Mesothelioma Research Update 2023
Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer that occurs on internal organ linings. Mesothelioma is commonly found in the lungs, and the disease can be caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that is present in rocks or in dirt. The fibers are strong and exhibit flame-retardant properties. For these reasons, engineers preferred asbestos for use in construction projects. Asbestos could also be found in the following items:
- Ceiling tiles.
- Floor tiles.
- Pipe insulation.
- Blown-in insulation.
- Oven mitts.
- Ironing board covers.
Naval shipbuilders used asbestos products for insulating ship motors and vent pipes. Any United States buildings constructed before 1980 are assumed to contain asbestos.Inhaled or Ingested
Asbestos fibers that are encased and sealed in insulating materials, for example, are not necessarily a problem. The difficulty occurs when asbestos fibers are allowed to circulate in the air where they can be inhaled or ingested.Latency Period
The period between exposure and disease occurrence is called the latency period. Mesothelioma has a very long 40 to 50-year latency period. Therefore, people who were exposed to asbestos fibers in the 1970s might just be developing mesothelioma symptoms today. These symptoms can include:
- Lower back pain.
- Chest pain.
- Dry cough.
- Difficulty breathing.
The long latency period has been a mystery, and researchers, doctors, and scientists have been trying to understand when and why mesothelioma occurs.New Research Results
Finally, in a 2023 article published in Environmental Research, an investigative team determined that they might understand how immune cells are able to first sense and then interact with lethal asbestos fiber particles.
The researchers found that the size of the offending particle was the most important determiner of future disease. Thin and long fibers--like asbestos fibers--initiate the most robust response and immune cell structures called macrophages enlist other immune cells to the site where an asbestos fiber may have nested in the lungs. Immune cells that traveled to the asbestos particle might be therefore diverted from a site that exhibits a genuine pre-cancerous lesion.Hijacked
Researchers believe that immune cells would continue to travel to the site of the asbestos fiber and therefore ignore any other sites in the lungs that might contain suspect cells. Professor John Fourkas said:
This response basically overwhelms the immune cell communication system and diverts the body's own defenses away from where they're needed. The physical characteristics of a mineral particle can change the behavior of immune cells in the long term, which could be why mesothelioma symptoms take a minimum of 30 to 40 years to manifest.
As you can see, asbestos research is complex, and experts still do not completely understand the mechanisms that allow asbestos articles to result in mesothelioma.Were You Exposed? Get Help Today!
If you have been exposed to asbestos and you have developed mesothelioma, you can be compensated. Navigating a complex asbestos lawsuit can be very challenging, and you need to consult with an experienced attorney about your issue.
If you think you have an asbestos claim, contact a qualified Mesothelioma Attorney like the Throneberry Law Group. The Throneberry Law Group provides aggressive and compassionate support and representation for asbestos cancer victims. Call an experienced Throneberry Law Group attorney today at 888-506-1131, or visit them online for 24/7 assistance.