Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the linings of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. The only known cause of the disease is asbestos exposure, which can occur through environmental exposure or through occupational exposure in certain industries. Unfortunately, due to its rarity, mesothelioma has been largely neglected by the medical community. While there is no cure, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have made a groundbreaking discovery that could change the way mesothelioma is treated.
The research team led by Dr. David M. Jackman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at UCSF, has developed a novel treatment for mesothelioma that is capable of targeting and eliminating cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact. The treatment involves using a modified version of the common cold virus, which has been engineered to deliver a gene that triggers the immune system to attack the cancer cells. This approach is known as oncolytic virotherapy and has been used to treat other forms of cancer with success.
In the study, which was published in the journal Cancer Research, the researchers tested the treatment in animal models of mesothelioma. They found that the modified virus was able to successfully target and kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact. In addition, the virus was able to induce an anti-tumor immune response, which led to a decrease in tumor size and an increase in survival rates.
The team also tested the treatment in a small group of human patients with mesothelioma. While the results were promising, the sample size was too small to draw any definitive conclusions. However, the researchers are optimistic that their findings will lead to more effective treatments for mesothelioma in the future.
The development of this new treatment could be a game-changer for mesothelioma patients. While there is still much work to be done, the promising results of this study provide hope for those suffering from this devastating disease. With further research and development, this treatment could one day become a standard of care for mesothelioma patients around the world.