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People Exposed to Asbestos Show Early Signs of Autoimmunity

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Exposure to toxic amphibole asbestos may contribute to autoimmunity, potentially laying the groundwork for future autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, according to a study.

Newswise — 04-Jan-2005 - Exposure to toxic amphibole asbestos may contribute to autoimmunity, potentially laying the groundwork for future autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, according to a study published today in the January issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).

Researchers evaluated 50 residents from Libby, Montana—a town polluted by asbestos—and found them much more likely to have a class of autoantibodies in their blood than a control group. Presence of these biological markers, known as antinuclear antibodies (ANAs), are often found in people whose immune systems may be predisposed to cause inflammation against their own body tissues.

Researchers found that ANAs occurred 28.6% more frequently in the Libby samples than in the controls. In addition, people who had been exposed to asbestos for more than five years tended to have higher concentrations of ANAs than those with less exposure. Of the Libby residents tested, 76% had asbestos-related lung problems, and those with more severe lung problems also had higher concentrations of autoantibodies.

Virtually the entire town of Libby was designated a Superfund National Priorities List site in 2002, after decades of mining vermiculite contaminated the mine, processing sites, and many homes, buildings, and properties in the town with amphibole asbestos.

“By demonstrating an association between asbestos exposure and measures of autoimmune responses, this study supports and augments other existing evidence that, like silica, asbestos is an agent of systemic autoimmunity,” the study authors write. “Asbestos-contaminated vermiculite from Libby has been shipped and processed in many sites in the United States, and this material is still used in many applications. It therefore remains a significant health risk to humans both occupationally and environmentally, and an awareness of an association with autoimmunity could impact necessary monitoring, testing, and treatment regimens for exposed individuals or populations.”

Based on the results of this relatively small-scale study, the researchers intend to continue their studies of actual autoimmune diseases among the Libby population.

“Asbestos exposure has long been associated with cancers, fibrosis, and other diseases, but the link between subclinical markers of autoimmune disease and asbestos exposure is important information,” says Dr. Jim Burkhart, science editor for EHP.

The authors of the study were Jean C. Pfau, Jami J. Sentissi, Greg Weller, and Elizabeth A. Putnam of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Montana. The article is available free of charge at

EHP is published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. EHP is an Open Access journal. More information is available online at

Pre Settlement Funding - Structured Settlement

"Pre settlement funding" can be the best help to individuals waiting for legal decisions or a settlement.

(PRWEB) February 28, 2005 -- "Pre settlement funding" can be the best help to individuals waiting for legal decisions or a settlement. Pre settlement funding is very similar to a loan. The cash for structured settlement can be given to a person in the form of personal injury settlement, insurance settlement, mesothelioma settlement,... to sell structured settlement you should try to contact some companys, just enter their site and mail them, cause they will contact you...

The person should repair all the funds if they received the due settlement or won the lawsuit. If the individual loses the suit or does not recover the due settlement, he will not have to pay the "pre settlement funding".

Due to the high risk of "pre settlement funding" this kind of funding has many fees that are also some of the highest. Future is unpredictable and all things can happen, but "pre settlement funding" can be really an help while a good structured case is still in court.

Before receiving the settlement funding, the individual should measure all the benefit and risk and see if the "pre settlement funding" fees are compensated by the benefit.
Pedro Miguel
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YM BioSciences to Initiate Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Trial with Nimotuzumab

- Company expands target indications for its anti-EGF receptor monoclonal antibody -

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - YM BioSciences Inc. (AMEX:YMI, TSX:YM, AIM:YMBA), the cancer product development company, today announced that Health Canada has cleared a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) for a multi-center Phase I/II trial utilizing YM's anti-EGFr monoclonal antibody, nimotuzumab (TheraCIM). The randomized Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) trial will compare the effects of the combination of nimotuzumab with radiation against radiation alone in patients with stage IIB and III disease who are found to be insufficiently fit to tolerate the standard-of-care or who are not amenable to treatment with curative intent.
"YM has achieved another milestone by further broadening the clinical development program for nimotuzumab. We expect that the population of essentially untreatable patients with NSCLC, whose only option is to be treated palliatively with radiation, will benefit from the addition of our antibody to this treatment modality," said David Allan, Chairman and CEO of YM. "Together with our European development partner, Oncoscience AG, we have identified numerous important tumour targets where we expect nimotuzumab could benefit patients. In particular, nimotuzumab has demonstrated very encouraging results in both children and adults with brain cancer, and we anticipate being able to further demonstrate this benefit in planned pivotal Phase III trials. The drug is also currently undergoing a Phase II monotherapy trial in Europe in patients with advanced metastatic pancreatic cancer."

