There is some startling news on the war against asbestos and mesothelioma. The rate of deaths measured from mesothelioma has risen rather than come down. A report said there were some 18,068 deaths from malignant mesothelioma between 1999 and 2005. The number of mesothelioma deaths per year climbed from 2482 to 2704, which translates to a rise of nearly 9%. There is an interesting quick read over at Reuters Health, but unfortunately the news on the topic is rather bleak.
A news report from March 30, 2009 also noted that researchers have some hope that oxaliplatin and gemcitabine will increase the survival rates. Oxaliplatin is marketed by Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE: SNY) and Gemcitabine is marketed as Gemzar by Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY). A new study involves chemotherapy, which will last for six months and will include 29 patients. Upon completion of Phase II of the clinical trial, the Phase III study is expected to begin in 2010 or 2011.
Asbestos has been an official enemy of the state for about 40 years now and it is still being removed from structures and products today. Many of the mesothelioma cases are not diagnosed for 40 years, so it sounds like we are going to be stuck with this problem for well over another generation. That is just in the U.S. Much of the asbestos has not been removed at all once you go to facilities outside of North America.
JON C. OGG