Link between asbestos and development of mesothelioma found

A recently published report from the National Academy of Sciences may be shedding some light on the ways in which asbestos fibers can cause cancerous growths in the human body.

The study was funded by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and the National Cancer Institute, and led by Drs. Haining Yang and Michele Carbone of the University of Hawai’i Cancer Research Center. It concluded that contact between asbestos and human tissues promotes an inflammatory reaction that supports tumor growth.

Additionally, HMBG1 – a molecule that is released by the affected cells – continues to trigger the progression of inflammation for years and potentially lead to the development of mesothelioma or some other type of asbestos cancer. With this information in hand, Dr. Carbone hoped that research could now be done to find ways in which HMGB1 could be inhibited, preventing the inflammatory process from continuing and hopefully leading to a decrease in asbestos cancer development as a result.

“I am very hopeful about this discovery. Now that we know that the chronic inflammation caused by asbestos drives tumor growth, we can test different medicines that can suppress inflammation,” Dr. Carbone said. “Aspirin was shown to decrease the incidence of colon cancer, a tumor that like mesothelioma, is associated with chronic inflammation.”

Kathy Wiedemer, the interim executive Director of MARF, added that the report was “very exciting”  and would “bring hope to our community and reinforce the fact that research is the key to ending mesothelioma.”

A clinical trial designed to target and limit the spread of HMGB1 has already been set up to be conducted in a region of Turkey that currently sees more than half of its population succumb to mesothelioma.

For those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer that can be linked to asbestos exposure caused by a product or former employer, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney to learn more about your rights, and to see if pursuing a mesothelioma settlement is in your best interest.