Countries with the biggest interest in the mining of chrysotile asbestos succeeded last week in keeping the mineral off the Rotterdam Convention’s list of hazardous substances.
According to an article in the Irish Times and other newspapers, a total of seven countries voted against white asbestos’ inclusion on the list. Those countries included at least a few that still mine chrysotile including Russia and Zimbabwe. Others that joined them included Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, India, and Vietnam.
Signed in 1998 and put into force in 2004, the convention establishes the need for “prior informed consent procedure” for hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade. This includes proper labeling and directions on safe handling for the substances included on the list.
Of the six forms of asbestos known to man, five are already on the convention’s list, but chrysotile remains in the clear. For years, it was Canada that rallied to keep it off the list, seeking to protect that country’s controversial asbestos industry, which included huge mines in the province of Quebec. Those mines are no longer in operation, closed by a new government that recognized the dangers of the mineral.
“This is a disaster and a human tragedy,” said Kathleen Ruff of the Rotterdam Convention Alliance. “The convention has been used to protect industry profits rather than public health, and as a result risks becoming a farce.”
Others who were dismayed at their inability to place chrysotile on the list expressed the fact that it seemed the convention, held in Geneva, Switzerland, was “hijacked” by the asbestos industry, with members of the industry rallying to avoid the implementation of health and environmental safeguards, which could seriously affect their bottom line.
Chrysotile asbestos was used in hundreds of products for decades, including many household items like hair dryers and ironing board covers. While the material is banned in most developed countries, it’s exported to many Second- and Third-World countries and often used irresponsibly, resulting in increased cases of asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma.
Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/news/2013/05/chrysotile-kept-off-rotterdam-convention-list.htm#ixzz2TYXAjxYr
Like Oxford Linda, I was contacted by Susan Vento whose husband Bruce – a serving congressman for the state of Minnesota – died as a result of mesothelioma. Susan is a spokesperson for the Asbestos Cancer Victims Rights Campaign (ACVRC).
Recently in the states, asbestos companies have been using their political influence to introduce a new bill called “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act” or FACT for short.
ACVRC is justifiably concerned that this act will delay and, in some cases, deny justice and badly needed compensation to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. It has launched a campaign to fight and defeat this unfair legislation.
Many thanks to Linda for supplying the text and letting us know how you can help:
1. Sign the petition to stop legislation that threatens cancer victims. Go to http://cancervictimsrights.org/take-action/sign-the-petition/ and follow the instructions to sign the petition at the bottom of the page. Every signature matters!
2. Spread the word by sharing today’s post with others who are, or might be, affected by this issue.
Somehow the term global warming doesn’t seem to cover the weather at the moment – out and about today, firstly it started snowing, followed by freezing cold winds and then to add the final insult, I got caught in a hailstorm!!
Arrived at my meeting looking as more like Nanook of the North. At some stage I assume I will be able to ditch the thick woolly tights, boots and winter coat, but obviously not yet. Maybe around July. Last year I put my summer clothes into the wardrobe around April and then put them all away again in September, having worn them once. At this rate they won’t be coming out at all!!
Ray is back under virtual house arrest, as this biting cold weather is way too cold for his lungs. We thought at first that he had picked up my cold, but after a couple of sniffles nothing else seems to have developed so hopefully it won’t get any worse.
I’m sure I read somewhere that this weekend was supposed to be sunny, maybe it was wishful thinking- still, as Mavis says, what else would we all talk about if we didn’t have the weather. One thing is for definite I promise never to complain about it getting to hot this summer and at least there won’t even be a hint of a hosepipe ban
Another study has found that the beneficial compounds in green tea may be powerful mesothelioma fighters – especially when combined with other drugs and nutrients.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant polyphenol in green tea and is a potent antioxidant. A number of studies have suggested that it may help the body combat various types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Recently, a group of Italian mesothelioma researchers combined EGCG with Vitamin C and a chemotherapy drug called gemcitabine to create a treatment combination called AND (Active Nutrients/Drug).
