Weitz & Luxenberg Calls for Further Research to Confirm Australian Findings that Radiation Therapy Improves Mesothelioma Survival

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Medical researchers in Melbourne, Australia, announced at the European Lung Cancer Conference that mesothelioma patients they treated with intensity-modulated radiation theray (IMRT) survived years longer than is customary for those treated with either chemotherapy or surgery. The mesothelioma law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg called for further scientific investigations to determine the validity of this potential advance in the effort to extend survival rates.

...[T]he promise of IMRT appears to be such that it deserves further scientific study.

Reacting today to word of a possible treatment advance for victims of mesothelioma, the asbestos-cancer law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg said it hopes that medical findings presented last week in Geneva at the European Lung Cancer Conference will spur other investigators to look more deeply into whether intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can markedly extend the life expectancy of those afflicted with the disease.

According to Weitz & Luxenberg, which has won billions of dollars in mesothelioma settlements and verdicts for its clients over the last quarter century, researchers from the Austin Health Radiation Oncology Center in Melbourne, Australia, announced at the conference that mesothelioma patients they treated with IMRT survived up to seven years.

“Mesothelioma patients ordinarily live a matter of only months once symptoms develop, a year or two if treated with chemotherapy or surgery: the promise of IMRT appears to be such that it deserves further scientific study,” the firm said.

Citing medical texts, Weitz & Luxenberg said that IMRT disrupts the growth of cancer cells by targeting and fatally damaging their chromosomal structure. “IMRT is not a new treatment modality; what’s new is this research, which challenges some of the assumptions about IMRT’s effectiveness against mesothelioma,” the firm said. “Previously, it was thought that mesothelioma cells had little or no radiosensitivity. The more radiosensitivity possessed by a cancer cell, the easier it is for the radiation to disrupt the cell’s DNA and kill the tumor. The Australian findings appear to demonstrate that mesothelioma cells are sufficiently radiosensitive that they can be killed using IMRT.”

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the thin membranes lining organs in the chest (pleura) and abdomen (peritoneum), Weitz & Luxenberg said. “Mesothelioma is closely linked with asbestos; the only known and scientifically established cause of malignant mesothelioma is from asbestos exposure.”

Asbestos is a mineral that earlier in American history found wide application in consumer, industrial and military wares. Unfortunately, tiny fibers released into the air from those products can be breathed in; once inhaled, the fibers permanently lodge in the lungs, the firm said.

About Weitz & Luxenberg:
Founded in 1986 by attorneys Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg, Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., today ranks among the nation’s leading law firms. Weitz & Luxenberg has secured more than $6.5 billion in verdicts and settlements for its clients. The firm's numerous practice areas include: asbestos and mesothelioma, defective medicines and devices, environmental pollutants, accidents, personal injury, and medical malpractice. Victims of accidents are invited to rely on Weitz & Luxenberg’s more than 25 years of handling such cases – begin by contacting the firm’s Client Relations department at 1-800-476-6070 or at clientrelations(at)weitzlux(dot)com and ask for a free legal consultation. More information: http://www.weitzlux.com

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Dave Kufeld
Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.
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