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A New Jersey state jury recently handed down a substantial $37.3 million verdict to a group of plaintiffs who claim they developed mesothelioma cancer from years of using talcum powder products that the defendants allegedly knew contained asbestos fibers. The jury handed down the asbestos cancer verdict after two months of testimony, deciding that pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson knowingly developed and marketed a dangerous product to consumers but provided no warning labels to consumers about the risks.

According to the talcum powder cancer lawsuit, filed in a Middlesex, New Jersey Superior Court, the four plaintiffs all developed serious forms of cancer as a result of their parents using talc-based products, such as Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, on them as children. The trial took place in Brunswick, New Jersey, the headquarters for Johnson & Johnson, which currently faces thousands of similar trials in state and federal courts across the country.

Attorneys for the plaintiff presented evidence to the jury appearing to show that executives at Johnson & Johnson knew for decades about the presence of asbestos fibers in the talc used to create its iconic Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. The plaintiffs highlighted internal company tests, which showed the presence of asbestos in the talc, discussed in the memos as proof the company knowingly sold a dangerous product without warning innocent victims.

A pair of recent studies suggest that a certain treatment may be able to help treat mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that often affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs, but may also affect other parts of the body. The treatment, called talc pleurodesis, is a surgical procedure to help prevent pleural effusions, which is when fluid builds around the lungs, making it hard for the patient to breathe and allow the disease to spread.

In a recent study published by the Journal of Thoracic Disease, researchers found that the procedure improves survival rates of patients better than some other lung fluid treatments. The results further suggest that the treatment, which is less invasive than others, may be a better quality of life option than more aggressive surgery to remove tumors surrounding the lungs.

The study, conducted by Dr. Emanuela Taioli of the Institute of Translational Epidemiology at Ichan, examined almost 50 other studies focused on the survival rates of patients who underwent talc pleurodesis compared to those who underwent surgery. Research showed that on average, the survival rate of patients treated with talc pleurodesis was 14 months, compared to 17 months for those who underwent invasive surgery, like pleurectomy and decortication, and 24 months for even more aggressive surgeries like extrapleural pneumonectomy.

A New Jersey state jury recently handed down a $2.38 million plaintiff’s verdict in an asbestos cancer lawsuit brought by a man who claimed he developed mesothelioma cancer from years of exposure to asbestos shipped to his workplace by the defendant. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit named Union Carbide as the defendant, and was eventually carried on by the victim’s widow after he succumbed to the disease which he claimed was caused by the defendant’s negligence.

The road to justice was a long one for the victim and his widow, originally filing the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit in June 2011. Years later in 2015, the judge hearing the case granted summary judgement to Union Carbide after the company argued that the plaintiff failed to acquire enough evidence showing the victim worked directly with asbestos-contaminated products produced by the defendant.

Asbestos is directly linked with developing a rare and deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma. The disease commonly affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and abdomen. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma and the disease often takes decades to show symptoms, leaving patients with diminished treatment options by the time a diagnosis is made.

A Memphis, Tennessee hospital recently began using a first of its kind electric therapy treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the progression of mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. “Because it is such a rare cancer, there has been little research opportunities to advance science and treatment of mesothelioma,” said Dr. Moon Fenton, West Cancer Center hematologist while speaking to local media.

For decades, doctors treated mesothelioma through a combination of surgery, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy. Now, doctors will have access to a fourth treatment option via the NovoTTF-100. The devices functions by attaching three to the front and back of the patient’s chest and sending electric fields into the body to target and disrupt mesothelioma cancer cells from growing and spreading, all while allowing healthy cells to remain intact.

“We are looking at 97% disease control at year one. So, patients who are using this technology in addition to the chemotherapy actually have stable disease or great response to treatment,” said Dr. Fenton in a local NBC interview. “This treatment is not invasive, and has minimal side effects.” Patient’s at Dr. Fenton’s hospital, West Cancer Center, will wear the device for 18 hours per day to treat mesothelioma.

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