To test the mixture, they administered AND to various mesothelioma cell lines in the laboratory. The result was a “synergistic cytotoxic mechanism”, meaning the ingredients in AND seemed to increase each other’s cancer-fighting properties in a way that was toxic to mesothelioma cells. When they tried the mixture on mice that had been artificially induced to develop mesothelioma, both their primary tumors and the number of ‘seed’ tumors or metastases shrunk. AND also appeared to prevent abdominal hemorrhage. Best of all, mesothelioma mice treated with AND lived longer.
The new AND study builds on several previous research efforts. A Japanese study on EGCG released in February found that the compound had the power to induce the cell degradation process called autophagy as well as apoptosis (cell death) in all five of the mesothelioma cell lines tested. In 2010, some of the same researchers found that high doses of Vitamin C had the same effect both in the lab and in mesothelioma tumors in living mice. Several studies have confirmed the value of the third compound, the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine, in the treatment of mesothelioma.
Not that I think they are related but today saw a return of the dreaded nosebleeds. The problem is it starts with an ordinary blow of the nose and end up still bleeding intermittently four hours later. At least it has now stopped but it’s horrible while it is happening.
The cold weather doesn’t help, it is so bitter that there is no chance of spending any time outside, the cold air goes straight into the compromised lung. This is because a normal lung contracts when out in the cold air so it can regulate the cold air as it goesin and warm it up slightly, a lung that has been stuck to the chest wall can’t do this properly, so the cold air floods into the lung causing breathlessness and chest pain.
The other side to the cold weather is that the heating is up on full, making the atmosphere drier than normal indoors, which may be contributing to nose bleeds and general levels of snottiness. Shopping plans for a humidifier at the weekend.
This will of course need to be fitted in between the rugby and the grand prix, one of Ray’s original targets was to see Lewis Hamilton win another world championship. Maybe this is the year!
As usual we turn more and more to the plant world for all sorts of treatments, a new study suggests that a plant used for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic medicine may be a powerful weapon in the fight against deadlymalignant mesothelioma.
The bioactive compound Withaferin A (WA) is isolated from the root of Withania somnifera, a plant in the nightshade family also known as Indian ginseng. A number of previous scientific studies have found evidence to suggest that WA has anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, anti-angiogenic, and anti-cancer properties.
In the latest study, published online in the open-access peer-reviewed journal PLos One, researchers at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit tested the compound in live mice (in vivo) as well as in mesothelioma cells taken from human patients (in vitro). Their objective was to determine whether WA would have an effect on mesothelioma cell growth and, if so, the molecular mechanism behind that effect.
The study found that WA inhibited the growth of the murine (mouse) mesothelioma cells as well as the growth of those derived from human patients. The WA seemed to work, in part, by modulating the levels of certain regulatory proteins involved the cell life cycle. WA also suppressed mesothelioma growth by increasing the rate of apoptosis (cell death). Finally, gene-array based analyses found that WA suppressed a number of genes that promote cell growth and metastasis.
In a summary of their findings for PLoS One, the research team concludes “Together, our in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that WA suppresses malignant pleural mesothelioma growth by targeting multiple pathways that include blockage of proteasome activity and stimulation of apoptosis, and thus holds promise as an anti-MPM agent.”
Double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials would have to take place before any WA-based mesothelioma treatment could be sanctioned by the FDA and used to treat patients. As always, patients should consult their healthcare professional before using any type of supplement.
Jan was interested in a herpes trial that started up in Sheffield, the good news is it is now looking at a Phase I/II clinical trial to begin clinical development of the oncolytic virus, SEPREHVIR™ (HSV1716) for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The trial will be conducted at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust under the clinical leadership of Professor Penella Woll. The primary objective of the study will be to determine the safety and tolerability of SEPREHVIR when given both as single and repeat intrapleural doses in patients with inoperable, malignant pleural mesothelioma (“MPM”).
SEPREHVIR (HSV1716), is a variant of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 that has been engineered to kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. CEO Dr Steven Powell commented: “Virttu is pursuing a virocentric development strategy because SEPREHVIR is highly lytic and the mechanism by which the virus gains specificity for tumour cells over normal cells is highly effective. This has been demonstrated in over 75 patients in Phase I/II studies in a number of solid tumour indications including high grade glioma, melanoma and head and neck cancer. Our on-going research programme has demonstrated clinical synergy when SEPREHVIR has been combined with a broad range of chemotherapeutic agents and we will seek to exploit these synergies in this MPM study and future, planned clinical trials.”
