Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Lung Cancer, Occupational Health / 18.03.2020 Interview with: Theresa S. Emory MD Department of Pathology, Peninsula Pathology Associates Newport News, VA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cosmetic talc products can contain asbestos, which is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma. We investigated 75 individuals with malignant mesothelioma, whose only known exposure to asbestos was repeated exposures to cosmetic talcum powder. 83% of the individuals were female and several occurred in barbers/cosmetologists. 16% occurred in individuals younger than 45 years old, and on average the subjects were 11 years younger than predicted, based on SEER data. The asbestos fibers in tissue samples that were examined in 11 cases were identical (anthophyllite and tremolite) to those identified in cosmetic talc. (more…)
Author Interviews, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cancer Research / 12.12.2016 Interview with: Professor Giorgio V. Scagliotti Chair of the Department of Oncology University of Torino,Italy What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: LUME-Meso II is an international study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of nintedanib plus pemetrexed/cisplatin, followed by nintedanib versus placebo plus pemetrexed/cisplatin, followed by placebo, for the treatment of patients with unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). MPM is a rare cancer that affects the cells that make up the mesothelium of the pleura – the lining or membrane that covers and protects the lungs. It represents less than 1% of all cancers and is often related to long-term asbestos exposure with some suffering from malignant mesothelioma. A significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS), the study’s primary endpoint, was observed for patients receiving nintedanib plus chemotherapy compared to patients receiving placebo plus chemotherapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 16.07.2015

Dr-Haining-Yang Interview with: Haining Yang MD Ph.D Associate Professor Thoracic Oncology Program University of Hawaii Cancer Center University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Yang: Mesothelioma is often caused by asbestos and other carcinogenic mineral fibers.  When these fibers lodge in the pleura, mesothelial cells and macrophages try to phagocytize and eliminate them. However, asbestos is very bio-persistent and cannot be eliminated, which caused cells undergoing programmed necrosis that leads to the release of HMGB1 into the extracellular space.  HMGB1 is a damage-associated molecular pattern molecule (DAMP) that causes inflammation. Asbestos exposure induces HMGB1 release and chronic inflammatory process that overtime may lead to malignancy.  Mesothelioma cells develop out of an environment that is rich in HMGB1 and are often dependent on HMGB1 for their own growth.  In fact, most mesothelioma cells actively secrete HMGB1 extra-cellularly to promote their own tumor growth.  Accordingly HMGB1 levels are high in the serum of mesothelioma patients (reviewed in Yang and Carbone, Clinical Cancer Res 2013).  We tested several anti-inflammatory agents to see if we were able to reduce HMGB1-induced mesothelioma cell growth, and none of them worked except for aspirin, that led us to conduct a series of experiments in vitro and in vivo to test the hypothesis that aspirin inhibits HMGB1 activities, and that by doing so, inhibits mesothelioma growth. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Yang:  We found that aspirin inhibits the growth of human mesothelioma cells in a xenograft model, moreover in vitro experiments demonstrated that this effects was specifically mediated via inhibition of HMGB1 and not via COX2 inhibition.  We propose that the so far enigmatic anticancer activity of aspirin is mediated, at least partially, via inhibition of HMGB1, and that aspirin may help delay the onset of mesothelioma and may help inhibit the growth of mesothelioma. (more…)