Researchers Discover a Promising New Treatment for Mesothelioma

Researchers have discovered a new treatment that could be an important breakthrough in the treatment of mesothelioma. According to a recent study published in Cancer Research, an international team of researchers from the University of Hawaii have isolated a certain protein molecule called HMGB1.

The scientists discovered that the molecule is an essential component for mesothelioma tumor cells. By denying this molecule to the tumor cells, researchers are able to slow down the tumor growth and kill the tumor cells. Although the research is in its early stages, researchers hope to begin clinical trials next year.

About Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can occur in the lining of the heart, abdomen or lungs. Although it can be caused by many different types of conditions, 70 to 80 percent of the time it is caused by asbestos exposure. Because the symptoms are slow to appear, it is typically diagnosed in the late stages. In the United States, about 3,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

Mesothelioma is often caused by asbestos fibers being breathed in. Once this happens, the body's immune system tries to expel these fibers, causing inflammation of the internal lining of the body. Once the body's internal lining is inflamed, abnormal cell growth and division can eventually develop into cancerous tumors.

The symptoms of mesothelioma usually do not present themselves until 10 to 40 years after asbestos exposure. When the symptoms appear, they may consist of pain in the chest or shortness of breath, due to a build-up of fluid in the membrane surrounding the lungs. In addition, there may be abdominal pain and swelling, if the inflammation is present in the abdomen.

Currently, mesothelioma is treated by surgery and chemotherapy. However, as mesothelioma is quite resistant to currently available treatments, about 60 percent of patients die within the first two years after their diagnosis. Researchers speculate that the experimental treatment with HMGB1 could extend the life of the patient by five to ten years.

An Attorney Can Help

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, compensation may be available to cover medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity as well as pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can investigate the likely causes of your asbestos exposure and ensure that your rights are protected.