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 »

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? »

Gene Targeting Slows Aggressive Form of Pleural Mesothelioma

Aggressive Form of Pleural Mesothelioma

Scientists in Vienna are developing a new treatment for a particularly aggressive form of pleural mesothelioma.  This form of mesothelioma occurs in people with a genetic mutation. The mutation produces signals that fuel tumor growth. These patients typically have an even worse prognosis than other mesothelioma patients.  But the Austrian team came up with a way to block activation of the mutated gene. If the gene does not send its signal, this aggressive form of pleural mesothelioma may grow more slowly.  Aggression Fueled by Telomerase Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most aggressive kinds of cancer. It starts on the membranes around organs and can quickly spread to other parts of the body. By the time most people notice symptoms, … Continue reading Gene Targeting Slows Aggressive Form of Pleural Mesothelioma »

BAP1 Expression Not an Independent Factor in Mesothelioma Prognosis

BAP1 Expression and Mesothelioma Prognosis

A new report says the prognostic role of BAP1 expression in mesothelioma is not as cut-and-dried as some studies suggest. Italian researchers analyzed the cases of 698 patients with pleural mesothelioma. The group included 60 of their own patients and another 638 from other studies. Their analysis suggests that mesothelioma prognosis has more to do with subtype than with genetic BAP1 expression. They caution doctors not to put too much stock in a patient’s BAP1 status without also considering other factors. Genetic Alterations and Mesothelioma Survival Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. But not everyone who is exposed to asbestos gets cancer. This may have to do with their genetic makeup. Certain genetic alterations may make a person … Continue reading BAP1 Expression Not an Independent Factor in Mesothelioma Prognosis »

CRISPR Gene Editing Technique and the Future of Mesothelioma Treatment

CRISPR gene editing tehcnique

The powerful CRISPR gene editing technique might have a role to play in the future of mesothelioma treatment. CRISPR is a method for altering certain genes to help fight disease. This week, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania released data from the first study of CRISPR in US cancer patients.  It was only a safety study, but the results are promising. They could have wide-ranging implications for patients fighting aggressive cancers like malignant mesothelioma.  Modifying Genes To Help Fight Cancer The CRISPR gene editing technique is a simplified version of the method bacteria cells use to defend themselves against viruses. This antiviral defense system is called CRISPR-Cas9. The new Penn Medicine study involved just three cancer patients. Two of the … Continue reading CRISPR Gene Editing Technique and the Future of Mesothelioma Treatment »

Spotting the BAP1 Gene Mutation in Mesothelioma Patients

BAP1 gene mutation

New guidelines may make it easier to tell which mesothelioma patients contracted the disease because of a BAP1 gene mutation. The knowledge could have an impact on mesothelioma treatment planning. BAP1 stands for BRCA associated protein-1. People who have an inherited BAP1 gene mutation face a higher risk for several conditions, including malignant mesothelioma.  Very few mesothelioma patients have the mutation and gene testing is not routine. So researchers at a top US cancer center have developed a set of screening criteria. The criteria may help predict which mesothelioma patients could benefit from genetic testing. Testing for the Altered Gene Mesothelioma is just one of the conditions associated with the inherited BAP1 gene mutation. People with this condition are also … Continue reading Spotting the BAP1 Gene Mutation in Mesothelioma Patients »

Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Produces “Substantial Treatment Response”

palliative radiotherapy for mesothelioma

Doctors in Pennsylvania may have found a way to boost the effectiveness of palliative radiotherapy for pleural mesothelioma. Palliative radiotherapy is used to help with mesothelioma symptoms. It uses lower doses of radiation. Doctors do not expect to treat mesothelioma with palliative radiotherapy. But researchers at the University of Pennsylvania think it could also be a treatment. They combined palliative radiotherapy with a special kind of gene therapy. The gene therapy affects the immune system. They say the combination produced a “substantial treatment response” in a man with mesothelioma. Immuno-gene Therapy and Palliative Radiotherapy Immuno-gene therapy uses genes to stimulate the immune system against cancer. In the new Pennsylvania case study, a 67-year-old man with mesothelioma received immuno-gene therapy. Doctors … Continue reading Palliative Radiotherapy for Mesothelioma Produces “Substantial Treatment Response” »

Study Highlights How Genes Impact Mesothelioma Survival

Genes impact mesothelioma survival

A new National Cancer Institute study shines a light on some of the ways genes impact mesothelioma survival. It could have important implications for mesothelioma treatment. The study was led by prominent mesothelioma researcher Raffit Hassan, MD. It focused on genetic mutations that may make certain mesothelioma patients more sensitive to chemotherapy. Genes, Genotype, and Mesothelioma Treatment A mesothelioma patient’s unique collection of genes, including genetic mutations, is known as their genotype. Genes impact mesothelioma survival in a variety of ways. Tumor suppressor genes are supposed to help keep tumors from forming. People with mutations on these genes may be more likely to get malignant mesothelioma. Other genes influence the cancer’s ability to “hide” from detection by the immune system. … Continue reading Study Highlights How Genes Impact Mesothelioma Survival »

MIT Study Could Open Door for Inhalable Mesothelioma Treatment

inhalable mesothelioma treatment tested on lab mice

New lung cancer research might help pave the way for an inhalable mesothelioma treatment. MIT cancer researchers teamed up with chemical engineers to test a new method for delivering genetic instructions to lung cells. Mice that inhaled a formula designed to “tell” their lung cells to produce more of a certain protein did exactly that. The team says it’s proof that this could be a viable method for treating cancer in the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related cancer caused by inhaled asbestos. How Would an Inhalable Mesothelioma Treatment Work? The study was led by scientists at MIT’s Koch Center for Integrative Cancer Research. It is based on two things scientists already know about cancer treatment. One is that inhalation … Continue reading MIT Study Could Open Door for Inhalable Mesothelioma Treatment »

Genetics-Based Cancer Treatment Could Mean New Hope for Mesothelioma

genetic-based cancer treatment for targeted mesothelioma therapy

The FDA has approved a new genetics-based cancer treatment that could open the door for more targeted mesothelioma therapy. The drug is called larotrectinib. The drug company Bayer sells it under the brand name Vitrakvi. Larotrectinib is unique because it is not specific to any one type of cancer. Instead, larotrectinib is based on a patient’s genetic biomarkers. It is the first drug of its kind to gain approval by the FDA. What is a Genetics-Based Cancer Treatment? A genetics-based cancer treatment is a drug that targets certain genetic mutations. Doctors find these mutations by testing for biomarkers. One mutation could cause breast cancer, colon cancer, or even pleural mesothelioma. Some kinds of mutations are connected to only one type … Continue reading Genetics-Based Cancer Treatment Could Mean New Hope for Mesothelioma »

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