Gene Editing Technology May Hold the Key to Curing Mesothelioma

gene editing technology

New research on gene editing technology for cancer suggests that it could be the key to one day curing intractable cancers like malignant mesothelioma. Researchers at Tel Aviv University have used a technology called CRISPR to dramatically extend the lives of mice with some of the most serious kinds of cancer.  Gene editing technology alters the genes of cancer cells so they cannot replicate. The Israeli team found a way to make it target cancer cells.   It could be the breakthrough that many mesothelioma doctors have been hoping for.  Genes and Mesothelioma The genetic material inside a person’s cells determines how those cells will behave. Genes encode for proteins which give signals to cells. Gene editing technology aims to change … Continue reading Gene Editing Technology May Hold the Key to Curing Mesothelioma »

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma in New Phase I Trial

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York are about to try a new kind of CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma in human patients.  This is the first Phase I trial of the new CAR T-cell approach. The therapy involves removing some of a patient’s T-cells, modifying them, and giving them back to fight cancer.  The new CAR T-cell therapy for mesothelioma involves cells that have been modified in new ways. They still seek out cancer cells. But these CAR T-cells are made to last longer and to undermine a primary mesothelioma cell defense mechanism. The FDA approved the study in September. Memorial Sloan Kettering is recruiting mesothelioma patients for it now.  T-Cells That Target Mesothelioma Cells CART T-cell therapy … Continue reading CAR T-Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma in New Phase I Trial »

T-Cells Test May Predict Success of New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma

new drug combination for mesothelioma

A month after the FDA approved a new drug combination for pleural mesothelioma, scientists are discovering more about who might benefit the most from this treatment.  A new report in EBioMedicine suggests that the success of the new drug combination for mesothelioma depends on the presence and activation of special immune system cells. Researchers in the Netherlands found that patients with enough of the right kind of T-cells had the best results. The findings could help doctors screen out mesothelioma patients who are less likely to benefit.  The Long-Awaited New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma  The two medicines in the new drug combination for mesothelioma are nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy).  The FDA approved a mix of the two immunotherapy drugs … Continue reading T-Cells Test May Predict Success of New Drug Combination for Mesothelioma »

Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma

Nivolumab and Chemotherapy

Researchers in Germany are recruiting patients for a trial of nivolumab and chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma patients who have had surgery. Nivolumab (Opdivo) is an immunotherapy drug similar to pembrolizumab (Keytruda). It blocks a protein that helps mesothelioma cells hide from the immune system. Nivolumab is most often used for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The multicenter German study will test if a combination of nivolumab and chemotherapy can help keep tumors from growing back after mesothelioma surgery. Previous studies suggest that it has the potential to do so. How Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Work Immune checkpoint inhibitors like nivolumab, pembrolizumab, and ipilimumab (Yervoy) are a major focus for mesothelioma researchers. Mesothelioma cells are notoriously tenacious. They often fail to … Continue reading Study to Test Nivolumab and Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma »

Vitamin D3 May Slow the Spread of Pleural Mesothelioma, Study Shows

Vitamin D

A study conducted in Italy suggests that Vitamin D3 might help keep mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading. The biologically active form of Vitamin D is calcitriol or D3. Other studies suggest it might have anticancer properties. But no one has studied its effect on mesothelioma cells until now.  The researchers applied Vitamin D3 to pleural mesothelioma cells in the lab. Not only did it weaken the cells, but it also blocked their ability to divide into new cells. The study suggests that Vitamin D may even boost the effectiveness of mesothelioma chemotherapy. The Cancer-Fighting Role of Calcitriol The body naturally produces calcitriol. It plays a role in regulating the cell cycle, including apoptosis or natural cell death. Vitamin D3 … Continue reading Vitamin D3 May Slow the Spread of Pleural Mesothelioma, Study Shows »

