Study identifies new target in treating mesothelioma

July 3, 2012, University of Hawaii at Manoa
July 1, 2012 cover of Cancer Research

(Medical Xpress) -- An international team of researchers, led by Haining Yang, PhD, from the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center, has identified HMGB1 as a critical protein in the pathogenesis of malignant mesothelioma, one of the most dangerous forms of cancer highly related to asbestos and erionite exposure. The findings are featured as the cover story of the July 1, 2012 issue of Cancer Research, one of the nation's leading cancer research publications.

“We are very excited about this discovery and are extremely pleased that it was also chosen to be the featured cover story,” said Yang. “The next step is to translate this discovery into actual treatments for patients.”

The discovery outlines the process causing the growth of mesothelioma and offers scientists an opportunity to develop specific therapies for treatment. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer usually diagnosed at late stages and is resistant to current treatments. The average survival rate is less than one year. However, five percent of patients diagnosed at an early stage have survival rates of five to 10 years or more. The identification of this new biomarker for early detection will help shed light on developing novel targets for mesothelioma prevention and therapy.

Mesothelioma has been linked to occupational and environmental exposure to asbestos. Erionite, a naturally occurring mineral fiber, also causes mesothelioma. In the United States, approximately 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year. It has been estimated that over 25 million people have been exposed to asbestos in the U.S., while the amount of those exposed to erionite is unknown.

The UH Cancer Center is a global leader in mesothelioma research. The center’s thoracic oncology team led by Director Michele Carbone, MD, PhD, and Yang, has also been instrumental in several other recent discoveries including the identification of the gene that causes mesothelioma, BAP1.

The current study was an international effort and included investigators from the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center, the John A Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu, the San Raffaele University and Research Institute in Milan, Italy, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and the New York University School of Medicine.

Explore further: Scientists find genetic link to mesothelioma

Related Stories

Scientists find genetic link to mesothelioma

August 28, 2011
Scientists have found that individuals who carry a mutation in a gene called BAP1 are susceptible to developing two forms of cancer – mesothelioma, and melanoma of the eye. Additionally, when these individuals are exposed ...

New study finds cancer-causing mineral in US road gravel

July 25, 2011
As school buses drive down the gravel roads in Dunn County, North Dakota, they stir up more than dirt. The clouds of dust left in their wake contain such high levels of the mineral erionite that those who breathe in the air ...

Exposure to North Dakota road material may increase risk of lung cancer

December 9, 2010
New data shows that people exposed to the mineral erionite found in the gravel of road materials in North Dakota may be at significantly increased risk of developing mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer most often associated ...

Mystery unraveled: How asbestos causes cancer

June 29, 2010
More than 20 million people in the U.S., and many more worldwide, who have been exposed to asbestos are at risk of developing mesothelioma, a malignant cancer of the membranes that cover the lungs and abdomen that is resistant ...

Renal cancer drug temsirolimus shows promise against mesothelioma

May 1, 2011
A drug commonly used to treat kidney cancer may increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy for mesothelioma, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Photodynamic therapy added to lung-sparing surgery improves survival for mesothelioma patients

May 30, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Among patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, treatment with lung-sparing surgery in combination with photodynamic therapy (PDT) yielded unusually long survival rates, with median survival rates ...

Recommended for you

Daily low-dose aspirin may be weapon against ovarian cancer

July 20, 2018
(HealthDay)— One low-dose aspirin a day could help women avoid ovarian cancer or boost their survival should it develop, two new studies suggest.

Discovery of kidney cancer driver could lead to new treatment strategy

July 19, 2018
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists have uncovered a potential therapeutic target for kidney cancers that have a common genetic change. Scientists have known this genetic change ...

High fruit and vegetable consumption may reduce risk of breast cancer, especially aggressive tumors

July 19, 2018
Women who eat a high amount of fruits and vegetables each day may have a lower risk of breast cancer, especially of aggressive tumors, than those who eat fewer fruits and vegetables, according to a new study led by researchers ...

Sunscreen reduces melanoma risk by 40 per cent in young people

July 19, 2018
A world-first study led by University of Sydney has found that Australians aged 18-40 years who were regular users of sunscreen in childhood reduced their risk of developing melanoma by 40 percent, compared to those who rarely ...

Analysis of prostate tumors reveals clues to cancer's aggressiveness

July 19, 2018
Using genetic sequencing, scientists have revealed the complete DNA makeup of more than 100 aggressive prostate tumors, pinpointing important genetic errors these deadly tumors have in common. The study lays the foundation ...

Complementary medicine for cancer can decrease survival

July 19, 2018
People who received complementary therapy for curable cancers were more likely to refuse at least one component of their conventional cancer treatment, and were more likely to die as a result, according to researchers from ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.