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Study Shows Uneven Take-up of Drugs by Mesothelioma Tumors

Patients who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma face a grim prognosis. Despite the continuing advances of medical science in treating a variety of types of cancers, mesothelioma has proven to be particularly resistant to all of the existing treatment protocols. Though the prevailing theory on why this has been the case has looked to the disease’s remarkably long latency period, new research is offering an entirely different theory. Researchers have found that mesothelioma tumors do not take up chemotherapy drugs in an even distribution.

According to a study conducted by researchers at Italy’s Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research and published in the journal Scientific Reports, imaging technology has revealed that drugs spread throughout malignant pleural mesothelioma tumors in a very uneven distribution.  Where noncancerous tissue takes up drugs evenly and distributes it throughout, tumors do not always do so. This is because cancerous tumors’ characteristic properties of blood flow, inflammation, and physicochemical makeup are different.

By injecting a model of malignant mesothelioma tumor with Taxol, a mesothelioma drug, the researchers were able to see that mesothelioma tumors’ take-up of medication is even more unpredictable then is the case with other forms of cancer, including difficult to treat tumors arising from breast cancer and ovarian cancer.  Though some areas of the tumor contained high concentrations of the drug, other areas had absolutely no drug present at all. This lack of penetration would allow the cancerous cells to continue to flourish and grow, even if other areas of the tumor were dying as a result of exposure to the medication.

Though the information collected by the researchers may seem to represent a roadblock, the scientists behind the study are hoping to make good use of the information that they have gathered. With this information they believe that they will be able to move forward and find ways to boost the distribution of Taxol and other chemotherapy drugs within tumors.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you are dealing with an uncertain future. It is hard to find answers because the condition is so rare. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are here to help. Contact us at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more about treatment resources, your eligibility to receive compensation from the asbestos bankruptcy trusts, and more.

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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