Federal Law Preempts State Claims in Asbestos Case

The estate of a New Jersey woman who died of mesothelioma—possibly caused by physical contact with her father, who worked for a rapid transit system, and his asbestos-covered clothes—cannot sue the transportation system in state court, an appeals panel has ruled.

Any state tort claims the estate may have against the key defendants—the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) and its subsidiary, the Port Authority Transit Corp.—are pre-empted by federal laws governing locomotives, the three-judge Appellate Division panel said in a published ruling Nov. 19.

The same federal law that governs locomotives also pre-empts claims against the manufacturers and distributors of the locomotives’ brakes, which the woman’s father worked on while employed by PATCO, the court said.

“Since 1926, it has been settled that in enacting the Locomotive Inspection Act … Congress intended to occupy the entire field of locomotive equipment,” wrote Appellate Division Judge Carmen Alvarez in Brust v. ACF Industries.

“Congress thereby pre-empted both state legislation that would affect the design, construction, and material of every part of the locomotive and its appurtenances … and state law tort claims for defective design of locomotive equipment.”

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Source: Federal Law Preempts State Claims in Asbestos Case


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Prophylactic Radiotherapy for the Prevention of Procedure-Tract Metastases in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

TAKE-HOME MESSAGE

This multicenter, open-label phase III study evaluated the utility of prophylactic radiation to prevent procedure-tract metastases in 203 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. No significant differences were observed in procedure-tract metastases incidence in those who received immediate radiotherapy vs those receiving deferred radiation therapy.

Routine universal prophylactic radiotherapy to prevent procedure-tract metastases in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma offers no clear clinical benefit.

BACKGROUND

The use of prophylactic radiotherapy to prevent procedure-tract metastases (PTMs) in malignant pleural mesothelioma remains controversial, and clinical practice varies worldwide. We aimed to compare prophylactic radiotherapy with deferred radiotherapy (given only when a PTM developed) in a suitably powered trial.

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Source: Prophylactic Radiotherapy for the Prevention of Procedure-Tract Metastases in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

 


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Patient health, not age, should dictate treatment for mesothelioma, University academic says

A 17 year-long study conducted at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, suggests surgical benefits are evident in both young and old

The conclusion of a study by a University team at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, which took place between 1999 and 2015, has suggested that age is not as important in determining treatment options for mesothelioma as previously thought.

Miss Annabel Sharkey, a cardiothoracic surgeon and Clinical Fellow in the Department of Cancer Studies at the University, presented the findings of the study at the 2016 European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Miss Sharkey said: “Patients have to be fit enough, not just to withstand the operation, but the follow-up therapy as well. Surgeons when selecting their patients, also have to keep the oncologist’s treatment in mind.

“The main thing is, not to discount the idea of surgery just because you’re older. People generally are more fit today than they once were, and that allows more people to benefit from surgery.”

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Source: Patient health, not age, should dictate treatment for mesothelioma, University academic says

 


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Dying and living with killer dust

Bruno Comelli died of a broken heart, says his adoring wife Edda. He’d survived Nazis and post-war poverty in Italy before arriving in Melbourne. There he worked seven days a week as a fruiterer and concreter to give his children the education he never had.

In his late 70s Bruno was fit, strong, and savouring the life he had made for his family in his beloved Australia. Then, after all he’d been through and fought for, he was cut down by the deadly lung cancer, mesothelioma, a result of exposure to stray asbestos fibres decades previously.

Bruno hadn’t worked with asbestos. Like many poor migrants he had lived in Melbourne’s west when it was the city’s smelly, industrial engine room. His home was just down the road from James Hardie’s Brooklyn asbestos plant. Twice a week he’d take his greengrocer’s rubbish to local tips and throw it into pits through clouds of white dust. “He used to say it was horrible down there,” says Edda. “Especially on a windy day”.

Decades after the Hardie factory closed, Bruno died in 2012 aged 80, a likely victim of environmental exposure to waste asbestos.

Source: Dying and living with killer dust


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Dr. Thierry Jahan on the CRS-207 Vaccine in Mesothelioma [interview video]

Thierry M. Jahan, MD, a clinical professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses a phase Ib trial of CRS-207 in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

CRS-207 is a live-attenuated, double-deleted Listeria monocytogene engineered to express the tumor-associated antigen mesothelin. In the the phase Ib it was administered with chemotherapy to 38 patients with MPM. Of 34 evaluable patients, 59% (n = 20) had partial response posttreatment and 35% (n = 12) had stable disease, for an overall disease-control rate 94%.

