Researchers Identify Workaround for Chemotherapy Resistance in Mesothelioma Patients

Patients diagnosed with cancer can generally anticipate effective, survival-enhancing treatment with chemotherapy, but for patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma that familiar protocol may prove ineffective. That’s because the rare and fatal form of cancer has proven particularly resistant to chemotherapy. But now a group of researchers from Duke University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have collaborated in an effort to fight this phenomenon, and believe that they have found a solution.

Boosts Mesothelioma Cells’ Frustrating Ability to Fend Off Chemotherapy’s Benefits

When physicians expose mesothelioma cells to the chemotherapy drugs cisplatin and pemetrexed, they do so with the hope that the cells will not display resistance to the protocol and that it can effectively modify the cells’ DNA and stop it from dividing and spreading. The end goal is the death of the cancer cell and extended survival for the patient.

Unfortunately, mesothelioma patients are frequently found to suffer from a resistance to chemotherapy’s effect. The malignant cells heal themselves and protect themselves through a process called mutagenic translesion synthesis that leaves the cells stronger than they originally were. This leaves physicians treating patients with few options.

Compound May Defeat Mesothelioma Cells’ Defense Mechanism

The MIT and Duke scientists believe that they’ve found a workaround that defeats the mutagenic translesion synthesis in mesothelioma patients. Lab studies have shown that by using a compound called JH-RE-06 – a small molecule inhibitor – they were able to prevent the synthesis from taking place, allowing chemotherapy to have its full intended force and effect. Studies on laboratory animals also proved successful, providing great hope for the future treatment of mesothelioma patients.

If you or someone you love is battling mesothelioma, results of studies like this offer significant hope for extended survival in the face of this disease’s cruel prognosis. For information on how to access state-of-the-art treatment, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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