Exciting New Approach Eliminates Mesothelioma in Mice
Malignant mesothelioma is among the most challenging forms of cancer. Though scientists have exerted tremendous effort in trying to find a cure for this asbestos-related disease, their efforts have fallen flat: the tumors are notoriously resistant to chemotherapy and other treatment approaches. But now a report published in the journal Cancer Immunology Research is highlighting research done by the National Cancer Institute and Roche Pharmaceutical Research that has achieved a remarkable result. It has eliminated the ability of cancerous tumors to evade the body’s immune system, effectively killing off the mesothelioma cells and eliminating the disease from the bodies of most of the laboratory animals involved in the study.
It is all too common for treatment approaches and theories to fall short of scientific expectations, and that has been particularly true for the study of malignant mesothelioma. But when researchers push forward and regroup, they are able to take the information that has been gained from those failed studies to move forward. In this case, the researchers took an immunotoxin designed to target the mesothelin protein but which had only benefitted a few mesothelioma patients and combined it with a checkpoint blocker whose purpose is to block a protein that allows tumors to escape detection by the immune system. Though both had provided disappointing results on their own in previous mesothelioma studies, certain aspects of each led researchers to suspect that the two together might be effective. Their theory was correct, as the lab animals involved in the study not only stopped developing tumors but also cleared the tumors that were already present.
The researchers involved in the study are extremely encouraged by the results that they experienced, particularly because the laboratory animals involved seemed to experience no toxic or negative side effects. It is their suggestion that the approach move on to human clinical trials in order to see whether the same type of remarkable response can be achieved.
For those who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the hope for a cure is balanced by their day to day reality. The condition is both physically painful and emotionally exhausting. They need to balance their medical needs with the financial burden of treatment and the psychic toll of knowing that their condition could have been prevented, and that their prognosis is grim. If you are having a hard time finding the answers you need or the support that you want, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to be put in touch with people who truly care.
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