Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mesothelioma | Military Veterans & Asbestos Exposure

Nearly one-third of individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States are military veterans.  The enlisted personnel who served and worked on military ships or other vessels were often exposed to asbestos without their knowledge.  The enlisted personnel in the U.S. Navy, for example, often worked the dirty jobs in the boiler room, in maintenance, pipefitting and construction had the heaviest exposure coming in direct contact with asbestos.  Anyone who served aboard ships or in the shipbuilding yards likely had direct contact or significant second-hand exposure to asbestos.

Navy-related mesothelioma has been traced to this asbestos exposure.  Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that invades the lining of the lungs, stomach and abdomen.  Mesothelioma has a long latency period of 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure.

Examples of U.S. Navy Veterans’ occupations that were likely exposed to asbestos include:
  • Shipfitter
  • Boilermaker
  • Steamfitter
  • Engineman
  • Mechanics Mate
  • Boiler Operator
  • Machinist
  • Power Engineer
  • Fireman
  • Welder
  • Water Tender
  • Boiler Tender
  • Lagger
  • Plumber
  • Pipefitter
  • Submarine Engineerman
  • Engine Room Mechanic
Attorney Michael Throneberry has first-hand experience with mesothelioma from his own father-in-law's death from the swift-moving cancer. We work quickly and diligently to identify the work sites and specific exposures to file lawsuits as promptly as possible so that our clients do not have the added burden of financing medical care.

We take cases nationwide and we will travel to you. Call today for a free consultation at 888-506-1131 if you or a loved one has symptoms or a diagnosis of mesothelioma or asbestos-related occupational disease. Our lawyers will travel Nationwide to assist railroad worker victims and families.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Symptoms

In the early stages of the disease, mesothelioma may not have any visible symptoms and is very hard to detect. In the later stages, certain symptoms begin to develop and are usually caused by the growth of cancer and its pressure on certain nerves.

Pleural Mesothelioma:
  • Lower back or chest pain
  • Continual cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Husky voice
  • Weight loss of 10 percent or more
  • Fever or sweating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic fatigue or easily fatigued by exertion
  • Forgetfulness or memory loss
Peritoneal Mesothelioma:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Feeling sick
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Constipation and diarrhea
Some of the above symptoms, especially chronic breathing problems and fatigue from minimal activity, can also be indications of other asbestos disease, such as asbestosis or lung cancer. Of course, these may be symptoms of a completely unrelated illness. However, if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past or if the symptoms persist, it is very important that you consult with your physician or health care provider immediately.

The Throneberry Law Group helps individuals and their families who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related lung cancer.  We offer a free consultation at 888-506-1131 to answer your questions, and it costs nothing up front for us to represent you in the lawsuit — we collect no fees unless we recover compensation

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mesothelioma | Railroad Workers and Asbestos Exposure

Railroad companies used asbestos extensively even though it new that asbestos exposed a serious health threat to railroad workers.  Up to the 1970s, the railroad industry used asbestos contaminated products at the detriment of the railroad workers.  There are even some accounts that some locomotives contained asbestos until the late 1990s.  The railroad industry had a long standing dependence on asbestos through its use to repair and manufacture a variety of train surfaces and parts. As a result, countless unsuspecting railroad workers over the past two centuries have been unknowingly exposed to asbestos. 

Railroad Workers & Asbestos Materials

There were many railroad industry products that contained asbestos.  Common uses of asbestos in the railroad industry were asbestos insulation or lagging that was attached to the steam engine, fireboxes and piping systems.  Carriages and boxcars also contained asbestos.  Asbestos was often used on cabooses and boxcars as coverings for walls or wallboards, ceilings and floor tiles.   Brake linings and clutches in the railroad industry were often made from asbestos.  Cloth packing materials and ropes even contained asbestos in the railroad industry.  Gaskets were also composed of asbestos.

Railroad Workers & Mesothelioma

As a result of the widespread use of asbestos in the railroad industry, men and women who worked around steam locomotives, roundhouses, back shops or repair facilities were exposed to asbestos.  The insulation and gaskets containing asbestos were often custom made for a particular engine.  The making of these custom asbestos materials involved cutting, bending, sanding and grinding the asbestos material prior to installation.  The result of this work released friable asbestos particles in the air exposing unsuspecting railroad workers to asbestos.

