shipyards, construction materials, and automotive parts.
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Because these companies knew, or reasonably should have known, that the asbestos in their products were harming the health of their workers and consumers, dozens are now subject to lawsuits from those now suffering from the effects of asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma, along with asbestos-caused lung cancer, often takes decades to manifest in the body. Plaintiffs have limited time to file lawsuits against the companies that exposed them to asbestos, which is why hiring a qualified asbestos exposure attorney is of critical importance.
One such case involved the family of Lee Bernard Holdsworth, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2012 and passed away 11 months later. Holdsworth worked at Ashland Oil in Tonawanda, NY for several decades. In 1963, he was required to remove asbestos gaskets from valves manufactured by Crane Co., which required him to grind the asbestos, creating inhalable dust.
Neither Crane Co nor Ashland Oil ever warned Holdsworth of the health risks of his job duties, despite their knowing of asbestos’ harmful effects. A jury ultimately awarded his family three million dollars for his exposure and consequent wrongful death, and found that Crane Co.’s actions were taken in reckless disregard for consumer safety.
Companies like Crane Co. throughout the country are filing for bankruptcy protection from the proliferation of asbestos exposure lawsuits filed by former employees and consumers. Garlock Sealing Technologies, for example, has already paid at least $1.3 billion in damages, and recently filed for bankruptcy protection.
Asbestos exposures attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm encourage anyone who was recently diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness to consider filing a liability lawsuit against the parties responsible for your exposure. You and your family may be able to receive compensation for your negligent exposure and consequent medical bills, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.