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The Potential of Targeted Cancer Therapy for Mesothelioma Treatment

A mesothelioma diagnosis is often followed by typical cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. These treatments can be accompanied by harsh side effects such as hair loss, nausea, fatigue, pain and more. The reason is because chemotherapy and radiation attack not only the cancer cells, but the healthy cells, too.

New advances in cancer treatment show “targeted” cancer therapies could offer an alternative option for cancer patients. These treatments target only the harmful cancer cells by attacking the tissue environment that contributes to the cancer’s growth and survival.

Researcher Jonathan Lovell of the State University of New York at Buffalo, is working on a targeted drug delivery system for cancer that uses lasers and light activated drugs. He developed nano-sized spherical pods – so small, they are 1/1000 the diameter of a human hair. Lovell fills the pods with anti-cancer drugs and injects them into the body where they safely circulate.

The pods can be activated to release the anti-cancer drugs when Lovell shines a red laser on the tumor. The light triggers the pods to open. When the laser is turned off, the pods close. A red laser is used because red light penetrates human tissue better than other colors.

Additionally, the pods have the ability to collect proteins and hormones from the tumor’s environment. This essentially provides a small biopsy that doctors can analyze to improve the treatment even further.

While targeted cancer therapies may offer less severe side effects, they still do have common side effects which include diarrhea, liver problems such as hepatitis and elevated liver enzymes, skin problems, problems with blood clotting and would healing, high blood pressure and gastrointestinal perforation, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Current mesothelioma treatments include chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, surgery or clinical trials. There is no cure for mesothelioma at this time. However, progress in cancer treatments – such as Lovell’s research – may lead to more targeted treatments with less severe side effects.

Learn more about mesothelioma treatments from the asbestos attorneys at Simmons Hanly Conroy now.

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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: May 2014

The Firm mesothelioma lawyers are dedicated to ensuring you have the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news to keep you up to date. Below is a short list of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other news from across the globe.

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Faces of Mesothelioma: Ernie Conry’s Story

“If you walk up and down the street and you’re still smiling, you’re not dead. Don’t let the cancer bog you down.”

faces of mesothelioma and asbestos exposureAfter experiencing symptoms for nearly eight years, Ernie Conry was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2002. With a consistently positive mindset, Ernie fought the disease for many years. This is his story.

Exposure to Asbestos

Ernie was exposed to asbestos throughout his life. Most of his exposure occurred when he worked as an auto mechanic, an occupation with a high risk of asbestos exposure due to the asbestos used in brake pads.

Ernie first began experiencing problems as early as 1996, which included pain in his shoulder and ribcage. In 2002 doctors performed multiple tests, including X-rays, CAT scans and biopsies, before finally diagnosing Ernie with pleural mesothelioma.

“I had been visiting with a brother of mine who also had mesothelioma,” Ernie said in video interview. “I found out a month after visiting him…I had the same cancer.”

Ernie’s brother developed the same disease after being exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy. Navy veterans are also among a high-risk group of individuals because of the asbestos used in ships.

Ernie’s Mesothelioma Battle

After his diagnosis, Ernie’s doctors implemented a treatment plan that included chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. He battled the disease from 2002 to 2009, during which he maintained a positive attitude that served as an inspiration for others.

Sadly, Ernie passed away in 2009.

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Ernie seriously considered filing a lawsuit after he learned his disease was caused by exposure to asbestos. He decided to file a lawsuit against the asbestos companies that were responsible for his exposure and subsequent mesothelioma diagnosis.

Watch the video below to hear more about Ernie Conry’s decision to file a lawsuit, or read more about Ernie’s story here.

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Asbestos and Mesothelioma News Wrap Up: April 2014

The asbestos attorneys at the Firm are dedicated to ensuring you have the latest asbestos and mesothelioma news headlines to keep you up to date. Below is a short list of some of the most recent news stories covering asbestos exposure, mesothelioma research and other news from throughout the country and the world.

  • Hazardous material discovered under Radford High School track
    During construction at Radford High School in Hawaii, crews discovered a dump site filled with metal objects. Three soil samples turned up positive for asbestos. Lead, arsenic, cadium, mercury and dioxin were also present. State officials said the U.S. Navy will be held responsible for the cleanup, since the school was built next to Makalapa Crate, a military landfill.
  • Hunting Point renters demand answers to asbestos contamination at their buildings
    The EPA issued a stop-work order during the renovations of a large apartment complex in Alexandra, VA earlier this month. Asbestos was found in the floors, doors and windows. Workers were not taking the legally required precautions. Residents of the apartment complex showed up to the town hall meeting, angry that it took officials three months to stop the renovations.
  • Monks’ secret: Asbestos lurking beneath Byzantine wall paintings
    When the Byzantine monks created their infamous wall paintings during the late 1100s, they used asbestos in plaster coatings underneath the paintings, according to new research. The use of the chrysotile asbestos (white asbestos) provided a smooth layer with a mirror-like surface for the painting.
  • Concerns over minority hiring dominate asbestos cleanup meeting in North St. Louis
    A meeting hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the $30 million cleanup of the former Carter Carburetor plant in North St. Louis featured questions regarding concerns over minority hiring. The majority of the criticism was towards the plant’s former owner, it’s main contractor and the subcontractor handling the asbestos removal.

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Faces of Mesothelioma: LaTanyta Manuel’s Story

“They did a lot of testing and they did a biopsy – they found out it was mesothelioma.”

One afternoon, LaTanyta Manuel’s husband Andrew became ill. LaTanyta arrived home to find Emergency Medical Services (EMS) at her home tending to her husband. Soon after, doctors performed tests and officially diagnosed Andrew with pleural mesothelioma. It was 2002.

Exposure to Asbestos

Andrew Manuel was first exposed to asbestos as a child living in New Orleans. His father worked as a pipeline distributor and Andrew would often play on the pipes with his brother. The two boys would also play with the asbestos that sat behind their home, much like children play in sand.

Andrew’s Mesothelioma Battle

When Andrew was first diagnosed with mesothelioma, he was told there was no cure. Both Andrew and LaTanyta were determined to do whatever they could, so Andrew underwent a series of surgeries and chemotherapies.

During all of this, Andrew and LaTanyta sat down to talk about the idea of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. At first, LaTanyta wasn’t interested.

“The only thing I wanted was for my husband to be healed,” she said.

Andrew told her that since there was no cure, he wanted the best possible for his family. From that moment on, Andrew decided to pursue the mesothelioma lawsuit with the attorneys at the Firm by his side.

Sadly, Andrew lost his battle with mesothelioma in January, 2004.

While filing a lawsuit with the Firm could not cure Andrew, the settlement allowed LaTanyta and her three children to live comfortably after Andrew’s passing. It gave LaTanyta the motivation to join the fight against mesothelioma. She served multiple years on the Board of Directors of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation and organized a dinner auction that raised nearly $10,000 for mesothelioma research in 2013.

“When I needed [the Firm], they were there. When I need them even now, they’re still there,” LaTanyta said.

Watch the video below to see more of LaTanyta’s story, or contact us today for information on how to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.

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