Promising New Target Eyed for Mesothelioma Treatment

Researchers in Italy have identified a protein enzyme that plays a role in the growth of malignant mesothelioma and may be a promising target for cancer therapy. In a recent article in the medical journal Lung Cancer, the Italian researchers say that gene therapy aimed at a family of enzymes called Aurora kinases may inhibit […]

Researchers in Italy have identified a protein enzyme that plays a role in the growth of malignant mesothelioma and may be a promising target for cancer therapy.

In a recent article in the medical journal Lung Cancer, the Italian researchers say that gene therapy aimed at a family of enzymes called Aurora kinases may inhibit the growth of mesothelioma cells and make the cancer cells more responsive to radiation.

Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure and takes the lives of about 2,500 to 3,000 Americans a year. It is typically treated with a combination of chemotherapy drugs and radiation. Despite aggressive therapy, the standard treatments have limited effectiveness in improving mesothelioma patients long-term survival.

So researchers in the U.S. and other countries continue to search for better treatments to improve the prognosis for mesothelioma patients.

Aurora kinases, a family of enzymes, control complex processes in cells and apparently play a role in the growth of malignant mesothelioma cells. Aurora kinases have been identified as a potential therapeutic target in cancer treatment. But only limited research has been done on the levels of aurora kinases in malignant mesothelioma.

The researchers analyzed mesothelioma tumor tissue collected from patients treated at Second University of Naples from 1980 to 1996 to try to understand the role of Aurora kinases in malignant mesothelioma. The tumor tissue showed a strong presence of two types of Aurora Kinase, known as Aurora A kinase and Aurora B kinase. Aurora A was observed in 17 of 29 tissue samples, and Aurora B in 19 of 29 samples.

The Italian researchers grew mesothelioma cancer cells in the laboratory and treated them with three different concentrations of a medication known as ZM 447439 manufactured by Tocris biosciences, a U.S. manufacturer. The medication is known to inhibit Aurora kinase. The researchers’ aim was to see if by inhibiting Aurora kinase, they could suppress the growth of mesothelioma cancer cells. In fact, they saw a correlation between cell proliferation and the medication in nearly all dosages of ZM 447439.

The researchers demonstrated that ZM 447439 significantly reduces the growth and proliferation of mesothelioma cells. That is mainly due the the drug’s inhibition of Aurora B kinase. The researchers said that Aurora kinases appeared to good candidates for therapeutic targets for treatment of malignant mesothelioma. Further experiments could confirm that inhibition of Aurora kinase is a valid treatment approach for malignant mesothelioma and give doctors a new weapon to fight aggressive asbestos cancer. (Source: About Mesothelioma)

 

1 Response » to “Promising New Target Eyed for Mesothelioma Treatment”

  1. Hello, I have been battling cancer for so long. Mesothelioma is such a hard thing to go through.

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