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The Power of Drug Combinations: High Throughput BH3 Profiling in Mesothelioma

The Power of Drug Combinations: High Throughput BH3 Profiling in Mesothelioma

A new technique called dynamic BH3 profiling tests drug combinations to treat mesothelioma.

This testing can help doctors create effective treatment plans for individual patients.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It is hard to diagnose and even harder to treat, especially when it is in advanced stages. Even in the early stages, the chances of survival after five years are only 18%.

A Treatment Plan for Mesothelioma

A treatment plan for malignant pleural mesothelioma depends on a few different factors. These include the type of mesothelioma and how far it has developed in the patient. It may also include the health of the patient and the patient’s wishes for treatment.

Conventional treatment usually involves chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. If more than one of these therapies is used it may be called multimodal therapy. There are also emerging therapies like immunotherapy. These are being used by doctors more often.

High Throughput BH3 Profiling

Scientists found a new way to identify effective drugs to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma. This method is called high throughput dynamic BH3 profiling. BH3 profiling is a tool that measures how close a cancer cell is to dying. Certain combinations of drugs can make cancer cells more likely to die. This is exactly what doctors want when treating cancer.

The scientists tested this method on mesothelioma cells taken from patients. They also tested these combinations on models created using patient tumors in mice. One combination of drugs is called navitoclax and AZD8055. This combination showed promise in treating malignant pleural mesothelioma in these models.

Scientists believe that high throughput dynamic BH3 profiling can be used. It could work as a tool to find the right combination of drugs for treating mesothelioma. This approach is called functional precision medicine. It allows researchers to create personalized drug regimens that are more likely to be effective.


Potter DS, Du R, Bohl SR, et al. Dynamic BH3 profiling identifies pro-apoptotic drug combinations for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Nat Commun. 2023;14(1):2897. Published 2023 May 20. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-38552-z. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10199949/


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