Researchers Find Potential New Target for Mesothelioma Treatment

Recent research into the particulars of malignant mesothelioma has centered upon a substance known as Eprin (EPH) B2, which seems to be found in elevated levels in individuals who are suffering from pleural mesothelioma or other forms of the disease.

According to an article in Oncology Nurse Adviser, doctors at New York University’s Langone Medical Center recently completed a project that assisted them in better understanding the molecular make-up of malignant mesothelioma, a cancer that’s caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease is diagnosed in approximately 2-3,000 Americans each year and in thousands more individuals worldwide. Most victims develop the disease as a result of on-the-job exposure in industries that include shipbuilding, pipefitting, construction, and many others.

The research made an attempt to identify novel biomarkers that would result in earlier diagnosis of the disease, an important aspect of any mesothelioma research as this particular cancer is often not detected until it has reached a late stage. That makes treatment difficult and often results in loss of life within 12 months of diagnosis. Researchers also constantly search for post-diagnosis treatments that will be more successful than those currently on the market.

According to the results of the survey, the NYU research team “looked at EPHB2 in 34 malignant pleural mesothelioma tumors. EPHB2 was found to be elevated in tumor tissues compared with matched normal peritoneum.”

“All cell lines of malignant pleural mesothelioma overexpressed EPHB2, but benign mesothelial cells did not,” the report reads. “Also, EPHB2 was significantly elevated in malignant pleural mesothelioma tumor tissue when compared with matched normal peritoneum.”

The researchers suggested that the next step would be in vivo investigations of substances that would inhibit the production of EPHB2, suggesting that it might play a role as a marker that indicates progression or poor prognosis for the mesothelioma patient.

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