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December 2004

Drug induces remission of Mesothelioma in mice; human trials anticipated.

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October 15, 2004

At a Southern California Pipetrades Business Managers meeting lead by Sid Stolper at the Sheraton Hotel Fairplex October 15th 2004, a check for $65,000 dollars was presented by Sid to Dr. Gill from USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America, whose Executive Director is Elizabeth Paul. Jim Kellogg, International Representative of the UA Pipetrades for California and Hawaii, Jerry Paul, partner of Paul, Hanley & Harley LLP, and Elizabeth Paul, as described above, all Board Members of the foundation were all present with Dr. Gill. Also, present were Carmy Peterson from USC/Norris. Dr. Gill spoke, then Jim Kellogg, Sid Stolper, Jerry Paul and Elizabeth Paul all spoke on what great progress the Veglin Phase 2 clinical trial appears to be having at this point in time. A number of pipefitters and others are taking the Veglin, which is an intraveneously medicine given outpatient. Ongoing investigations are confirming that the fluid buildup caused by mesothelioma has stopped along with tumor growth in a number of patients.

The Local leaders of the Southern California Pipetrades were all responsible in the success of the golf event that took place July 12th that lead to the above funding for the mesothelioma drug treatment Veglin. Sid Stolper made special mention of the golf committee made up of John Ferruccio, Charlie Hazard, Bob Modica, Jack Ferrara, Elizabeth Paul and Jerry Paul. Honorary members of the golf committee were Jim Kellogg and Sid Stolper for their vision on encouraging and setting up the committee. Sid made a special mention also of the fact Jerry and Elizabeth Paul pay 100 percent of every dollar collected to the Veglin clincial trials by paying all expenses of the foundation out of their own pockets personally. And that the law firm Jerry is parnter of, Paul, Hanley & Harley LLP also was the largest contributer to the golf event.

Click HERE to ask Dr. Gill a question.

Click HERE to help the foundation.

Special Event --
June 16, 2004

Dr. Gill presents the continuing progress and status on mesothelioma treatment medication Veglin. It has successfully completed Phase 1 clinical experimental trials and has been given FDA permission to move to Phase 2. There are a number of people from around the country with mesothelioma whom are joining the Phase 2 Veglin clinical studies. Both USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles and Columbia University in New York are collaborating regarding these studies. Other universities may join in and participate soon. To participate in these studies, please contact Elizabeth Paul at 1-800-909-MESO(6376) or go to "ASK Dr. GiLL" on this website and submit the form.Foundation board members Jerry Paul, Elizabeth Paul and Jim Kellogg were at this presentation. Also present was Sid Stolper, Business Manager of the Southern California Pipetrades leading a delegation of his assistents Charlie Hazard, Jack Ferrara, and John Ferruccio, and their invited guests from the various contracting associations, among them their spokemen, Rick Ernst. Also present were Special Representative Dan Wheeler of the UA Pipetrades, Cindy Hamilton (Project Assistant) and Debra Chaplan (Director and Program Development Specialist to the State Building Trades of California), Bob Balgenorth, Dr. Gills wife, oncologist Dr. Ann Gill, Dr. Brian Dolan and Dr. Diana Dolan, USC Norris developement person Carmy Peters, and others.Debra Chapman and Cindy Hamilton on behalf of Built/State Building Trades of California (President Bob Balgenorth) had the pleasure of presenting Dr. Gill, and the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America a check for $60,000 dollars, earned from their golf event, all designated for Dr. Gills mesothelioma research laboratory. Another $2000 dollars followed a week after from the same golf event. We extend a special thank you to Bob, Cindy and Debra for all their tireless effort to help make mesothelioma a disease of the past.

Great news!

