Mesothelioma is one of the most mysterious forms of cancer. Despite being the center of several high-profile lawsuits, little is known about how it develops. The disease affects millions of people in Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. In recent years, a new line of research has uncovered some key facts.
Finding the roots of a deadly disease
Mesothelioma has long been linked to long-term exposure to asbestos. However, the precise path of its development has always been shrouded in mystery. This is because it can often not be detected until up to 40 years after the initial exposure. The puzzle it presents is compounded by the fact that this condition has been known to develop in people without exposure to asbestos.
A discovery by University of Maryland researchers may shed some essential light on the matter. They have suggested that the key to solving the riddle may lie in ascertaining immune cells identify and interact with foreign particles they come into contact with.
Size matters when it comes to immunity
Determining the origin of exposure to asbestos is a serious matter. Doing so can help to extend the life of the person who suffers from this condition. The new research on the origin of mesothelioma can help medical experts determine if the disease is present and to what degree its progress can be arrested.
According to the study, the size of each foreign particle in the body is a matter of serious import. The physical characteristics of even the tiniest bit of asbestos can influence how your immune system responds. This may well be why it takes so long for the presence of mesothelioma to be detected.
How the immune system deals with these foreign particles is a matter of serious study. Researchers hope to one day pinpoint exactly how the immune system recognizes them. Doing so can lead to further breakthroughs for this and other forms of cancer.