A new mesothelioma cancer cell protein has been successfully identified by researchers in the Thoracic Oncology Laboratory at the Comprehensive Cancer Care Center of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). The UCSF researchers worked in collaboration with scientists across San Francisco Bay at the University of California Berkeley as well as with several universities in Taiwan and a university in Vancouver.
We received a copy of the research, published in the Journal of Cellular Molecular Medicine, because our sponsor, Kazan Law’s charitable foundation helped fund this important work and others in their mission to support research for the treatment of mesothelioma.
The new mesothelioma cancer cell protein identified in this UCSF research is a protein. The protein is named Cullin-4A and is directed by its very own gene, the Cul4A gene. It is called Cullin because sometimes in science, like with stars and plants, things get named after the person who discovers them. This Cullin-4A previously has been found to be present in amounts described as “amplified/and or overexpressed” in breast cancer cells. And now, researchers led by Ming-Szu Hung M.D., a visiting scholar from Chang-Gung University – Taoyuan, Taiwan, have confirmed for the first time that it also is present in overly abundant amounts in mesothelioma cells.
Why is this important? Let’s say you tend a vegetable garden that you are proud of and use to feed your family. But suddenly all your tender young vegetables are disappearing before they’re fully ripe. What do you do? Well, that depends on what’s eating your vegetables. Is it gophers? Is it deer? Or crows? Finding out this information will help you treat the problem, right? The predicament 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.”
 Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Volume 15, Issue 2, pages 350–358, February 2011