So one of my friends is leaving our office. He's moving to another floor in the building we're in, where he'll serve as a marketer for the referral firm there. It's a sad time for me, as this is a person I consider a relatively close work friend. His job, essentially, is to find trial firms to take this firm's mesothelioma cases. Knowing that there are many mesothelioma cases that have been tried over the years, I decided to see what exactly it is.
I started by going to the National Cancer Institute. Apparently, mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium (go figure). This of course begs the question, "what is the mesothelium?" Well, the website linked to above covers that, as well. It is a membrane that consists of two parts that surround the organs of the body. Mesothelioma is a disease wherein these cells become cancerous and divide erratically, damaging surrounding organs (this is the condensed version of the answer, the longer answer is much better read at the NCI website).
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure, hence the asbestos cases over the past several years.
I wish my friend well in his new job, but I don't envy the situation of those who partake of his firm's services.