When a mesothelioma patient is first given their diagnosis and the challenges of treating the disease are explained, physicians will point to its long latency, the advanced stage at which it is diagnosed, and its resistance to traditional cancer treatments. A recent study published in the journal Cancers goes into far greater detail reporting the frustration of creating precision medicine therapies that work in the lab, only to find that once administered to patients the treatments are no longer effective.
Researchers Find Successful Preclinical Mesothelioma Treatments Don’t Translate to Success in Patients
The research detailed in the article centered on specific oncogenes that are known to be hyperactivated in mesothelioma and thought to be responsible for its cell proliferation and motility. By administering inhibitors in the lab, the researchers were able to counteract this effect consistently. Yet studies of the same treatment on actual patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma did not have the same positive impact.
Writing of their experience with the mesothelioma research, Paola Indovina of the Sbarro Health Research Organization in Philadelphia said, “Consistently, preclinical studies by our group and others showed that SFK inhibitors had antiproliferative effects and caused a decrease in MM cell migration and invasion, both alone and in combination with the chemotherapeutic agents currently used in MM therapy and other molecularly targeted therapeutics.” He then goes on to say, “Although the abovementioned preclinical studies pointed to SFK inhibitors as promising therapeutic agents for MM, unfortunately, two recent clinical trials using dasatinib in unselected MM patients did not show efficacy.”
Study Calls for Definition of Reliable Predictive Markers for Mesothelioma Patients
In reviewing the various factors that differentiate between preclinical studies and testing done on actual mesothelioma patients, the researchers point to what they call “the enormous complexity of the malignant mesothelioma milieu, with peculiar genetic and epigenetic features” and “a more complex macroenvironment.”
They conclude that the success of malignant mesothelioma treatment will rely on research that uses preclinical models that better replicate these factors, as well as the identification of reliable biomarkers and the identification of molecular vulnerabilities in various subsets of malignant mesothelioma patients.
Despite the challenges that malignant mesothelioma presents, many patients benefit from innovative treatment and therapies currently available. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.