For railroad workers, the asbestos at the roundhouse, back shops or repair facilities was the most dangerous.  When inhaled, asbestos can attach to the mesothelial lining of the lung. This exposure in railroad worker often resulted in mesothelioma, the deadly form of cancer that can affect the lining of the lungs or abdomen or the heart.

Legal Advocacy and Personal Service for the Hard Times Ahead

Attorney Michael Throneberry has first-hand experience with mesothelioma from his own father-in-law's death from the swift-moving cancer. We work quickly and diligently to identify the work sites and specific exposures to file lawsuits as promptly as possible so that our clients do not have the added burden of financing medical care.

We take cases nationwide and we will travel to you. Call today for a free consultation at 888-506-1131 if you or a loved one has symptoms or a diagnosis of mesothelioma or asbestos-related occupational disease. Our lawyers will travel Nationwide to assist railroad worker victims and families.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mesothelioma | NJ Supreme Court upholds $7 million mesothelioma jury award from ExxonMobil.

The N.J Supreme Court denied ExxonMobil’s appeal of $7 million mesothelioma jury award.  In 2008, Bonnie Anderson argued and the jury agreed that she contracted peritoneal mesothelioma by coming in regular contact with her husband’s asbestos-laden clothes.

            Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that invades the lining of the stomach and abdomen.  Second most after pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for less than 20% of all mesothelioma cases.  As with other mesothelioma types, peritoneal mesothelioma has a long latency period of 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure.

            Bonnie Anderson was diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in 2001.  Anderson’s exposure to asbestos came from washing her husband’s clothes.  Her husband worked the first six years at the Exxon refinery removing insulation to fix pumps and filters and he regularly came home with his clothes covered in insulation dust – a dust she always shook out before tossing his clothes in the washing machine. 

            Since Anderson’s diagnosis of mesothelioma, she has undergone two surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy involving five different types of drugs.  After the NJ Supreme Court declined to take up Exxon’s appeal allowing the $7million jury verdict to stand, Bonnie Anderson, the 62-year-old New Jersey resident, said

 “It’s bittersweet because I’m going back into chemotherapy.”

“I wish I could tell you it was a glorious day to learn this but you take life in perspective.”

“I’d rather not be sick.”

Source:  See Star-Ledger

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mesothelioma | Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Drug a Disappointment in Clinical Trial

Amgen, a biotechnology company that develops human therapeutics, announced that their investigational drug motesanib did not improve the overall survival among patients with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  The drug would have offered new treatment options for hard to treat cancers such as NSCLC and possibly pleural malignant mesothelioma.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that invades the lining of the lungs.  Approximately 3000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma per year and symptoms of mesothelioma generally occur approximately 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure.  Chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma typically involves the combination of two chemotherapy drugs, namely gemcitabine and cisplatin.  Other chemotherapy drugs used in treating mesothelioma include carboplatin and doxorubicin. 

Amgen’s phase III trial evaluated motesanib administered in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin in 1090 patients with advanced stage NSCLC.  The chemotherapy drugs paclitaxel and carboplatin are typically used in treating lung cancer patients.  In explaining the results, Roger M Perimutter, M.D., PhD., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen, said “We are disappointed with the results from the trial, but look forward to further analysis of the data which may ultimately help inform future research in this area.” 

“We thank the patients, caregivers, and investigators for their participation and engagement in the clinical evaluation of motesanib worldwide,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., chief medical officer, Millennium.  “These disappointing results support the need for new treatments to address the unmet need in advanced non-squamous NSCLC.”

Clinical trials for mesothelioma patients offer the patients the opportunity to receive new therapies with potentially more effective results.  Generally speaking, doctors conduct clinical trials to find out whether the treatment is safe for patients and effective against the disease.  The clinical trials are done before the treatment is ready for general use.  Participation in clinical trials is an important consideration for treatment options for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma.  To find a detailed list of meosthelioma clinical trials go to ClinicalTrials.gov.  Mesothelioma patients, of course, also have the option of searching for clinical trials on their own.  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mesothelioma | Iron, Steel, and Foundry Workers and Asbestos

From World War II to the 1980s, workers in all facets of the steel industries were unknowingly exposed to high levels of asbestos. Instead of enjoying their "golden years," many of those men and women are now facing the ordeal of mesothelioma or disabling lung disease.

Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that invades the mesothelium – the lining of tissue that surround vital organs.  The most common is pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lungs.  Approximately 3000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma per year and symptoms of mesothelioma generally occur approximately 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure. 

Because of its insulation and fireproofing qualities, asbestos was widely used in steel foundries, mills and metal works:
  • Boilers and turbines
  • Valves, pumps and gaskets
  • Welding bibs and blankets
  • Fire retardant coatings
  • Pipe sealants and insulation
  • Wiring insulation
The Throneberry Law Group represents those iron workers and welders, machinists and mechanics, pipefitters, electricians and others exposed at steel mills and metal works sites. For a comprehensive listing of iron, steel and foundry occupations, click here.  We have also represented family members who developed mesothelioma from second-hand exposure to asbestos fibers brought home on dust-covered work clothes.

We take cases nationwide and we will travel to you. Call today for a free consultation at 888-506-1131 if you or a loved one has symptoms or a diagnosis of mesothelioma or asbestos-related occupational disease.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mesothelioma | New Test Detects Early Stage Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

NYU researchers presented a study at the 102nd American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting that led to a new test that detects early-stage, asbestos-related pulmonary cancer.  The NYU Langone Medical Center investigated a protein test to detect early stage malignant pleural mesothelioma where the test was 80 percent sensitive to accurately identifying the pulmonary cancer proteins caused by asbestos exposure.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive, asbestos related cancer that invades the lining of tissue that surround the lungs.  Approximately 3000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma per year and symptoms of mesothelioma generally occur approximately 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure.  The disease can be fatal with 12 months following the diagnosis because of its aggressive nature and it typically is diagnosed in the advanced stages of the cancer. 

The lead researcher, Harvey I. Pass, MD, director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology at NYU, said the goal of the new diagnostic test is to find the asbestos-related cancer early enough to effectively treat.  Dr Pass went on to say that “the only patients that seem to benefit from therapy in mesothelioma are those that are found in Stage 1, and this is only 10 to 15 percent of patients,” reasoning that the “magnitude of the operation necessary to reduce the burden of disease may be less, making the patient better able to cope if the disease recurs and the patient needs more aggressive therapy.”

The SomaLogic, Inc. “Multiplex SOMAmer Assay” was used to detect 15 of 19 cases of stage 1 or stage 2 malignant pleural mesothelioma showing an approximate 80 percent sensitivity in indentifying the disease.  According to the Dr. Pass, the test measures 19 protein biomarkers for malignant pleural mesothelioma.  There remain ongoing studies to further refine and validate the results.  For more information on the study, visit http://www.med.nyu.edu/.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mesothelioma | May 13-18: American Thoracic Society Symposium on Pulmonary Care

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) will hold their annual international symposium on pulmonary care scheduled for May 13-18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  The ATS conference is titled “Where today’s science meets tomorrow’s care in pulmonary, critical care & sleep medicine” and will feature topics from bioengineering to genetic technologies.  The ATS conference brings researchers in pulmonary care together to develop new treatments for lung diseases such as mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that invades the mesothelium – the lining of tissue that surround vital organs.  The most common is pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lungs.  Approximately 3000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma per year and symptoms of mesothelioma generally occur approximately 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure. 

The ATS Scientific Breakthroughs of the Year session will focus on advances in lung tissue bioengineering.  “Lung tissue bioengineering has become an exciting area in lung research,” according to Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, PhD, co-chair of the session.  She also added “Rapid advances in tissue engineering have demonstrated the potential of developing functional tissue, which could be used in place of whole-lung transplants.”   Although there continues to be breakthroughs in the areas of bioengineering and genetics, there, nevertheless, needs to be more studies and clinical trials to bring new treatments to mesothelioma patients.

Clinical topics at the ATS conference will feature sessions on interstitial lung disease, advances in stage III and IV lung cancer, among other topics.   The ATS conference is expected to offer 500 sessions and over 700 speakers.  To learn more, go to www.thoracic.org/go/international-conference.