A recent study published in the professional journal Respirology suggests that pleural fluid that develops in people suffering from mesothelioma may in fact contribute to cancer growth. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the lungs and abdomen caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Once used in building materials because of its durability, it was eventually discovered that asbestos caused a host of serious respiratory diseases when inhaled. New discoveries are being made about asbestos-related diseases every day.
Although the use of asbestos has significantly decreased in recent decades, it can take between 20 to 50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to develop. Approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed every year. At this time, there is no cure for mesothelioma. Treatments are available to relieve symptoms and increase survival rates.
Researchers in the Respirology study analyzed the fluid found between the lung and chest cavity wall in mesothelioma patients. Cancer cells that came in contact with this pleural fluid experienced increased growth and migration, essentially mimicking the process of cancer spreading throughout the body.
The study further found that mice injected with pleural fluid from mesothelioma patients developed tumors. Lung fluid in patients with other lung cancers also increased malignancy, but not nearly as significantly as fluid from mesothelioma patients. Furthermore, lung fluid from mesothelioma sufferers actually seemed to prevent chemotherapy drugs from killing cancer cells.
The study findings shows that lung fluid in mesothelioma cancer patients has biological properties that make this disease even more problematic. Going forward, researchers need to address the malignant properties of lung fluid in asbestos cancer patients when treating the mesothelioma disease as a whole. The hope is that with this new insight into how mesothelioma operates within the human body, researchers are one step closer to a cure.
At Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler, we have represented more than 10,000 victims of asbestos-related diseases since 1984. If you are suffering from mesothelioma because you handled asbestos-related products at work, our Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers will advocate for you. Call our Philadelphia offices today at 215-569-4000 or complete our online contact form. We serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvannia.