New treatment may help patients with asbestos-related lung cancer

A new study published in the Annals of Oncology has found a promising link between the use of beta-blockers and increased survival times and slower spread of tumors in lung cancer patients. The findings may help extend the lives of patients with lung cancers related to asbestos.

The new beta-blocker study

The new beta-blocker study looked at the survival rates of 722 patients who had non-small-cell lung cancer. Some of the patients were taking beta-blockers for an unrelated condition during their radiotherapy. These patients were found to have a 22 percent rise in their chances of survival than those enduring radiotherapy who were not taking beta-blockers.

The study adjusted for differences in patients, including age, stage of cancer and whether or not the patients were also enduring chemotherapy. Patients on the beta-blockers survived an average of 23.7 months after their radiotherapy, compared to 18.6 months for patients who did not take beta-blockers.

Beta-blockers are used to treat heart and blood conditions like hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias. They target and block the beta receptors on the heart and smooth muscles. Earlier studies have shown a connection between beta-blockers and reduced tumor growth in breast cancer and melanoma patients.

More studies will need to take place to further investigate the connection, since this most recent study did not account for other medications the patients may have been taking, the patients were only from one institution and no data exists on the patients' beta-blocker use before or after their radiotherapy.

Connection between lung cancer and asbestos

Lung cancer is one of several conditions associated with exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fiber that has been used as fire-resistant insulation in the construction and automotive industries. Unfortunately, when handled, asbestos fibers become airborne and can get caught in the lungs of anyone working with or near them.

The fibers cause inflammation and scarring in lung tissue and can lead to serious conditions including mesothelioma, lung and pleural disorders and lung cancer. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services classify asbestos as a known human carcinogen.

How to secure compensation for asbestos-related lung cancer

People who believe their lung cancer is associated with asbestos exposure should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. It is possible to hold the manufacturer of the asbestos insulation accountable for your condition. Product liability laws may enable injured parties to sue manufacturers for negligence or breach of warranty.

Those who can prove a link between their exposure to asbestos and their lung cancers may be able to recover the costs of medical care and rehabilitation, lost past and future wages and earning capacity, lost enjoyment of life, emotional distress and past and future pain and suffering.

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer and believe asbestos may be to blame, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney.