New study provides hope for mesothelioma cure

17 Feb 2009 by under News, Organizations, Research/Treatment

pennmedicine logo 150x62 New study provides hope for mesothelioma cureThe results of a recent study provide hope in the fight against mesothelioma. The research says attacking mesothelin, a protein produced by all pancreatic cancers and mesotheliomas, as well as some ovarian and non-small-cell lung cancers, may be effective in shrinking tumors.

Findings of the study, which was directed by Dr. Carl H. June at PENN Medicine in partnership with the , were published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to a news release from , the new study uses genetically engineered human T cells (immune system cells) to target human mesothelin. Previous laboratory research has shown that certain T-cells can kill tumor cells that express mesothelin, and that antibodies directed against mesothelin protein can shrink tumors.

The release quotes Dr. June, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, as saying, “Based on the size of the tumors and the number of cells administered, we estimate that one mesothelin-targeted T cell was able to kill about 40 tumor cells.”

Clinical trials are being developed to investigate this approach to fighting tumors in patients with mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

PENN Medicine is a $3.6 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

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