Dr. Gill at USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has finished Phase I Clinical trials of over 18 patients. The medicine, Veglin, had earlier received U.S. Federal Drug Administration approval for clinical trials for treatment of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure. The treatment successfully completed Phase I wherein side effects are measured. There were minimal side effects. Veglin is taken intravenously and not chemotherapy. Presently, Alimta, chemotherapy by pharmeceutical company, Eli Lilly & Co., is on average adding approximately a doubling of the life span from date of diagnosis from 18 months to 36 months. Veglin hopes to improve upon this significantly. The research and clinical trial funding was entirely funded by the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America. Its sponsors, included the generous contributions of Elizabeth and Jerry Paul, the State Building Trades Golf Event put on by Built last May and an annual fundraiser ( thanks to Jim Kellogg U.A. International Representative of the the Pipe Trades and Vice President of the State Building Trades of Ca., Bob Balganorth, President of the State Building Trades of Ca., Debra Chapman and Cindy Hamilton who were both significantly involved with the success of the golf event).

Posted on Tue, August 31, 2004


Lori Oliwenstien --
USC Health Magazine

In addition to blocking an enzyme responsible for tumor growth and matastasis, the drug VEGLIN appears to slow the growth of the cancer cells themselves.

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Posted on Fri, July 9, 2004

The effects of Asbestos on your Health

National Labor College, Senior Project 2004

What many of us do not understand about airborne asbestos could impair our take-for-granted-attitude about the air we breathe. This report by John F. Greenwood at the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada is most enlightening.

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Posted on Mon, May 24, 2004

International Journal of Cancer: Celecoxib Shows Antitumor Properties in Malignant Mesothelioma Model

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) May 06 - The selective COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib shows a marked chemopreventive effect on malignant mesothelioma (MM) in vitro and in a nude mouse model, according to a report in the April 10th International Journal of Cancer.

Current approaches to treating MM have failed to alter its dismal prognosis, the authors explain, but one selective COX-2 inhibitor (NS-398) suppressed MM cell proliferation in vitro. Dr. Alfonso Catalano from University of Marche, Ancona, Italy and colleagues assessed the effects of celecoxib on in vitro and in vivo experimental models of MM.

Indomethacin, NS-398, and celecoxib all inhibited cell proliferation of the MM cell line MPP89 without inhibiting the growth of a normal mesothelial cell line (NM-1), the authors report. Celecoxib was most effective against MM cells, followed by NS-398 and indomethacin, the report indicates.

In a mouse model of MM, celecoxib treatment was associated with a significant increase in median survival from 45 days to 62 days, the researchers note, and there were 3 long-term (more than 120 days) survivors among the celecoxib-treated mice.

Celecoxib treatment-ofMM cells caused a marked shift from survival to apoptotic proteins, which activated a caspase-dependent programmed cell death, the results indicate, and the sensitivity of such cells to celecoxib could be synergistically enhanced by the adjunct use ofanti-VEGF agents. "Our present data demonstrate that celecoxib is effective for inhibiting the in vitro and in vivo tumorigenicity potential of MM celts when administered early," the authors conclude. "Furthermore, celecoxib specifically induces MM cell apoptosis by affecting various proteins regulating these processes."

"These results provide the first evidence that celecoxib is effective for the prevention and regression of MM cells in experimental models of MM and strongly support ongoing clinical trials in MM patients," the investigators add.

Int J Cancer 2004;109:322-328.

Posted on Thu, Apr. 29, 2004

"Dr. Parkash Gill is continuing his progress in researching and seeking further understanding on how Veglin will hopefully help mesothelioma cancer patients one day. More and more cancer patients, with previous asbestos exposure, are asking Dr. Gill whether or not Veglin may help them. However, asbestosis, a scaring of the lungs from asbestos exposure, is not treatable says Jerry Paul, Founding Board Member and partner in the law firm of Paul, Hanley & Harley LLP. Executive Director, Elizabeth Paul, stated, the foundation and its supporters will continue to support mesothelioma cancer research at USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. She states Jerry and I have personally given over $500,000 dollars of our own money, to help speed up a cure for this insidious cancer. More medical cancer research is absolutely necessary."

Posted on Thu, Apr. 29, 2004

California Appeals Court Affirms Asbestos Verdict Against Union Carbide

SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court panel in a March 18 unpublished opinion affirmed a jury verdict awarding a mesothelioma victim more than $4 million in damages, with Union Carbide Corp. being responsible for 5 percent (Victor Trinehese. et al. v. Union Carbide Corp. el al. No. A100631, Calif. App., 1st Dist.; 2004 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2478).

(Opinion in Section C. Document #Ol-040407-104Z.)