This latest study will be a single centre, open label study in two parts. Initially, the first cohort of patients with inoperable malignant pleural mesothelioma will receive a single dose of SEPREHVIR by intrapleural administration via an indwelling catheter into the pleural cavity. Safety data will be reviewed at least 2 weeks post dosing before patients can progress to the second part of the study in which two cohorts of patients will receive either 2 or 4 doses of the virus via the indwelling catheter. The Company expects to report on the study in the second half of 2013.
This time last year he went for his flu jab, he was 4 months out of chemo, with a soe throat but went ahead with the jab. This was followed by him being in bed for a full weekend unable to move, four months of pneumonia and scarred lungs. Appreciate the timing of the jab could have been pure coincidence but he has decided not to go for it this year.
Personally would rather he went for it but given I have had more colds this year, fingers crossed it will be the right decision.
Meanwhile my on planet totally trivial, am trying to grow out my fringe and thinking of new hairstyle so he has helpfully found an app that lets you model hairstyles and come up with a suggestion or two….
A new mesothelioma clinical trial being conducted at the Mayo Clinic uses an altered version of the measles virus to combat the deadly cancer.
The potential of the measles virus to kill cancers like mesothelioma was noticed many years ago, before vaccination curtailed the spread of measles. In several cases, cancer patients who contracted natural measles experienced shrinkage of their tumors. Today, advanced molecular science has made it possible to insert a new gene into the measles virus that can further increase its specificity and potency against mesothelioma tumor cells.
Because malignant pleural mesothelioma (the most common type) arises on the mesothelial membrane around the lungs, Mayo Clinic researchers administer the altered measles virus directly into the pleural space, between the lungs and the membrane. The virus is delivered via catheter and includes a type of radioactive iodine, making it possible to monitor its effect on a mesothelioma tumor using non-invasive imaging studies.
The experimental treatment, which is classified as virotherapy, has worked well in both the laboratory and in live mice. In fact, some mice with mesothelioma that were injected with the measles virus lived twice as long as those who were not injected. The new Phase I clinical trial at Mayo, which is supported by the National Cancer Institute, represents the first time the treatment will be used in human mesothelioma patients.
Once it enters the pleural space and comes in contact with mesothelioma cells, the hope is that the measles virus will not only begin killing the cells themselves, but will also trigger an anti-tumor immune response that will further increase the assault on the mesothelioma tumor. The Phase I trial participants must have mesothelioma confined to a single pleural cavity. They will receive a dose of measles virus every 28 days up to six times, or until the side effects are not tolerable. The primary purpose of the trial is to evaluate the safety of measles virotherapy and determine the optimal dose.
Virotherapy is also a focus of cancer research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies where researchers are studying the mesothelioma-killing potential of the adenovirus, which causes the common cold. Salk researchers say the adenovirus has developed molecular proteins that allow it to “hijack” a cell’s internal machinery and control it. Scientists are working to incorporate these same tools into anti-cancer drugs that might be able to suppress cells’ ability to grow, replicate and spread.
What a difference a day makes- bright blue skies on Saturday banished the glums and even though it was cold we got out for a brief local walk. Generally more erergy all round during the day leading to better sleep at night. Of course whatever the weather over here, at least we aren’t worrying about evacuation and hurricanes. Here’s hoping everyone stays safe in New York this week
Back here in the Uk it might be dreary but today we went out to get daffodil bulbs and some winter flowering plants , so we could have something bright to look at in the garden- the bulb planting always makes me look forward to Spring. Then there was a big sort out from the wardrobe and two bags off to the local hospice shop.
Clocks back mean we are now looking at 530 pm and it is already dark. The good news is it’s perfect weather for a roast – so chicken it was ( always sends the cats potty as they can smell it cooking) followed by chocolate mousse , that I whipped up earlier. Impressive stuff if I do say so myself.
Here’s to a positive week ahead, especially for the chemo warriers.
Finally many congrats to Mavis on her award , really well deserved . Keep campaigning so that no one has this terrible disease in future- lets remember its man -made and totally preventable if our governments and commercial industries can get themselves sorted