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Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are looking to figure out if there is a connection between the measles virus and mesothelioma in order to possibly find a cure.
Our mesothelioma lawyers have reported time and time again on our Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog that researchers are picking up the pace in terms of looking at mesothelioma. While this is a rare form of cancer, it is one that is devastating because it has no cure.
Mesothelioma is a cancer caused primarily by exposure to asbestos. It is unique in that a person can be exposed to this natural mineral and not feel any symptoms of the cancer for 20 to 50 years later. Typically, this cancer isn’t discovered until it is in its most advanced stages.
Symptoms include heavy coughing, fluid built-up in the lungs, chest pain and other signs that could point to a variety of ailments. That is another reason why this cancer is so dangerous — it can be masked as something less serious.
But researchers are hopeful that recent work may be able to put a dent into the number of people who die from this form of cancer. Typically, people with mesothelioma are treated with chemotherapy because surgery often isn’t a sound option. This is because the cancer tends to form near major organs, such as the heart, lungs and abdomen.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are reporting there has been an increase of mesothelioma cases in Minnesota, so the clinic there is doing extensive research to find a cure. This is attributed to taconite mining in the Iron Range region, which is a large economic booster, but has shown to have some unknown medical risks.
The latest version of the measles virus vector is an engineered version of the measles virus that is safe to the patient, but carries a toxic payload and is targetable. Doctors are able to conduct imaging studies to follow the virus in a treated patient. And they believe that they may be able to administer a more toxic version into a mesothelioma patient to destroy the cancerous tumor.
Researchers have found that mice with mesothelioma were given treatment that doubled the life span compared to mice that didn’t receive any treatment. The potential treatment was found by lab workers testing drugs approved to treat other forms of cancer.
When applied to mesothelioma cells, it seemed to make a difference. But researchers warn that this isn’t a cure for mesothelioma. Still, they hope that the treatment could improve for these patients.
One researcher said the hope is that within four years, after proper testing and trials, that treatment can be offered in the form of a pill that could outperform chemotherapy. That would allow patients to have a less turbulent time getting help for this cancer. They also predict that this treatment would increase the patient’s lifespan by about six months.
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Frequently Asked Questions: Mesothelioma & Asbestos
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a carcinogenic, naturally occurring fibrous mineral. Known for its heat resistance and durability, asbestos has historically been used in insulation, construction materials, automotive parts, and shipbuilding materials.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of small shard-like fibers that can easily become airborne when disturbed. If inhaled or ingested, these fibers can embed within the lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, or testes where they can cause cancer to form years or decades later.
What are asbestos-related diseases?
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
What causes mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure.
What are the different types of mesothelioma?
Three of the most common types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
What are common mesothelioma symptoms?
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include difficulty breathing and chest pains. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the stomach, may cause abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a preventable form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. military or while working in construction, mechanics, or a similar field, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Ferraro Law Firm for a free legal consultation.
What is the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma?
There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, patients can receive treatments for mesothelioma that may extend their initial prognosis with proper treatment. Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma usually have a life expectancy that is greater than three years, though a large part of this depends on the stage the patient is diagnosed. The earlier the diagnosis, the longer the life expectancy and chance of long-term survival.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should immediately seek long-term medical treatment. After that, you should contact our firm to examine your legal rights. Since 1985, The Ferraro Law Firm has represented individuals with asbestos-related diseases and pursued fair compensation on their behalf. Our firm is one of the top five law firms in the U.S. handling mesothelioma and asbestos cases.
The Ferraro Law Firm provides comprehensive legal services, including mesothelioma legal help. Call (888) 554-2030 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
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