Verdict Challenged

Victor Trinehese contracted mesothelioma and sued multiple defendants, including Union Carbide, in the San Francisco County Superior Court. Trinehese alleged that he was exposed to asbestos-containing products originally produced by Union Carbide or supplied by the company to his various places of employment from 1967 to 1998.

All of the named defendants except Union Carbide were dismissed or settled before trial. A jury found Union Carbide liable on the design defect and loss of consortium causes of action but not liable for two other causes of action. The jury awarded Trinehese $1,623,716 in economic damages and $1.8 million in noneconomic damages and awarded his wife $800,000 for loss of consortium. The jury found Union Carbide liable for 5 percent of Trinchese's injuries and all other parties responsible for the remaining 95 percent.

Union Carbide appealed to the First District California Court of Appeal, claiming that there was not sufficient evidence to support the verdict.

No Asbestos Filler

The dominant issue was whether Trinchese was, through his various jobs, exposed to Bakelite products manufactured with asbestos-containing material originally produced by Union Carbide.

Union Carbide contended that all of the Bakelite "panels" produced and sold during the relevant time period were laminated and that the laminated panels used cloth and not asbestos as filler. A subsequent manufacturer would have added any asbestos to the pan-ell, Union Carbide said.

Further, Union Carbide said the only laminated panels that required drilling or cutting were the molded products, which were small and already possessed the requisite openings and shapes.

Other evidence suggested that military specifications for the material with which Trinehese worked during the period in question consisted of a molded and not just a laminated product and that even for the nonmilitary Bakelite, a "panel" or "sheet stock" could be laminated or molded.

Substantial Evidence

Union Carbide compartmentalized the evidence much too rigidly, which even the company's brief seems to concede, Judge Paul R. Haerle wrote for the court.

The appropriate standard of review is substantial evidence and whether the jury had before it substantial evidence that Trinehese was exposed to asbestos-containing products manufactured and distributed by Union Carbide, the court said.

Considerable testimony was given "that phenolic molding compounds, including those admittedly containing asbestos, could be used to produce panels, boards and sheets of Bakelite - particularly for those intended for military usage. This evidence constituted substantial evidence from which the jury could conclude that Trinehese was exposed to asbestos during the drilling and cutting of such panels, boards and sheets," the court said.

Substantial evidence also existed from which the jury could conclude that Union Carbide could have produced the asbestos-containing molding compounds from which other manufacturers made panels, boards or sheets, the court said.

Posted on Thu, Apr. 29, 2004

Canadian Government Claims Chrysotile Asbestos Can Be Used, Exported Safely:

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Posted on Thu, Apr. 29, 2004

French Government Accepts Responsibility For French Asbestos Exposure, Disease

PARIS - The French State Council recently announced that the French government's inaction to establish safety measures for industrial workers who regularly worked with asbestos materials has contributed to the high rate of asbestos-related occupational disease in France.

The council on March 3 announced that the French government is responsible, in part, for asbestos contamination and disease among the country's industrial workers and expects to release a decision soon correcting and modifying the country's indemnity provisions to cover asbestos and other occupational diseases.

According to the council, the French Social Affairs Ministry is looking into what changes may be made.

"Government's deficiency in taking steps to prevent the dangers from workers' exposure to asbestos dust constitutes an error, and this error involves the government," the council said.

The council took up the investigation at the request of the French Labor Ministry, after the ministry was accused in 2000 and 2001 by the administrative tribunal of Marseille of negligently causing the asbestos-related deaths of four former industrial workers by not implementing safety precautions for the workers to follow.

In a statement acknowledging responsibility, the council said the French government ignored the dangers of asbestos and failed to take any steps to protect its work force until 1997. Even after the approval of the safety measures in 1977, the government had not done any survey before 1995 to check the adaptability of the steps to the dangers, the council said,

The use of asbestos was banned in France in 1997. It is estimated that approximately 3,000 French people die annually of an asbestos-related disease.

