Manipulating secretions found in pleural fluid may be the key to stopping malignant mesothelioma in its tracks. That’s the conclusion reached by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine following a study comparing the pleural effusions of patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer and other malignant and benign illnesses.
Can Changing Pleural Effusion Contents Stop Tumors’ Growth?
Malignant pleural mesothelioma and other lung cancers are frequently found in the pleura, an organ that lines the cavity in which the lungs are found. When tumors and other benign and malignant conditions develop, the pleura releases fluids known as effusions, which contain a variety of different cell types.
Pleural effusions contain numerous types of proteins meant to heal whatever evoked its production, and when it is caused by a malignancy such as pleural mesothelioma it also contains tumor cells, mesothelial cells and immune cells. Researchers Albert D. Donneberg, James D. Luketich and Vera S. Donnenberg of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Medicine exam these pleural effusions to determine whether changing their chemical makeup might impact the growth of mesothelioma tumors.
Chemical Makeup of Pleural Fluid May Be Manipulated
The scientists’ examination of different pleural effusions revealed that their chemical makeup was changed by an inflammatory response to asbestos, as well as by cardiac insufficiency. These negative changes suppressed the natural immune response, allowing tumors to thrive.
The researchers are now planning to investigate whether modifying the pleural immune environment with antibody-based therapeutics such as CAR-T will suppress tumor growth in patients with malignant mesothelioma,, and writing in the journal Oncotarget explain, “We speculate that conditioning the immune environment of the pleura will greatly increase the chances of success.”
Stopping tumors growth is an important step in fighting malignant pleural mesothelioma, but it’s just one of the tools available. For information on other treatment options and resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.