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Source: Dr. Thierry Jahan on the CRS-207 Vaccine in Mesothelioma

 


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Surgery Improves Quality of Life for Patients With Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Undergoing pleurectomy and decortication (PD) for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) generally leads to improved quality of life after the surgery. These findings were presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

Many patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma avoid the operation because they fear it will degrade their quality of life. The disease is caused by environmental factors such as asbestos exposure and by a genetic predisposition to the cancer.

Malignant pleural mesothelioma develops in the pleura, the thin layer of tissue surrounding the lungs. As the tumor grows, it restricts the lungs, typically causing shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, and/or chest discomfort and pain. Pleurectomy and decortication involves removal of the pleura. Although the procedure cannot cure mesothelioma, it can help control the buildup of fluid, improve breathing, and lessen cancer pain.

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Source: Surgery Improves Quality of Life for Patients With Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

 


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Teacher developed cancer from asbestos

The case of a former Queensland science teacher who was diagnosed with cancer after working with equipment made from asbestos is not isolated, his lawyers say.

The 69-year-old, who has requested not to be named, taught in a Toowoomba school for over a decade in the 1970s and 80s.

A former science teacher has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
A former science teacher has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Photo: Jason South

He said he spent each day “inadvertently breathing in the ticking time bomb” because Bunsen burner safety mats, which were made from asbestos, were slowly disintegrating as they were moved around the classrooms.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March this year.

“Prior to my diagnosis I was very fit and healthy,” the father of two and grandfather of four said.

“It came as a huge shock to me and my family to be told I had asbestos cancer after over 35 years as a teacher.”

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Source: Teacher developed cancer from asbestos

 


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Radiotherapy to intervention sites in mesothelioma: no more?

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a tumour with a dismal prognosis, and its incidence is increasing worldwide as a result of widespread exposure to asbestos. Because of the pattern of tumour growth, the ipsilateral chest wall is often involved. Moreover, histological diagnosis is usually obtained by pleural biopsy, via video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery or other invasive procedures, which can result in tumour seeding at the site of the intervention. Chest wall involvement, including procedure-tract metastases, can lead to severe symptoms, mostly pain. Accordingly, local control in malignant pleural mesothelioma is a major challenge.

Radiotherapy has been widely used in the past decades in the treatment of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, as a part of a multimodality therapy for early-stage disease,1, 2 in the palliation of pain,3 and in the prophylaxis of track-site recurrence….

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Source: Radiotherapy to intervention sites in mesothelioma: no more? – The Lancet Oncology


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Judge Dismisses Union Carbide in Miami Mesothelioma Case

Asbestos mass tort litigation may have been around for more than four decades, but a Miami federal judge found room for novel decisions.

U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom corrected herself twice on jurisdiction in a case filed against Union Carbide Corp. The orders dealt in part with a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision still in the infancy of its interpretation across the country.

The case before Bloom was filed last year by James Waite, who claimed he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos in Massachusetts starting in the 1940s. Waite has lived in Florida with his wife Sandra, a co-plaintiff, since the late 1970s and was diagnosed with mesothelioma last year. He does not allege any Union Carbide asbestos exposure in Florida.

Waite’s attorneys said he was exposed to asbestos as a landlord while renovating rental apartments using drywall joint compound that contained Union Carbide asbestos and during brake and clutch repairs.

Source: Judge Dismisses Union Carbide in Miami Mesothelioma Case | Daily Business Review

 


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Human malignant mesothelioma is recapitulated in immunocompetent BALB/c mice injected with murine AB cells

Abstract

Malignant Mesothelioma is a highly aggressive cancer, which is difficult to diagnose and treat. Here we describe the molecular, cellular and morphological characterization of a syngeneic system consisting of murine AB1, AB12 and AB22 mesothelioma cells injected in immunocompetent BALB/c mice, which allows the study of the interplay of tumor cells with the immune system. Murine mesothelioma cells, like human ones, respond to exogenous High Mobility Group Box 1 protein, a Damage-Associated Molecular Pattern that acts as a chemoattractant for leukocytes and as a proinflammatory mediator. The tumors derived from AB cells are morphologically and histologically similar to human MM tumors, and respond to treatments used for MM patients. Our system largely recapitulates human mesothelioma, and we advocate its use for the study of MM development and treatment.

[Article continues at original source]

(Source: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep22850)

 


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