Grassroots lobbying for mesothelioma patients

In Scotland there is a movement to eliminate a legal loophole in asbestos-exposure cases. The current law gives the most compensation to victims’ families after they die. If the new effort succeeds, people could get larger settlements while they are still alive. The newspaper The Herald reports that “Hugh Henry, the deputy justice minister, is to meet campaigners on mesothelioma, a fatal and increasingly common form of illness caused by the dust, and is expected to tell them he backs their cause.”

Spontaneous Regression of Advanced Cancer in Mice

Not specific to mesothelioma, but some interesting news in the war on cancer. Wake Forest University scientists have bred mice that resist cancer. Further, they were able to take white blood cells out of the cancer-resistant mice and use them to fight tumors in other mice with advanced cancer. “Spontaneous regression in human cancers have been seen and documented in the past, but no satisfactory explanations for this phenomenon have ever been put forward.”

The cancer-fighting ability declined as the mice got older. This isn’t surprising; cancer is generally a disease of the old. But it is still an encouraging step toward a possible therapy.

SS Norway ocean liner causes controversey

The evironmental activist groups Greenpease is criticizing the government of India for agreeing to accept the SS Norway ocean liner. This ship is apparently carrying over 900 tons of asbestos, and is also contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls and heavy metals. The owners of the ship want to have it undergo “ship-breaking” to recover salvagable materials. Bangladesh has carved out a niche in the world economy doing ship-breaking, but even that country has rejected the SS Norway.