The NSCLC trial will be initiated in Canada and extended to Korea, where YM partner Kuhnil Pharmaceutical Co. will fund the development of nimotuzumab for this territory. The trial is expected to enroll approximately 100 patients in total and complete recruitment in approximately 20 months with the prospect of a final report before the end of 2007. The endpoint of the Phase II trial is an increase in local tumor control.

"The entire class of EGFr-targeting agents has clearly and clinically demonstrated its ability to enhance the effect of radiation," said Dr. Paul Keane, Director of Medical Affairs at YM. "A randomized trial with nimotuzumab that included 130 patients suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer was recently completed in China and demonstrated the substantial benefit of nimotuzumab when added to standard radiation therapy, resulting in the drug being approved for sale in China. Nimotuzumab has shown clinical benefit as a monotherapy as well and is unique in its class because it has not produced the emotionally and physically debilitating side effects of rash or severe diarrhea suffered by patients treated with the other drugs in this class."

Nimotuzumab is licensed to YM's subsidiary CIMYM Inc. by CIMAB S.A., a corporation representing the Center of Molecular Immunology in Havana. CIMYM's licenses are for the major market countries including Europe, North America and the Pacific Rim countries excluding China. CIMAB has separate licenses in India with Biocon Biopharmaceuticals Limited and the People's Republic of China with Biotech Pharmaceuticals Limited.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in both men and women. The prevalence of lung cancer is second only to that of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 75% of all lung cancers. The standard of care for the treatment of NSCLC is radical therapy utilizing the chemotherapy cisplatin in combination with high dose radiation. Dr. Mark Vincent, staff oncologist at the London Regional Cancer Centre, estimates that the combined population of patients unfit for chemotherapy or unwilling to undergo the treatment because of the often intolerable side effects of chemotherapies may approximate 20% of patients diagnosed with an advanced form of this cancer. In addition, virtually all patients with NSCLC will eventually become refractory to chemotherapy and be treated with radiation as palliative care.

About YM BioSciences

YM BioSciences Inc. is a cancer product development company. Its lead drug, tesmilifene, is a small molecule chemopotentiator currently undergoing a 700-patient pivotal Phase III trial in metastatic and recurrent breast cancer. Published results from tesmilifene's first Phase III trial in the same indication demonstrated a substantial increase in survival for women treated with the combination of tesmilifene and chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone, demonstrating that tesmilifene significantly enhanced the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy.

In addition to tesmilifene, YM BioSciences is developing nimotuzumab, an anti-EGFr humanized monoclonal antibody for which Phase II clinical data were released in 2005 in pediatric glioma and nasopharyngeal cancer, and for which Phase III IND applications have been filed. The Company is also developing an anti-GnRH anti-cancer vaccine, Norelin(TM), for which Phase II data have been released. In May 2005, YM BioSciences acquired DELEX Therapeutics Inc., a private clinical stage biotechnology company developing AeroLEF(TM), a unique inhalation delivered formulation of the established drug, fentanyl, to treat acute pain including cancer pain. This product has completed a Phase IIa trial with positive results and YM proposes to advance AeroLEF(TM) through a Phase IIb pain trial in 2005. The Company also has a broad portfolio of preclinical compounds shown to act as chemopotentiators while protecting normal cells.

Except for historical information, this press release may contain forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current expectation regarding future events. These forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties, which may cause but are not limited to, changing market conditions, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the establishment of corporate alliances, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product development, uncertainties related to the regulatory approval process and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's ongoing quarterly and annual reporting.

Source: YM BioSciences Inc.



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