Australian scientists have made a breakthrough after a treatment developed at the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute has shown remarkable results in tests on mice with malignant mesothelioma taken from humans. Mesothelioma, a type of cancer, is caused by past exposure to asbestos. Currently, there is no cure for the deadly cancer which can develop 20 to 40 years after the asbestos exposure and sufferers rarely survive longer than 18 months after diagnosis. Speaking at the announcement of the trial in Sydney on Wednesday, Institute Director Professor Nico Van Zandwijk said "treatment options for this asbestos-related cancer are very limited and effective new therapies are urgently needed". Although Professor Van Zandwijk did not want to raise false hope, he said he is "cautiously optimistic the treatment will work". Also speaking at the launch, Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said that "this will allow further research into the most promising treatment for mesothelioma yet discovered. It means that we might have a cure in a few years". First stage trials to test the TargomiRs treatment on humans are expected to commence at the end of 2013. If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease, we invite you to contact our office on 9321 9988. At Adviceline Injury Lawyers, we can provide immediate legal advice regarding your compensation entitlements for your asbestos disease.