Posted on Fri, Feb. 06, 2004

Cancer drug gets FDA's approval


The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it has approved the first drug for treatment of a rare asbestos-related cancer.The drug, pemetrexed disodium, is used in combination with cisplatin to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma, the agency said.Sold under the trade name Alimta, the newly approved drug received priority review as an orphan drug, FDA said.Only about 2,000 new cases are diagnosed annually of this cancer, which occurs in the mesothelium, a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body.This form of cancer is usually associated with a history of asbestos exposure. Asbestos fibers lodged in the lung attach to the outer lung lining and chest wall, causing tumors to grow, the agency said.By the time symptoms appear, the disease is usually advanced, and patients live, on average, nine to 13 months following diagnosis.Alimta will be distributed by Eli Lily and Company of Indianapolis.

Posted on Fri, Feb. 04, 2004

Recent Australian Studies Show Promising Results For Mesothelioma Drug

PERTH, Australia - Medical studies involving an herbal medicine known as "Devil's Weed" have shown promising results in combating malignant mesothelioma cells, researchers at an Australian hospital recently reported.

Professor Michael Millward and his research group at the Sir Cairdner Hospital on Dec. 15 announced that recent animal trials and laboratory tests with mesothelioma cells administered Tribultis Tercstrif, commonly known as Devil's Weed, show very encouraging results and offer hope that the drug could one day be used in humans afflicted with the asbestos-related disease. Millward and his team have two patients in human trials with the drug and two more set to begin shortly. According to Millward, the team plans to treat approximately 18 to 25 patients before June 2004.

Unlocks Receptor

According to the researchers, animal and laboratory results with Devil's Weed have shown extremely encouraging results and significantly reduced tumor size during the animal testing and killed the cancer cells completely during laboratory experiments. The drug works bv unlocking a receptor on the cancerous ceil, invading the nucleus of the cell and then killing it - unlike other drugs that trv and trigger the cell to self-destruct, according to Millward. "After this phase we will then evaluate all the results and look at if the drug is safe and whether it may be beneficial, and if that's the case we will then go to trials for specific cancers," Millward said. "If the next set confirms this is a promising treatment, then it will take several more years of large trials to know if it's going to be a marketable treatment for cancer."

REPORT: Asbestos
December 1, 2003

Medical Researchers Report New Test Available To Diagnose Mesothelioma

SEATTLE - U.S. and Australian researchers recently announced that they have developed a new blood test to diagnose and monitor mesotheli oma.

U.S. researchers at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute (PNRI) and doctors from the University of Western Australia report that they have identified molecular markers from mesothelioma cells that can be detected by examining a patient's blood. The research, published in the Nov. 15 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, reports that by detecting soluble mesothelin-related proteins (SMRs) in the blood, medical personnel will be able to diagnose mesothelioma in its early stages, when therapy is more likely to be successful.

"Mesothelin-Family Proteins and Diagnosis of Mesothelioma" was written by U.S. researchers Bruce W.S. Robinson, Jenette Creaney, Richard Lake and Anna Nowak and Australian scientists A. William Musk, Nick de Klerk, Pernilla Winzell, Karl Erik Hellstrom and In-gegerd Hellstrom.

Oncology diagnostic company Fujirebio Diagnostics Inc. of Malvern, Pa., has acquired an exclusive license from PNRI to develop a corn-mercial test for worldwide distribution. "This is a very important breakthrough in the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma," Hellstrom said. "Currently, no blood test exists to detect this cancer and the new biomar-ker will help doctors see the disease that so far has required much more complicated and expensive tests, and that even then has often gone undetected."

In blood samples taken from 273 people, the researchers found that 84 percent of those with mesothelioma exhibited high levels of SMRs. Only 1.9 percent of those with other forms of carcinoma or lung disease had increased SMRs, and healthy patients not exposed to asbestos showed no biomarker increase.

Based upon the study, the researchers believe that the determination of SMRs in blood serum could be a useful marker for the diagnosis of mesothelioma and to monitor the disease's progression. The study also reports that the test, if proven successful, will be helpful for screening asbestos-exposed people for the early evidence of mesothelioma.

"This test may this prove helpful for screening asbestos-exposed individuals for early evidence of mesothelioma," said Robinson, lead researcher on the project. Dr. Daniel O'Shannessy, chief scientific officer of Fujirebio Diagnostics, says the diagnostic company hopes to win approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to enter the market with the test within one year and is excited about the possibilities of its use.

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