News this week about possible new staging for meso, the Aurora, Colorado-based International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), in collaboration with the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG), has begun a project to study and improve the current staging system of pleural mesothelioma.
The current pleural mesothelioma staging system was developed by IMIG in 1995 and is based on the relationship between tumor size, lymph node and metastasis (TNM). However, experts believe that improvements in mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment call for revisions to be made to the staging system. Additionally, the IASLC believes that some of the tumor descriptors are currently difficult to apply to non-surgically managed patients. Additionally, the organization says that the lymph node aspect of the staging is nearly identical to non-small cell lung cancer, despite the fact that there are big differences between the two cancers.
The Prospective Staging Project in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma was formed at a joint meeting of the IASLC-ISC Mesothelioma Domain and Advisory Committee in September 2010 in Kyoto, Japan. In order to modify the system, detailed collection and analysis of mesothelioma patient data is necessary, and researchers will have “to identify and validate additional descriptors for possible inclusion in future revisions to the TNM classification.”
At the moment, it seems to be easy to be written off when you have a meso diagnosis, particularly if it is beyond stage 3. Not sure what these possible changes may mean, but anything that stops this instant write off by most of the medical profession has to help.
Another claim settled this week in America, over yet another asbestos source,James Ginter began working as a laboratory chemist at Durez Plastics, manufacturer of industrial resins and phenolic molding compounds in North Tonawanda, New York, in 1979. During his time there, Ginter worked with a FAST (Friction Assessment Screening Test) Machine manufactured by the Ford Motor Company, the use of which required that he file and grind experimental asbestos-containing friction products used as vehicle brakes.
By grinding asbestos-containing materials, Ginter was exposed to a dust containing carcinogenic asbestos fibers during testing. Although Ford was entirely aware of the harmful effects of asbestos at the time and even knew that employees were suffering from asbestos cancer, Ford continued manufacturing the machine without providing any warnings.
Ginter was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in March 2010. He later filed a lawsuit against Ford for causing the cancer that will ultimately claim his life. The Buffalo jury delivered a verdict in favor of Ginter in the amount of $2.5 million dollars, assigning 15% of the responsibility for damages to Ford. The remaining percentage of responsibility for damages was assigned to other entities, including defendants, who settled before going to trial.