Mesothelioma – A Cure on the horizon?

A recent study published in America may bring the possibility of finding a cure for asbestos related malignant mesothelioma a step closer.

Dr Haining Yang and Dr Michele Carbone are the leading authorities for the study which was carried out at the University of Hawaii and they believe to have identified the causes of the incurable, asbestos related cancer and how to treat and prevent the disease.

Asbestos fibres kill cells that are capable of causing cancer. It was highlighted that a dead shell should not be able to grow and form a cancerous tumour. The groups of worldwide researches led by Dr Yan and Carbone considered this paradox and discovered that when asbestos fibres kill cells, they start a process called “programmed cell necrosis”. This subsequently leads the cell to release a protein called HMB1. This form of protein starts a certain type of inflammatory reaction that brings about the release of mutagens and other factors that ignites tumour growth.

The expert’s found that people who came into contact with asbestos fibres have higher levels of the protein HMGB1 in their serum. Medical experts have always reviewed protein levels in those who suffer with suspected asbestos related mesothelioma to assist them in diagnosing the condition, but this research takes the relevance of the indicative marker even further.

The American study recommends that focusing on and targeting the protein may allow early identification of asbestos exposed people and provide prevention and treatment of mesothelioma.

It has also been suggested by the experts that if the inflammatory reaction brought about by the asbestos fibres and protein is interfered with then it may be possible to reduce the number of diagnosed cases of mesothelioma amongst those who have come into contact with asbestos materials during the course of their lives. It is also thought that this form of intervention could slow down or reduce the rate at which mesothelioma develops and grows.

The detailed research places significant weight on the role of inflammation in causing other types of cancers and will hopefully provide innovative clinical tools to experts, allowing them to prevent or decrease growth of other types of tumour as well as asbestos related mesothelioma. A question is asked in the study about the potential to prevent mesothelioma or other cancers in potential patients simply by taking aspirin or similar drugs that prevent inflammation.

Drs Yang and Carbone are now preparing for a clinical area of Cappadocia, Turkey where shockingly, over 50% of the population passes away due to malignant mesothelioma. It is hoped that the results of the trial will be positive and that this could later result in the approach being extended to groups of individuals who have been exposed to asbestos in other parts of the world.

Oliver & Co Solicitors hope that there is a positive outcome following the forthcoming trials in order to assist medical experts in understanding more about mesothelioma and assisting them in identifying new and innovative treatments with a view to finally finding a cure for this terrible disease.