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 »

New Study Sheds Light on Genetic Origins of Malignant Mesothelioma

Scientists in Australia have made a big step forward in understanding how a genetic mutation appears to drive the development of cancers such as malignant mesothelioma. The gene in question is called p53. Also known as the “guardian of the genome” for its tumor-suppressing action, p53 has been found to be mutated in about half of all human cancers, including many cases of mesothelioma. Although the primary external cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, the mutated p53 gene helps explain why some asbestos-exposed cells suddenly become cancerous and are able to grow and spread, unchecked. It may also help scientists develop new, more effective mesothelioma treatments. Right now, the prognosis for mesothelioma is often very poor. The p53 Gene … Continue reading New Study Sheds Light on Genetic Origins of Malignant Mesothelioma »

New Data Suggest a Mesothelioma Blood Test is Possible

A new technology that looks for genetic material from cancer cells in the blood could open the door to the fastest, easiest way yet to diagnose early malignant pleural mesothelioma. The test, which has already shown potential for early detection of lung cancer, was developed by a California-based life sciences company called GRAIL. GRAIL-funded researchers shared the data on the test at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting this summer in Chicago. The results are part of the preliminary data from the company’s ongoing Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas study, a huge study on cancer diagnosis that aims to enroll 15,000 people (70 percent with cancer and 30 percent without) from 141 sites in the US and Canada. “We’re … Continue reading New Data Suggest a Mesothelioma Blood Test is Possible »

Pleural Mesothelioma Risk: Genes and Exposure Both Play a Role

When it comes to the development of malignant pleural mesothelioma, your job and your relatives both appear to play critical roles. A new study in the European Journal of Cancer points to the interplay between environment and genetics in the development of the asbestos cancer. The study shows, once again, just how destructive asbestos can be to human health. Analyzing Mesothelioma Incidence Among Swedes The new research used data from the Swedish Family-Cancer Database, which includes all Swedes born after 1931 and their biological parents – a total of 16.1 million people, including 2.3 million cancer patients. After analyzing the data on all people with pleural mesothelioma, the researchers determined that those who worked around asbestos were more than three … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Risk: Genes and Exposure Both Play a Role »

Telomere Length May Be Key to Earlier Detection of Pleural Mesothelioma

Japanese pathologists have a new theory that may lead to earlier detection and better outcomes for people with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Researchers led by the International University of Health and Welfare in Tokyo say exposure to asbestos appears to shorten the telomeres that protect the ends of DNA strands. The discovery could give doctors another way to diagnose malignant mesothelioma in time to implement more effective treatments. What are Telomeres? Telomeres are the caps on the end of each strand of DNA. According to Telomere Activation Sciences, telomeres function like the plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces. Like those tips, telomeres help protect chromosomes from becoming frayed and damaged. When DNA is damaged, normal cellular processes are disrupted and … Continue reading Telomere Length May Be Key to Earlier Detection of Pleural Mesothelioma »

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Case Highlights Importance of Genetic Testing

The case of a peritoneal mesothelioma patient who was diagnosed at just 45-years-old is drawing attention to the role of genetics in this aggressive asbestos-linked malignancy. Sometimes referred to as “asbestos cancer”, malignant mesothelioma is almost always connected with known exposure to the fibrous mineral—often in a work environment. But even though most mesothelioma cases can be traced back to asbestos, not all asbestos-exposed people go on to develop malignant mesothelioma. Because of this, scientists began to believe that, in mesothelioma as in so many other types of cancer, there were likely other factors at play. Early Mesothelioma, Genes, and Asbestos Exposure In most cases, mesothelioma takes decades to develop, meaning that most patients are not diagnosed with mesothelioma until they … Continue reading Peritoneal Mesothelioma Case Highlights Importance of Genetic Testing »

BAP1 Not the Only Genetic Risk Factor for Mesothelioma

A new study suggests that the BAP1 gene, which has been linked to several kinds of cancer including malignant mesothelioma, may not be the only genetic risk factor for the asbestos cancer. Mesothelioma, a fast-growing membrane cancer, typically only occurs in people who have a history of asbestos exposure. But scientists have long wondered why some asbestos-exposed people go on to develop pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma while others don’t. Extensive mesothelioma research, much of it focused on a mesothelioma “epidemic” among extended families in a particular region in Turkey, discovered that many family members who contracted mesothelioma shared a mutation on the BAP1 gene. This genetic anomaly has also been associated with an increased risk for uveal melanoma, renal cell carcinoma … Continue reading BAP1 Not the Only Genetic Risk Factor for Mesothelioma »

Mini-Tumors May Help Doctors Develop Personalized Mesothelioma Treatments

Doctors at Wake Forest University are using miniature lab-grown three dimensional tumors to test personalized mesothelioma treatments. The mini-tumors are known as organoids and are grown from biopsy tissue taken from patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. Researchers say they can serve as models to try out new mesothelioma therapies before using them on patients. “There is a need for model systems to help predict personalized responses to chemotherapeutics,” writes lead investigator Andrea R. Massocchi with the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “We have microengineered 3D tumor organoids directly from fresh tumor biopsies to provide patient-specific models with which treatment optimization can be performed before initiation of therapy.” Personalized Medicine and Malignant Mesothelioma Precision medicine in an up-and-coming area of medicine … Continue reading Mini-Tumors May Help Doctors Develop Personalized Mesothelioma Treatments »

BAP1 May Not Be The Only Gene to Increase Mesothelioma RIsk

The question of why some asbestos-exposed people develop malignant mesothelioma and others do not has been a key focus of mesothelioma research for more than a decade. We now know that a mutation in the BAP1 gene can predispose certain people to several types of cancer, including mesothelioma. This is known as BAP1 cancer syndrome. Without the BAP1 tumor-suppressing protein to keep it at bay, malignant mesothelioma is more likely to occur. But a new study suggests that BAP1 is not the only genetic mutation that can make people more susceptible to the toxic effects of asbestos. Researchers with several top Italian universities have identified ten different genetic variants that may play a role in the development of pleural or … Continue reading BAP1 May Not Be The Only Gene to Increase Mesothelioma RIsk »

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