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Technion-NYU Langone Researchers Block Mesothelioma Growth in Mouse Models

A joint research group, consisting of accomplished researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, have succeeded in blocking the growth of mesothelioma in mouse models by inhibiting the heparanase enzyme (HPSE).

The international team, known as Technion-NYU Langone, analyzed mesothelioma samples collected over the years by lead researcher Dr. Harvey I. Pass (Director of the Thoracic Surgery Division at NYU Langone), then validated the clinical significance of heparanase in the pathogenesis of mesothelioma.

The team found that “mesothelioma cancer cells use the heparanase enzyme to break tissue barriers surrounding the developing tumor and attract blood vessels to nourish it,” reports the American Technion Society (ATS). “Moreover,” said the ATS, “the dissolution of the extracellular matrix causes the release of growth-promoting proteins and thus accelerates the development of the tumor. The heparanase secreted by cancer cells and the microenvironment of the tumor triggers a vicious” cycle “in which inflammation and growth strengthen each other.”

The team, which was also directed by leading heparanase enzyme expert Israel Vlodavsky of Technion Integrated Cancer Center (TICC), succeeded in disrupting this cycle by combating mesothelioma with heparanase inhibitors. “The heparanase inhibitors (PG545 and defibrotide) significantly inhibited tumor growth and greatly extended the survival ability of treated mice,” reports the ATS. Even more remarkable is the use of heparanase inhibitors was more effective than conventional chemotherapy such as Cisplatin,” which is currently used to treat mesothelioma.

The success of this study provides “hope for mesothelioma patients around the world” reports the ATS. The research team has plans to conduct a clinical trial soon to assess the therapeutic potential of heparanase inhibitors in mesothelioma.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, see your doctor right away. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, early detection could lead to better treatment options and even the possibility of participating in a clinical trial. An experimental or developing treatment such as heparanase inhibitors in mesothelioma could be effective in treating your specific type of mesothelioma. See your doctor to assess your risk today. 

 

Sources

Hattori, Kevin. "Israeli and American Researchers Have Successfully Curbed Mesothelioma in Model Animals." ATS. American Technion Society (ATS), 23 May 2018. Web. 20 June 2018.

"Mesothelioma: Tests, Diagnosis, and Treatments." WebMD. WebMD LLC, 2018. Web. 20 June 2018.

"Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma." American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, Inc., 2018. Web. 20 June 2018.