Pleural effusions are a common sign or symptom of pleural mesothelioma. Pleural effusions or pleural fluid is where fluid collects in the space around the lungs. This restricts breathing and can cause pain and other adverse symptoms. Until very recently, it was believed that malignant pleural mesothelioma was an untreatable disease. The average life expectancy following diagnosis is just over a year, with some people surviving three years or more. Some cases do however respond to aggressive treatment such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy and extensive surgery. There is always research taking place in the area of mesothelioma. Scientists are always looking for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. Despite the progress that has been made, much remains to be learned about the best way to treat it. A study published in the journal Respirology, carried out by scientists at the University of Western Australia, has uncovered some surprising results. Scientists at the university applied samples of pleural fluid from people with mesothelioma to cells from multiple mesothelioma cell lines in the lab. It seems that the pleural fluid gathered on the lungs may in fact help protect mesothelioma tumours from chemotherapy. The fluid may help mesothelioma tumours grow, spread and resist treatment, by offering them a protected environment. These findings may have a significant impact on mesothelioma research and treatment going forwards. What should I do if I receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma? If you or a relative receives a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you should get in touch with us to discuss the possibility of making a claim for compensation. We will always provide an initial interview, free of charge, without any obligation to take matters further. We are also able to assist in making applications for benefits.