New York Mesothelioma Lawyer Encouraged by First Genetic Map of Lung Cancer
New York, NY, September 15, 2012 — The discovery of recurrent and potentially treatable mutations in tumors caused by a common lung cancer is potentially good news for sufferers of mesothelioma, Joseph W. Belluck, a founding partner of the New York personal injury firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP, said today.
The New York mesothelioma lawyer was referring to the first large and comprehensive genetic study of squamous cell lung cancer, which found that more than half of the tumors spawned by that type of cancer can be treated by drugs that are available or soon to be available, according to a New York Times report.
Even though the disease is different in each person who has it, researchers hope to be able to match the most significant genetic abnormality in each patient with a drug specifically designed to attack it.
“These kinds of results from the first genetic mapping of a lung cancer bodes well for victims of mesothelioma as research moves forward and the genetic makeup of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can be mapped,” Belluck said.
“Any new information about cancer has the potential to provide the key that researchers have been looking for.”
The study, which was published in the science journal Nature, is part of the National Institutes of Health’s Cancer Genome Atlas project to examine genetic abnormalities in cancer. Previously, the project created a genetic map of colon cancer.
Squamous cell lung carcinoma is a common type of lung cancer, causing approximately 50,000 deaths per year in the U.S., according to The Times, and about 400,000 deaths worldwide, according to Nature.
Mesothelioma, which is caused by inhaling or swallowing asbestos, is a terminal cancer diagnosed in about 3,000 Americans each year. Symptoms of mesothelioma typically appear 30 years to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos, a fibrous material that easily breaks down into a fine dust, was widely used in hundreds of building products until laws regulated its use in the 1970s.
Most mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos through employment in industrial, manufacturing or construction work, despite the fact that asbestos was known to be a carcinogen since the first quarter of the 20th century.
“Mesothelioma’s ‘turn’ to be genetically mapped may come later, but we expect that researchers will have made significant advances that will have added to the ability to treat mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in the meantime,” Belluck said.
“We remain as optimistic as ever that better mesothelioma treatments and an eventual cure lie ahead of us.”
The Belluck & Fox law firm is nationally recognized for its advocacy for mesothelioma patients and their families.
Belluck & Fox has obtained several multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of mesothelioma sufferers through personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
In August, the $51 million combined verdict in the consolidated case of Dummitt v. A.W. Chesterton (No. 190196/10) and Konstantin v. 630 Third Avenue Associates (No. 190134/10), which the firm secured in the Supreme Court of New York, was recognized as the nation’s third-largest verdict in an asbestos-disease lawsuit in 2011 by the annual Mealey’s Litigation Report: Asbestos.
The firm recently helped the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Cancer Institute purchase a highly advanced molecular analysis system for cancer research, and it sponsors MesotheliomaHelp.net, one of the Web’s primary resources for information on malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
The law firm and MesotheliomaHelp.net are conducting an essay contest for college students that will award $10,000 in tuition money for the top essays about mesothelioma.
“We’ve seen how devastating mesothelioma can be to its victims and their families, and we’re thankful that we’ve been able to help many families with our legal work and other advocacy,” Belluck said.
“The need to find a viable mesothelioma treatment and cure is critical. We will continue our efforts as we cheer and support those of the scientific community.”
The firm’s New York City office is located at 546 Fifth Ave, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036 (local phone (212) 681-1575). For more information, contact the firm at 877-MESOTHELIOMA (637-6843) or through its online contact form.