Enzyme inhibitor found to improve chemotherapy effectiveness

6 Feb 2018 by under Research/Treatment

598px Chemotherapy vials 3 100x100 Enzyme inhibitor found to improve chemotherapy effectivenessWhile chemotherapy is usually the go-to treatment option after a mesothelioma diagnosis, the deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure does not usually respond well to the treatment. The difficulty in treating mesothelioma results in many patients dying within the first 18 months of diagnosis. Hoping to improve , researchers are working on innovative ways to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.

Researchers with the University of New Mexico, the University of Kansas and Hungary’s Semmelweis University have identified enzyme AXL as a potential target for treatment to do just that, according to Surviving Mesothelioma. AXL expresses on the surface of cells as a way for them to protect themselves from outside threats. Research suggest this enzyme is expressed in particularly high levels in mesothelioma cells, with asbestos exposure and chemotherapy also creating production increases, according to the news source. This could potentially explain why chemo is often ineffective.

By using a particular AXL inhibitor, BGB324, researchers were able to reduce the enzyme’s to protect meso cells from chemo. The inhibitor has already had favorable results with acute myeloid leukemia and non-small cell lung cancer, and the researchers discovered it is also effective when used with cisplatin and pemetrexed, the chemo treatment for mesothelioma. “These results suggest AXL inhibition combined with the current chemotherapy regimen may represent an effective strategy to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy in mesothelioma,” the study concludes.

The researchers believe this is the first study into how chemo activates the expression of AXL, and it warrants further researcher into its effectiveness in a living organism.

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