British Hospital Opens Mesothelioma Research Center
The number of deaths from mesothelioma in the UK has quadrupled over the last 30 years, and the country now has the highest death rate in the world from mesothelioma. Nearly 2,300 Brits succumb to mesothelioma each year. In an effort to stop this rising tide of deaths, Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire has opened a mesothelioma research center.
According to the hospital’s press release, the center will offer a “Mesobank” that will hold live mesothelioma tissue samples with associated clinical data. This will bring key information to researchers and doctors hoping to successfully battle the incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Dr Robert Rintoul, consultant physician at Papworth Hospital, said, “In research terms, mesothelioma has been a neglected cancer for far too long. The opening of the Mesobank could really help change this, by making it quicker, easier and cheaper for researchers to undertake the kind of research that could delivery real advances in our understanding and treatment of this devastating disease.”
Asbestos is a known carcinogen and is proven to cause lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Even small amounts of asbestos and infrequent exposure can create a risk for contracting mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. In fact, recently a British family was devastated when two sisters died from secondhand exposure from asbestos particles clinging to their father’s clothes.
Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed 30 years or more after exposure. Currently there is no known cure for mesothelioma, and the average survival time varies from 4 – 18 months after diagnosis.
Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said, “We hope that the Mesobank will help the UK become a world leader in mesothelioma research and, more importantly, help improve both the length and quality of life for people affected by it.”
The British Lung Foundation and Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund funded the new research facility.