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Italian Scientists Identify New Target for Mesothelioma Treatment

mesothelioma researchTargeted treatment has become the holy grail for cancer researchers, and particularly for those searching for a cure for the rare and deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma. The disease, which is caused by exposure to asbestos, has proven to be particularly resistant to traditional treatments, leading scientists to dig deeper into what factors in its genetic makeup may be different. Now a group from the University of Ferrara in Ferrara, Italy have identified a specific protein called P2X7R which is present in three different lines of mesothelioma cancer but which is not present in the cells of healthy cells found in the mesothelial membrane. This has led them to search for a way to target this protein in the hopes that it may lead to better outcomes in treatment.

After realizing that this protein was specifically present in the cancerous mesothelioma cells, the researchers proceeded to determine whether they might be able to cause cancer cell death – or at least to stop its spread – by blocking the protein, and they found that it did. According to researcher and molecular biologist Francesca Amoroso, PhD, “Malignant pleural mesothelioma cell proliferation was inhibited by in vitro incubation in the presence of selective P2X7% antagonists.” The group also found that when they used an entirely different blocking agent called an agonist, the impact on the mesothelioma cells was similarly positive.

These tests were specifically conducted on mesothelioma cell lines in the laboratory: the scientists then began to test the same process on laboratory animals, and found that when they were treated with a drug that blocked P2X7R, the animals’ mesothelioma growth was slowed. Dr. Amoroso’s conclusions, published in the journal Oncotarget, were hopeful. “Our findings suggest that P2X7R might be a novel target for the therapy of mesothelioma.”

With mesothelioma continuing to afflict thousands of people in the United States every year, as well as tens of thousands more worldwide, the search for an effective treatment protocol is urgent. It is also essential that those whose illness is a result of negligence be provided with compensation for the costs of their treatment, as well as for their pain and suffering. Asbestos companies displayed reckless disregard for the safety of those exposed to their carcinogenic product, and the attorneys at Danziger & De Llano make them pay for putting profits over people. Call us today to learn more about how to file a mesothelioma lawsuit and get the justice you deserve.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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