Our mesothelioma law firm’s charitable foundation, the Kazan McClain Partners’ Foundation, has partnered with and donated more than $20 million in grant monies to community, health, and civic organizations. One of our foundation’s most collaborative partners is the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), a world renowned cancer research institution and the top public recipient of National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding for the 6th consecutive year in 2017. In 2014, our foundation provided a large donation to UCSF cancer researchers seeking to understand mesothelioma cancer cell makeup.
UCSF Mesothelioma Research Identifies New Mesothelioma Cancer Cell Protein
Why is mesothelioma research so very important? Working in collaboration with scientists across the San Francisco Bay Area at the University of California Berkeley as well as with several universities in Taiwan and Vancouver, a new mesothelioma cancer cell protein was successfully identified by researchers in the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory at the Comprehensive Cancer Care Center of the University of California San Francisco. The new protein was named Cullin-4A and is directed by its very own gene, the Cul4A gene. This Cullin-4A previously has been found to be present in amounts described as “amplified/and or overexpressed” in breast cancer cells. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) the definition of “overexpression”:
“In biology, (overexpression means) to make too many copies of a protein or other substance. Overexpression of certain proteins or other substances may play a role in cancer development.”
Researchers led by Ming-Szu Hung M.D., a visiting scholar from Chang-Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, confirmed for the first time that Cullin-4A is also present in overly abundant amounts in mesothelioma cells.
Mesothelioma Research: Identifying Molecular Targets in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Why is it a critical piece of information to know the cell makeup of mesothelioma and an overexpression of a particular protein that could lead to cancer? The following analogy should shed some light on the progress mesothelioma research can produce when we all work together for answers.
Let’s say you were building a home for your family to provide shelter and warmth against cold winters and protection from the elements. You are proud of your creation but before your structure is completed the foundation begins to crack, the framing is crooked, and the plumbing is unstable. What do you do? Your actions depend on what is causing your new home’s damage. Was it inferior or defective materials? Did you begin building your home without the correct techniques or construction codes in place to build your home? Was your plumber unqualified? Finding out this information will help you treat the problem.
The predicament a researcher faces with mesothelioma is somewhat similar. You have to know on a molecular level what’s causing the damage so you can stop it. As the researchers state, “Identifying molecular targets in malignant pleural mesothelioma and developing new treatments are urgent needs.”