The Swiss National Science Foundation has conducted a study which revealed the exact mechanism that the fiber creates within the body’s cells. The more that researchers understand about mesothelioma, the better the chances that they will someday find an effective treatment.
Each type of mesothelioma depends on the location in the body where it develops. Prognosis, symptoms and treatment options vary by type. The pleural and peritoneal types of mesothelioma are the most common, while pericardial accounts for just 1% of cases. Testicular mesothelioma does exist, but it is really rare. It accounts for less than 1% of all mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure before symptoms appear. This is why doctors diagnose a majority of patients when they are older.
Swiss Mesothelioma Study
Researchers pinpointed that chronic exposure to asbestos triggers a type of tissue repair. The immune system goes out of balance and is no longer strong enough to combat tumor formation. According to the study’s leader, Emanuela Felley-Bosco, mesothelioma begins following contact between the long, pointed fibers of asbestos and the cells of the mesothelium. The body is unable to expel the fibers via the lymphatic system, and the fibers cause micro-injuries to the tissue. This triggers an immune reaction. In which, white blood cells rush to the site of the injury to begin tissue repair. Unfortunately, the cells proliferate too much and form tumors, and at the same time, the cells’ RNA mutates. This is how cancer grows out of control.
The findings could also prove useful in understanding other types of cancer that can be caused by chronic inflammations such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Helicobacter pylori infections.
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