Recent Scientific Papers
The issue of The Lancet published on September 25, 2004 contained important papers on the mechanisms of asbestos disease and appraisal of current treatment regimes for mesothelioma. Evidence against a role for SV40 infection in human mesotheliomas and high risk of false-positive PCR results owing to presence of SV40 sequences in common laboratory plasmids by F Lopez-Rios, P B Illei and VR Ladanyi [pp. 1157-1166] concludes that SV40 appears unlikely to have a major role, if any, in human mesotheliomas and suggests clinicians should continue to consider asbestos exposure as the most likely and most thoroughly established aetiological factor in individuals with this cancer. The paper Pleural mesothelioma: little evidence, still time to do trials by T Treasure and A Sedrakyan [pp. 1183-1185] highlights the lack of consensus which exists regarding the treatment of mesothelioma. Evidence is needed, the authors state, to justify subjecting patients to some of the radical procedures being offered so that futile and distressing treatment can be avoided: we owe it to our patients to obtain evidence and to use treatments that have proven net health-gains. A portfolio of trails is open for recruitment.
October 30, 2004