A team of researchers are looking for ways to see if they could slow down the growth of mesothelioma cells. They tested two drugs called auranofin and palbociclib to stop mesothelioma from spreading in a patient’s body.
The team is from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and the University of Minnesota.
Advancing Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Most cases of mesothelioma are pleural (about 2,000 cases a year in the U.S.) and peritoneal (less than 1,000 cases a year in the U.S.). Pleural mesothelioma is found in the lungs while peritoneal mesothelioma is found in the abdominal cavity.
The usual treatment involves a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Immunotherapy is also a type of treatment that is being used more often.
For many patients, mesothelioma is hard to treat, and the outlook is not good. Mesothelioma is hard to diagnose and takes a long time to show symptoms. This means that it can spread to dangerous levels before a person is diagnosed and can begin treatment.
In previous studies, researchers have found that certain proteins in our cells and the process of cell division can make mesothelioma grow. They discovered that by blocking these proteins, they could stop the cancer from spreading.
Investigating Breakthrough Drugs to Halt Mesothelioma Progression
In this new study, the research team tested two drugs called auranofin and palbociclib to see if they could slow down mesothelioma cells. Auranofin is already approved by the FDA to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Palbociclib is sometimes used to treat breast cancer.
They found that these drugs, used together or separately, were able to stop the growth of the mesothelioma cells by blocking targeted proteins.
The researchers hope that more research on these two drugs can lead to a new type of treatment for mesothelioma.
Kratzke M, Scaria G, Porter S, Kren B, Klein MA. Inhibition of Mitochondrial Antioxidant Defense and CDK4/6 in Mesothelioma. Molecules. 2023;28(11):4380. Published 2023 May 27. doi:10.3390/molecules28114380. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10254447/