Mesothelioma is a particularly aggressive type of cancer that is caused when asbestos is lodged within the lining of the lungs or other organs.
Recently, scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have received a $20 million grant to perform studies on humans involving blocking the protein CD47. Blocking this protein in mice has shown good results for other types of cancers. The hope is that blocking this protein will produce similar results for stopping metastases from mesothelioma as well.
CD47 is a type of protein that can be found on the surface of many cells in the body. Circulating immune cells called macrophages are told by CD47 not to eat these cells. The CD47 protein is used by the body in the protection of cells that should work to help dispose of cells that are aged or diseased.
Most cancer cells tend to produce an overabundance of the CD47 protein, which factors into their proliferation.
This new treatment will involve blocking the CD47 protein. By blocking CD47, which is on the outside of the cancer cells, this will enable the patient’s body to use its own immune system, such as the macrophages, to work to destroy the cancerous cells.
Blocking the CD47 protein has produced good results in the past in making strides against leukemia and other blood cancers.
The treatment has been successful in trials with mice. In the mice, human bladder cancer tumors, transplanted into the rodents, were stopped from spreading at a rate of ninety percent. Additionally, the treatment was successful in shrinking colon cancer tumors in mice.
This experimental treatment was also highly successful in eradicating breast cancer tumors in mice altogether. It has also shown some success in the fight against melanoma.
Scientists have found that cancer cells use CD47 to evade a patient’s immune system, masking the cancer cell as a healthy cell. If the body does not know to attack the cancerous cells, then the cancer will continue to proliferate. The idea here is to strip away the cancer’s mask, and make it known to the body as something that the immune system must fight.
This treatment is yet another form of immunoenhancing agents, whereby the treatment uncovers the cancer so that the body can do its job and fight the cancer itself, with its own immune system.
The treatment requires that there be an injectable tumor. This is to ensure that the CD47 proteins may be blocked only at that site. Multiple injections may be involved during the treatment process.
Scientists are first going to treat patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and then plan to move on to patients with other cancers, which may include mesothelioma.
Consulting with a lawyer may shed new light on when and how you or your loved one was exposed to asbestos if they have mesothelioma. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have represented mesothelioma patients and others experiencing asbestos-related illnesses. Let us assist you in obtaining the compensation you need and deserve. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas. To set up a free initial consultation, complete our online form or call us at 215-569-4000 today.