A Game-Changer in Mesothelioma Therapy: Targeting YB-1 Protein

A Game-Changer in Mesothelioma Therapy: Targeting YB-1 Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a unique YB-1 protein. It can make chemotherapy more effective at treating mesothelioma.

Combating Mesothelioma with Precision

Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer, especially when it affects the lining around our lungs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos. Finding effective treatments has been a challenge, but recent research has brought a ray of hope. Scientists have been studying a particular protein called Y-box-binding protein 1 (YB-1). It plays a vital role in the growth and movement of mesothelioma cells.

When treating mesothelioma, one of the main approaches is chemotherapy. This powerful treatment uses drugs to target and kill cancer cells. The only FDA-approved chemotherapy drug combination is pemetrexed with cisplatin. Sometimes, chemotherapy is combined with radiation therapy. This uses high-energy rays to target and destroy cancer cells.

Enhancing Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma with YB-1 Protein

The researchers in this new study wanted to see if they could target YB-1. This could slow down the growth of mesothelioma cells and make them more responsive to treatment. They used a special technique called small interfering RNA (siRNA) to turn off the YB-1 gene. When they did this, they noticed a significant reduction in the growth of mesothelioma cells.

Next, they tried a drug called Entinostat. This drug works by interrupting the repair of YB-1. When they used Entinostat, they saw a similar effect as with the siRNA – it slowed down the growth of mesothelioma cells.

The researchers also wanted to see if these findings could hold in a real-life scenario, so they tested their approaches on mice with mesothelioma cells. The results were promising – the siRNA and Entinostat treatments slowed tumor growth.

When the researchers combined either the siRNA or Entinostat with cisplatin and radiation, they saw a big increase in effectiveness. This means that targeting YB-1 slows the cancer on its own and makes the usual treatments like cisplatin and radiation work even better.

This study brings us closer to a more effective way of treating mesothelioma. By focusing on the YB-1 protein, researchers have uncovered a promising avenue for improving the outcomes of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.


Schelch K, Emminger D, Zitta B, et al. Targeting YB-1 via entinostat enhances cisplatin sensitivity of pleural mesothelioma in vitro and in vivo [published online ahead of print, 2023 Sep 18]. Cancer Lett. 2023;574:216395. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2023.216395. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304383523003464

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