Friday, 11 April 2008

Mesothelioma Drug Found

According to the Telegraph, "A drug that could protect people from the harmful effects of inhaling asbestos fibres decades ago has been found."

That's got to be great news for the many, many people who were unfortunate enough to have worked or lived with asbestos, and may have inhaled its fibres, before the deadly side effects of the substance became known. Asbestos was used in all kinds of building and engineering work, becoming ever more popular because of its pliant nature and resistance to heat, electricity and chemicals.

But it was found to be causing mesothelioma - an untreatable cancer of the membrane that lines the chest - as well as lung cancer and asbestosis. Around 3,500 people die from mesothelioma every year, and the disease can develop up to 60 years after exposure. The side effects of asbestos inhalation are expected to eventually kill 200,000 people in Britain alone.

Now, it is hoped that a drug called Anakinra may help to prevent the onset of mesothelioma and other problems associated with the inhalation of mineral fibres. Previously used successfully to treat gout, which apparently works in a similar manner to asbestosis, boffins are cautiously optimistic about the anticipated benefits of Anakinra for those at risk of mesothelioma, asbestosis etc.

In fact, as far as I can make out, the only folks who won't be too pleased about it are the lawyers who are making a killing out of mesothelioma-related litigation. Still, that, too, has got to be good news in my opinion!

Billy Seggars.

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