According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the presence of mesothelin may help doctors diagnose cases of mesothelioma. Mesothelin is a protein found on the surface of certain types of normal cells and cancer cells. It is what helps the cells stick together and send signals. A higher than normal amount of mesothelin is found on some cancer cells including mesothelioma, pancreatic cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Current research is looking at the part mesothelin plays in the actual increase of cancer cells, and its value as a cancer indicator. This cancer indicator may be especially important with difficult to diagnose cancers like mesothelioma. There are scores of treatments, clinical trials, and drugs available now for the treatment of mesothelioma, but as of yet no cure.
Collaborative research done at both the National Cancer Institute in Maryland and East China Normal University in Shanghai seems to suggest three mechanisms by which mesothelin plays a major part in the spread of cancer. First, mesothelin may aid in tumor attachment with the lining of the abdominal wall and metastasis of tumors through its communication with a protein contained in mucus. Second, mesothelin may promote cancer cell survival and spread via a signaling pathway. Finally, the research found that the presence of mesothelin helps cancer cells resist certain chemotherapy drugs.
Because of these characteristics of the mesothelin protein, certain anti-body drugs that disrupt its function are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. This may also provide additional opportunities for other innovative cancer therapies. A drug that would disrupt mesothelin functionality could possibly make chemotherapeutic treatments more effective and play a large part in mesothelioma and other cancer treatments.
The New Jersey and Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler provide our clients with knowledgeable, experienced legal representation, as well as information and support as they deal with the burden of mesothelioma. We help our clients get the justice that they deserve. Please call our offices at 800-369-0899 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment to discuss how we help.