An international team of mesothelioma researchers has discovered a novel target in patients diagnosed with the rare asbestos-related cancer that may lead to improved disease management in the future. Publishing their findings in the December 19th, 2019 issue of the Journal of Cellular Physiology, scientists from Thomas Jefferson University, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine of Temple University, University of Siena, and from the Spanish Center for the Applied Medical Research (CIMA) of the University of Navarra expressed hope that their findings will lead to “more effective and personalized medicine.”
Researchers Work Towards Better Understanding of Mesothelioma
In undertaking their research, the scientists noted the limited efficacy of current mesothelioma treatment, and set out to improve their understanding of the diseases’ pathobiology. They focused on identifying specific targets for therapy that might slow the disease’s progression, and in doing so examined the levels of specific tumor suppressors known as PP2A which is frequently inactivated in cancer.
They looked at data that had previously been collected from mesothelioma patients, and in comparing the gene expression profiles of known PP2A inhibitors they found that all of the known negative regulators were overexpressed, with two specific genes particularly increased. They also found that the higher levels of those genes were linked to poorer prognosis in patients.
Higher Expression of Genes Carries Forward to Create More Damage
A further analysis of the levels of PP2A inhibitors ANP32E and CIP2A determined that when they were increased, they also raised the levels of other PP2A inhibitors, creating what the mesothelioma researchers referred to as a “feed forward loop that might contribute to the mesothelioma progression.” The theorized that future targeting of the two genes could stop this progression and provide an effective treatment strategy, as well as an effective way to assess the aggressiveness of a given patient’s disease.
The future of mesothelioma treatment lies in personalized medicine and treatments that are specific to the needs of each individual patient. The same is true of the resources available to those struggling with the disease. For help that is tailored to your specific situation, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.