Australian Doctors Use Bacteria to Shrink Mesothelioma Tumors

Could bacteria responsible for problems ranging from sinusitis to food poisoning be used as a weapon in the fight against malignant mesothelioma? The results of a new study conducted by mesothelioma researchers at the University of Western Australia suggest that it might. The researchers focused their study on a compound made up of proteins produced by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, also called ‘Staph’ bacteria. The compound has been used clinically to induce pleurodesis, a closing up of the pleural space around the lungs that can become fluid-filled in people with mesothelioma. Based on its success in pleurodesis, the Australian team wondered if the S. aureus protein compound could also shrink tumors. Scientists in the University’s Centre for Asthma, Allergy and … Continue reading Australian Doctors Use Bacteria to Shrink Mesothelioma Tumors »

Mesothelioma Vaccine Enters Phase 2 Testing

The makers of a new cancer vaccine say they have enrolled the first mesothelioma patients in a study that will combine their drug with chemotherapy against this virulent cancer. The drug, currently known as CRS-207, is manufactured by Aduro Bio Tech, Inc. According to a company press release, CRS-207 is based on an attenuated (made less potent) version of Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria found in soil and water than can cause the food borne illness, Listeriosis. To make CRS-207, scientists at Aduro genetically modified the Listeria monocytogenes in order to produce a powerful immune response against cells that produce mesothelin. Mesothelin is a tumor-associated antigen produced by several types of cancer cells, including mesothelioma cells. Because it works in conjunction with the body’s … Continue reading Mesothelioma Vaccine Enters Phase 2 Testing »

Mesothelioma Vaccine Jump Starts Immunity

Scientists studying a vaccine for mesothelioma have published some of their most important preliminary data in the respected medical journal Lung Cancer. Mesothelioma, a cancer of the organ linings caused by asbestos exposure, is highly resistant to conventional treatments.  Not only does it grow quickly, but its shape makes detection and removal difficult. Unlike some other types of solid tumors which may grow in a mass, mesothelioma tumors tend to spread out in a sheet-like formation across membranes. The UK scientists have been experimenting with a new method for targeting and destroying mesothelioma tumors, regardless of their shape. 5T4 is an antigen overexpressed by several kinds of cancer cells. The researchers tested for 5T4 in mesothelioma cells taken from 11 lab-grown cell … Continue reading Mesothelioma Vaccine Jump Starts Immunity »

Future Mesothelioma Treatment

A combination of immunotherapy and traditional  may be more effective than either treatment alone against mesothelioma, according to a recent analysis published in the journal, Tissue Antigens. Mesothelioma is one of the most difficult cancers to treat, and the prognosis is often poor. Surgery and chemotherapy are the standard mesothelioma treatments, but even with these therapies many patients do not live more than a year after their diagnosis. A newer treatment option is immunotherapy, which enhances the immune system response to help the body attack cancer cells. Because mesothelioma engages the immune system, immunotherapy would appear to be a promising treatment strategy for this cancer. However, studies conducted so far on immunotherapy for mesothelioma have yielded disappointing results. Combining immunotherapy … Continue reading Future Mesothelioma Treatment »

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