Cellular transporter molecule levels linked to patient outcomes, study finds

9 Oct 2017 by under Research/Treatment

Catheter for chemotherapy 1 100x100 Cellular transporter molecule levels linked to patient outcomes, study findsWhy do some patients respond to chemotherapy and others do not? According to recent research, the answer may depend on the presence of a specific cellular transporter molecule.

Researchers at Amsterdam’s VU University Medical Center have tested the impact of the proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT) on resistance to pemetrexed, the only approved mesothelioma cancer drug, to determine if it impacts why only some patients benefit from the chemotherapy, according to Surviving Mesothelioma.

After analyzing two groups of mesothelioma patients, they found that those with the lowest PCFTs also had worse outcomes with the chemotherapy drug. “Multivariate analysis confirmed PCFT’s independent prognostic role,” the study states. “Low PCFT protein levels were also associated with shorter overall survival.”

The news source reports the study is the first to identify PCFT as “a potential prognostic biomarker for mesothelioma and the research team is calling for further study.” Pemetrexed, a folate antimetaolite, is chemically similar to B vitamin folic acid and works by blocking certain enzymes mesothelioma cells need to grow.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer often linked to exposure that forms in the lining of internal organs, primarily the lungs, heart or abdomen. It can take decades to develop but is usually deadly within 18 months of diagnosis due to its difficulty to treat. It currently has no known cure, but researchers are continuously developing new prognostic and treatment methods.The researchers of this study have developed a method for forming PCFT that could potentially be used to eradicate pemetrexed-resistant cells.

 

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