A one-day workshop for medical scientists and healthcare professionals to discuss future plans for asbestos research is to be held at the Wellcome Trust, London on 23rd November 2010. Latest research findings into the causes and development of asbestos-related disease, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma, will also be presented along with the potential links between carbon nano-particles and occupational lung disease.

According to the British Lung Foundation, better treatments for patients with asbestos-related diseases still needs to be found as the palliative services presently available for relieving mesothelioma cancer sufferers  requires an increase in quality research.

One of the conditions that will be covered throughout the workshop is the fatal mesothelioma cancer, which is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure, and for which, there is currently no cure. Even since the final prohibition of white asbestos as late as the 1980s/90s, inhalation of deadly asbestos fibres in the workplace has led to over 2,000 deaths a year, with mesothelioma alone claiming over 200,000 lives.

Asbestos-related disease is still one of the UK’s biggest industrial killers and mesothelioma compensation claims are expected to continue to at least 2050.

After a long latency period of between 15-50 years from first exposure and the final onset of asbestosis symptoms, the average mesothelioma life expectancy for patients is between four and 18 months after diagnosis and treatment options only offer temporary relief from symptoms.

However, at the 35th congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), held recently in Milan, research findings were presented that suggested both Tomudex and Vitamin E may be useful in fighting mesothelioma cancer. A form of vitamin E in the body has been shown to be effective in treating breast cancer tumours and may also be successful in inducing cell death and suppressing cancer growth in malignant mesothelioma.

Tomudex combats cancer by preventing cancer cell growth, which eventually leads to their elimination. Tomudex is currently licensed for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma in Portugal, the Czech Republic and Hungary and is expected to be authorised for use in further European countries by the end of 2010.