The hope of discovering a new effective mesothelioma treatment is the main reason that our sponsor’s philanthropic foundation funds mesothelioma research at leading universities. Mesothelioma research is complex and intricate with many small steps needed along the way. So it was very exciting when Kazan Law’s foundation received news that research they’d helped fund has made a key step in the path to mesothelioma treatment.
They recently were informed that the Mesothelioma Program at the University of Chicago Medicine co-published results of a successful new experiment in PLOS ONE: a peer-reviewed, open-access online scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science.
In a new experimental mesothelioma treatment approach, instead of just zapping malignant pleural mesothelioma cells, the treatment also targets a genetic cell growth protein that helps these cells proliferate. It is like when you want to get rid of mosquitoes at your house, you not only spray the mosquitoes but you also eliminate any standing water that gives them a place to breed.
The cell growth factor that the research focused on is called MET. It is essential for the healthy development of babies in the womb and for wound healing. But when it gets activated by cancer, it triggers tumor growth, spurs the formation of blood vessels that supply tumors with nutrients and helps cancer spread throughout the body
Using preserved mesothelioma cells and laboratory mice, the researchers found that using a new drug designed to inhibit MET and its helpers in combination with standard mesothelioma treatment medication was effective.
“These results suggest that the combined use of this small molecule inhibitor is far more effective than the use of single drugs in suppressing malignant mesothelioma tumor growth and motility,” the researchers state in their official mesothelioma research report.
In a recent letter to Kazan Law to highlight this and other new University of Chicago mesothelioma research projects, Callie Johnston, director of the medical school’s donation program, said, “These research projects, which study new potential targets for mesothelioma therapy, were both started with seed funding from philanthropic partners, including you.”
“On behalf of the Mesothelioma Program at the University of Chicago Medicine, I want to thank you for your generous partnership,” Johnston said in her letter to Kazan Law. “Thanks to supporters like you, our investigators are advancing mesothelioma research and improving therapeutic and preventative strategies to treat the patients for whom we all care so deeply.”