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Renal Cancer Drug May Help Mesothelioma Patients

Researchers from Japan and Austria collaborated recently on a study of a highly effective renal cancer drug’s impact on mesothelioma cell lines, and the results, which were published in the journal Oncology Reports, were extremely encouraging to those who suffer from the disease, as well as those who strive to find effective treatments.

The drug that was tested is a kinase inhibitor called temsirolimus. It is an intravenous drug that was developed and released to the market by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 2007. When temsirolimus is used to treat late stage renal cell carcinoma it works to inhibit the activity of a specific enzyme called mTOR, or mammalian target or rapamycin, which is responsible for the growth and spread of tumor cells. The researchers were determined to see whether the drug would have the same impact on mesothelioma cells, so in their test they used temsirolimus alone as well as in combination with cisplatin, a platinum-based drug that has proven effective in the treatment of mesothelioma. The drugs were applied  to several different mesothelioma cell lines, which were then subjected to chemical testing to determine the impact that they had.

The results were marked. The researchers determined that temsirolimus actually impacted the cells in more than one way. It first had the exact same impact on the mTOR enzyme found in the mesothelioma cells that it does when treating renal cell carcinoma, blocking both division and growth of those cells. Additionally, it had an impact on platelet-derived growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor found within the mesothelioma cells – effectively robbing the mesothelioma cells of their blood supply by preventing blood vessels from forming.

With regard to the researchers’ comparison of the effects of temsirolimus by itself as compared to when it was used in combination with cisplatin, the results were again positive. Though the temsirolimus was highly effective at preventing the cells from growing and spreading when used by itself, when bundled with the cisplatin its impact was enhanced. “Combined treatment with temsirolimus and cisplatin inhibited the viability of all malignant pleural mesothelioma cell lines more effectively than temsirolimus alone.” It is the hope of the researchers that the use of the two drugs together will provide mesothelioma physicians with an additional weapon in their fight against this deadly disease.

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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