High-Dose Vitamin C and a Fast-Like Diet Might Help Fight Mesothelioma

Vitamin C

A combination of a low-calorie, plant-based diet and high levels of Vitamin C might offer a new and less-toxic way to combat malignant mesothelioma. A report published in the journal Nature Communications says the combination delayed tumor progression in mouse models of colorectal cancer. In some mice, it even caused their tumors to shrink. The most-affected tumors had a genetic mutation found in about a quarter of human cancers, including some cases of mesothelioma. Mutations in the KRAS gene help mesothelioma resist standard cancer treatments.  The study indicates that adding Vitamin C to a diet that mimics fasting might help doctors get around this mesothelioma defence mechanism.  The Anti-Cancer Effects of Ascorbic Acid Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic … Continue reading High-Dose Vitamin C and a Fast-Like Diet Might Help Fight Mesothelioma »

Leukemia Drug for Mesothelioma? Lab Tests Show It’s Possible

leukemia drug

New data suggests that doctors might have good luck using a leukemia drug to treat pleural mesothelioma. The drug in question is ponatinib. It sells under the brand name Iclusig. Ponatinib is a pill that inhibits certain enzymes that may lead to mesothelioma tumor growth.  A study carried out at the University of California showed that the leukemia drug kept mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading in the lab. It could give doctors a new treatment option for patients who do not respond to standard therapies.  How the Leukemia Drug Works Ponatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Tyrosine kinases are enzymes that interact with certain proteins inside cells. Tyrosine kinases act as on/off switches for many cellular functions.  In some … Continue reading Leukemia Drug for Mesothelioma? Lab Tests Show It’s Possible »

Could This Protein Play a Role in Survival of Pleural Mesothelioma?

survival of pleural mesothelioma

Research funded by the National Cancer Institute has identified a protein that might play a key role in survival of pleural mesothelioma.  The protein is called UHRF1. It is encoded by a gene of the same name. Researchers believe it may be a driver of growth and spread in malignant mesothelioma.  The research will have to be confirmed on a larger scale. But if it turns out to be true, it could give doctors a new way to extend survival of pleural mesothelioma.  Finding Drivers of Mesothelioma Growth Pleural mesothelioma is a membrane (mesothelium) cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Although some people do survive mesothelioma, it is rare. Average survival of pleural mesothelioma is right around 18 months.  It can … Continue reading Could This Protein Play a Role in Survival of Pleural Mesothelioma? »

Multimodal Mesothelioma Treatment Doubles Survival in Mexican Study

multimodal mesothelioma treatment

Researchers at Mexico’s National Cancer Institute say multimodal mesothelioma treatment with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation can slow tumor growth and improve survival. Their new study of patients with advanced pleural mesothelioma produced a median survival of nearly two years. That is almost twice as long as average for pleural mesothelioma.  The researchers say the key is a multimodal mesothelioma treatment approach that attacks tumors from three different angles. Chemotherapy Alone is Rarely Enough Chemotherapy is still the main treatment for most patients with pleural mesothelioma. The FDA approved pemetrexed (Alimta) in 2004. Until the recent approval of a combination of Opdivo and Yervoy, Alimta was the only drug for mesothelioma. It is still the main component in mesothelioma chemotherapy. But … Continue reading Multimodal Mesothelioma Treatment Doubles Survival in Mexican Study »

Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds

asbestos causes mesothelioma

Some of the world’s top mesothelioma experts believe they now have a better understanding of how asbestos causes mesothelioma. The finding could help lead to more effective ways of treating it.  Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure. Once symptoms develop, many patients do not live beyond a year.  Scientists have known since the early 1900s that asbestos causes mesothelioma. But they are still trying to figure out exactly how. A new international study led by the University of Hawaii may help answer the question. Membrane Cells Under Attack Mesothelioma is a cancer of a mesothelial membrane. The most common mesothelial membrane where mesothelioma occurs is the pleura. The pleura is a … Continue reading Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds »

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