Veterans who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases are well aware of the impact that asbestos has on human health, but the same can’t be said for the general public. That all may change with the upcoming release of two new documentaries: one in the United States and one in Europe. Both Dirty Laundry and Breathless were inspired by the deaths of close family members, and both reveal the dark history and outsized power of asbestos companies.
For many veterans who have been affected by malignant mesothelioma – either through their own illness or the loss of former to the asbestos-related disease – one bright spot has been the hope that the United States would soon ban asbestos outright. The use of the carcinogenic material has been steadily dropping in the United States over the last few decades, and this has been attributed to an interest in improving safety and advocacy on the part of health professionals and victims. Unfortunately, many of the actions that have been taken by anti-asbestos activists in the last few years have been erased by asbestos industry lobbying efforts and anti regulatory activities on the part of the Trump administration. Now it has been revealed that there has been a surge in asbestos imports into the United States. Continue reading
In the face of the frustration and challenges that a mesothelioma diagnosis brings, it is nice to hear about a victim getting the justice that they sought and deserve. Such was the case of a man in the United Kingdom whose recent diagnosis with the rare and fatal form of cancer took him and his family by surprise and left him with little time. Mr. C (his family has chosen not to reveal his identity) was diagnosed with the disease when it was already in an extremely advanced stage, and his physicians informed him that though most patients have at least a year in which to settle their affairs, he did not have that much time left to him. In the midst of medical treatments and trying to spend time with his family, he was able to work with an attorney to reach out to his former employer and quickly secured a significant settlement that let him spend his last days with the knowledge that he had secured a level of financial security for his family. Continue reading
Ask any veteran who has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, or who has lost a friend to the disease, about coverups, and they’re sure to have a lot to say. There is an enormous amount of evidence pointing to the complicity of America’s asbestos companies in a coverup about the dangers of the material, all designed to allow them to continue making huge profits at the expense of the country’s service men and women. Now a report out of Quebec is raising the question that the health ministry there might be engaged in similar activities, all to permit them to continue benefitting from a lucrative project involving old asbestos mines. Continue reading
Upon being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, many veterans’ first thoughts go to their families. They worry about how the disease will impact them financially, and how they will deal with the challenges of supporting them through their illness. For those whose service kept them close to home, the concerns can be even worse, as they worry whether they might have carried asbestos home on their clothing when they returned from their work each day. That scenario is apparently exactly what happened to 83-year-old Joan Morris, a resident of Essex in the United Kingdom who recently died of the rare and fatal form of cancer. Mrs. Morris had spent much of her young life married to her first husband, Donald Merrells, who worked on the Tilbury Docks. Each day when he returned home from work she would launder his dust-covered overalls – a domestic chore that may have led to her death. The family is now working with an attorney to determine whether they can hold the asbestos companies whose products she was exposed to through second-hand exposure responsible. Continue reading
Mesothelioma advocates and others who have been impacted by the effects of asbestos have been horrified by news that the Trump administration plans to ease restrictions and oversight on asbestos use in the United States, and several high profile Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) are taking action. A recent example can be found in a petition that several groups have delivered directly to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, requesting a change in the organization’s current requirements surrounding asbestos testing. At the present time, the carcinogenic material has been exempted from reporting because it is classified as ‘naturally occurring’ rather than manmade. Six separate groups are asking that the chemical data reporting rule (CDR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) be change specifically for the material that has caused so much illness and death, particularly among America’s veterans. Continue reading
Early testing of a new protocol for treating malignant mesothelioma has delivered extremely promising results, and that is good news for veterans and others who have been diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer. The test was part of the UK MESO-2 clinical trial and was looking at the outcomes of using selective inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 called ADX-1612 in combination with the current standard chemotherapy treatment of pemetrexed and cisplatin. The results from the phase 1/2 study delivered a positive overall response rate in 61% of the patients involved in the study.
Veterans and others diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma are informed immediately that the rare and fatal form of cancer carries a dire prognosis – most patients die within two years of the disease being identified. Still, victims are also apprised of the research studies being carried out internationally, and many are given the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. A recent study that had inspired a great deal of hope was the LUME-Meso trial, which focused on determining whether combining nintedanib, an innovative kinase inhibitor, with the standard chemotherapy protocol of pemetrexed/cisplatin in patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma that was determined to be unresectable. Unfortunately, according to results released at the recent meeting of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer, the Phase 3 study delivered disappointing results, with no survival benefit observed from the protocol. Continue reading