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Non-smokers with lung cancer fare better
HOUSTON, April 24 (UPI) -- Lung-cancer patients who never smoked have better survival rates and respond better to chemotherapy than current or former smokers, says a U.S. study.
Dr. Anne S. Tsao, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, reviewed the medical records of 1,370 patients with non-small cell lung cancer who were treated with chemotherapy or chemo-radiation to determine an association between smoking and treatment response and survival.
The researchers found that patients who never smoked had a better response to the chemotherapy; developed less disease progression during therapy; and showed improved survival over former and current smokers.
They say the finding may be due to non-smokers having less genetic damage compared to smokers, being less likely to have other ailments that would affect survival and having better preserved lung function.
"Continued efforts at preventing smoking initiation are a critical public health issue and emphasize the need for chemoprevention for smokers and primary-prevention protocols to prevent smoking," the authors write in the June 1 issue of Cancer.
Longmont seeks federal funds for sugar factory cleanup
Longmont officials are seeking $3.5 million in federal money to assess and clean up the sugar mill. Officials want to turn the site into a transit-oriented village served by RTD passenger rail.
By Trevor Hughes
For the Reporter-Herald
4/29/2006 - LONGMONT The Great Western sugar factory on Longmonts eastern edge, long eyed as a transit village that would help spark a train-based renaissance in the city, is contaminated with asbestos, PCBs and other chemicals and may cost $3.5 million to clean up. Thats money neither Longmont, the private owner of the land nor the Regional Transportation District has or is willing to spend, so city leaders are asking federal taxpayers to pick up the tab.
In letters being sent to Colorados congressional delegation, Longmonts leaders are asking the federal government to give them the estimated $3.5 million they think it will cost to assess and clean up the sugar plant just north of Colorado 119.
That money could come from sources such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
According to the citys request, contaminants range from asbestos insulation to PCBs to 300 barrels of liquid byproduct from sugar manufacture.
The specific kinds and amounts of contaminants would be investigated with the federal money, and then removed or rendered safe if the city received funding.
The property for which we are asking assistance is the historic former home of the Great Western sugar factory, currently up for sale and ripe for development, Mayor Julia Pirnack wrote in letters to the states congressional delegation.
However, largely due to high contaminant mitigation costs, this property has sat for over 20 years, gradually deteriorating. It is essential that we can assist the private sector to achieve the full beneficial use of this property for many reasons.
Longmont hopes to use the sugar factory to anchor passenger rail service to Denver through Boulder. Some boosters also hope to eventually extend the service north to Fort Collins or Greeley.
Current supporters, including Pirnack, hope to see the sugar factory transformed into a comprehensive development complete with apartments, shops, offices and perhaps even a permanent campus for Front Range Community College.
All that will cost millions of dollars, both to acquire and assemble the property necessary, and to prepare it for redevelopment.
The city has previously applied for federal brownfields funding, which can be loans or grants given to redevelop a contaminated property, as opposed to bulldozing an untouched green field.
Redeveloping and reusing existing properties is generally considered a good way to avoid contributing to sprawl, according to urban planners.
City officials said the previous application for brownfields funding for the sugar mill site was rejected because the primary contaminant at the factory is asbestos.
However, in letters to Sens. Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar, Pirnack noted the presence of PCBs, now-banned chemicals commonly used as coolants in electrical equipment.
The city has asked that Salazar and Allard, along with U.S. Reps. Marilyn Musgrave and Mark Udall, seek a federal appropriation to pay for the cleanup.
The Seniors Coalition Pledges Support for Asbestos Reform Bill; New Effort to Provide Relief to Critically Sick Asbestos Patients
To: National Desk
Contact: Vicki Govro, 703-631-4211, for the Seniors Coalition
WASHINGTON, May 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Seniors Coalition (TSC) announced its strong support for S.3274, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2006 (The "FAIR Act") introduced by Sens. Specter and Leahy on May 26. The amended FAIR Act addresses some issues of concern raised by Senate critics related to access to the fund by World Trade Center attack and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims who were exposed to asbestos.
"We are hopeful these amendments will be sufficient to overcome the exploitative opposition of the greedy trial lawyer lobby and corrupt physicians who have wanted to stop desperately needed Tort Reform legislation that will break the log-jam in our Courts that have prevented truly sick asbestos patients from receiving justified compensation," explained TSC Chairman Mary Martin. "We will mobilize our membership to assist in the passage of this landmark legislation, and we are grateful to Senators Specter and Leahy for their continued efforts to pass this desperately needed legislative relief to critically sick asbestos patients."
The following letter was sent to Sens. Specter and Leahy:
May 30, 2006
Chairman Arlen Specter
The Honorable Patrick Leahy
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
SD-224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-6275
Chairman Specter and Senator Leahy:
The Seniors Coalition (TSC) welcomes the introduction of S.3274, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2006 (the "FAIR Act"). The interests of the thousands of sick and dying patients, many of whom are seniors, afflicted with asbestos-related disease make for a compelling case for immediate Senate action.
While we have been disappointed with the barriers that have existed to passage of the earlier version of this landmark legislation, we recognize that concerns expressed by some Senators have been reasonably addressed in the amended version of the FAIR Act. New hope now exists for those who have been disadvantaged by a "broken" tort system that has prevented the truly sick asbestos patients from accessing justified compensation as soon as possible.
The time has come for the Senate to turn a deaf ear to the self-serving delay tactics of the trial lawyer lobby and blatantly crooked doctors who have abused this issue for so long. We salute your collective and continuing commitment to the passage of a comprehensive asbestos litigation reform bill that will bring closure to this issue.
It is our hope that opponents of this bill in the Senate will not use the tactics that thwarted the earlier effort to bring desperately needed relief for asbestos victims. We pledge our support for this bill and our intention to bring to the constituents' attention the actions of any Senator who attempts to delay its passage.
We look forward to working closely with you and your colleagues in the swift passage of this critically needed legislation.
Mary M. Martin