New Enzyme Study Highlights a Potential New Mesothelioma Treatment

New Enzyme Study Highlights a Potential New Mesothelioma Treatment

Maryland researchers say an enzyme in mesothelioma tissues could be key to fighting this deadly cancer. Doctors at the University of Maryland say the enzyme, called Transglutaminase 2 (TG2), plays an important role in the inhibition of RNA synthesis which, in turn, can influence the development and spread of malignant mesothelioma. A New Target for Mesothelioma Therapy? Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lung linings that develops in response to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma patients have a limited life expectancy. Chemotherapy with or without surgical resection is the standard of care. This poor clinical experience speaks to the need for new treatment strategies. Current mesothelioma treatments do not target cancer stem‐like (MCS) cells. MCS cells are a small part of aggressive … Continue reading New Enzyme Study Highlights a Potential New Mesothelioma Treatment »

MicroRNAs in Cancer Development and Mesothelioma Personalized Medicine

MicroRNAs in Cancer Development and Mesothelioma Personalized Medicine

A special issue was published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine. Dr. Alessandra Pulliero from the University of Genoa in Italy talks about microRNA. Specifically, the role of microRNA in cancer development and personalized medicine. A microRNA (miRNA) is a small part of an RNA molecule. MiRNAs play a key role in the regulation of gene expression in cells, including mesothelioma cells. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer often caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos also causes a progressive lung disease called asbestosis. Environmental exposure to asbestos often causes a higher incidence of malignant mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is characterized by poor prognosis and short survival. Personalized Medicine and Mesothelioma Scientists now know that the role of miRNAs changes once they … Continue reading MicroRNAs in Cancer Development and Mesothelioma Personalized Medicine »

Precision Medicine Treatment: Gene-Targeting Mesothelioma

Precision Medicine Treatment: Gene-Targeting Mesothelioma

A new precision medicine treatment for mesothelioma comes from scientists in Italy. This form of mesothelioma occurs after asbestos exposure in people with a genetic mutation. The mutation is represented by patients with an inherited cancer syndrome. These patients typically have an even worse prognosis than other mesothelioma patients. But the Italian team came up with a way to target the mutated gene. This form of treatment is called precision medicine. Precision medicine treatment looks at the genetics of a patient to select a treatment that will work best for them. Discovery of a DNA Gene Mutation Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most aggressive kinds … Continue reading Precision Medicine Treatment: Gene-Targeting Mesothelioma »

Genetic Mesothelioma Risk May Lead to Shorter Latency

genetic mesothelioma risk

A particular genetic risk for mesothelioma may be behind the few cases where cancer develops just a few years after asbestos exposure. That is the word from researchers at Australia’s Flinders University and the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute.  Latency is the time it takes after exposure to a cancer-causing agent for signs of cancer to show up. Malignant mesothelioma has one of the longest latency periods of any cancer. In most cases, it takes about 40 years for mesothelioma to develop. As a result, mesothelioma is rare in people under 65. But, in rare cases, mesothelioma develops earlier in life. These cases have sometimes been dismissed as being unrelated to asbestos. But in a new journal article, mesothelioma experts from … Continue reading Genetic Mesothelioma Risk May Lead to Shorter Latency »

New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression

CAR-T Cell Therapy

A new cancer treatment based on CAR-T cell therapy may have found a way to undermine a key protective mechanism in mesothelioma tumors. The treatment is called UCARTMESO. It is being developed by a French biopharmaceutical company called Cellectis. UCARTMESO targets cells that overexpress the protein mesothelin. It undermines some key genes in these cells preventing them from sending immune suppressive signals.  Immune suppressive elements in the area surrounding mesothelioma tumors have historically kept CAR-T cell therapy from working as well as it does for some other types of cancer.  But the developers of UCARTMESO say their approach may finally make CAR-T cell therapy a viable option for patients fighting asbestos cancer.  They presented their findings at the Society for … Continue reading New CAR-T Cell Therapy for Mesothelioma Circumvents Immune Suppression »

Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Shines in Most Recent Mesothelioma Trial

immunotherapy drug durvalumab

Another new study confirms what Johns Hopkins researchers have been banking on – that the immunotherapy drug durvalumab can make chemotherapy more effective for mesothelioma patients.  Durvalumab (IMFINZI) is an immune checkpoint inhibitor. It works by blocking the action of PD-1, a protein that mesothelioma cells use to protect themselves.  Researchers theorized that deactivating PD-1 with the immunotherapy drug durvalumab might make mesothelioma tumors more responsive to chemotherapy. The latest study results, published in Nature Medicine, suggest that they were right.  The findings could have implications for people around the world with inoperable malignant mesothelioma. How the Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Helps Fight Mesothelioma Durvalumab is one of several immune checkpoint inhibitors showing promise for mesothelioma in recent years. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) … Continue reading Immunotherapy Drug Durvalumab Shines in Most Recent Mesothelioma Trial »

Researchers Discover How Three Enzymes Influence Mesothelioma Risk

mesothelioma risk

University of Hawaii scientists have just released new research that helps explain how three enzymes may work together to determine mesothelioma risk. Most people who contract malignant mesothelioma have a history of asbestos exposure. But scientists still are not sure exactly why some people are at higher risk than others.  Researcher Michele Carbone and his team at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center have spent years trying to understand the underlying mechanism of mesothelioma risk. Their new report is a big step forward. It shows how three molecules interact to determine a person’s risk profile. It also demonstrates how something as simple as aspirin might be used to modify that risk.  Three Molecules That Influence Mesothelioma Risk BAP1 is a … Continue reading Researchers Discover How Three Enzymes Influence Mesothelioma Risk »

BAP1 Not the Only Gene to Raise Mesothelioma Risk

raise mesothelioma risk

A new study is further evidence that a mutation on the BAP1 gene is not the only genetic anomaly to raise mesothelioma risk. Scientists at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center along with a team of international researchers recently published a study of 13 malignant mesothelioma patients. All of these patients had close relatives who also had cancer. This suggested that something in their genetic makeup might raise mesothelioma risk.  Previous research suggests one gene that makes people more susceptible to mesothelioma is BAP1. People with a mutation on this gene are more likely to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. They are also more susceptible to several other conditions.  But the people in the new study were chosen because none of them … Continue reading BAP1 Not the Only Gene to Raise Mesothelioma Risk »

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination

immunotherapy combination

An immunotherapy combination of tremelimumab and durvalumab has resulted in long-term survival for some mesothelioma patients in a new follow-up Italian study.  Tremelimumab and durvalumab (Imfinzi) received orphan drug designation from the FDA last year for liver cancer. Now, it looks like this immunotherapy combination could help some people with the rare asbestos cancer, too.  Mesothelioma patients who had the best results in the new study were those with a high number of mutated genes. Mesothelioma is often fatal within a year. But the longest-living patient in the study survived for more than 41 months.  Immunotherapy Combination Blocks Key Proteins White blood cells have the power to help combat mesothelioma. But a protein called CTLA-4 can block that ability. Tremelimumab … Continue reading Long-Term Mesothelioma Survival With Immunotherapy Combination »

Genetic Links to Mesothelioma Illustrated in New Interactive Model

genetic links to mesothelioma

An interactive model of protein interactions could reveal new genetic links to mesothelioma and even lead to new treatments.  The model is the brainchild of researchers in the US and India. It is a map of the thousands of protein-to-protein interactions that govern how mesothelioma cells develop, thrive, and spread.  Understanding the genetic links to mesothelioma is key to understanding who gets the disease and who does not. It is also crucial for developing new therapies aimed at manipulating the way mesothelioma cells use certain proteins.  Proteins Govern Cellular Functions Mesothelioma is a cancer of the membranes around organs. Asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma worldwide. But only a small percentage of people who are exposed to asbestos go … Continue reading Genetic Links to Mesothelioma Illustrated in New Interactive Model »

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