Australian researchers are working on what is being called by some a miracle mesothelioma treatment.
The researchers are tight-lipped about the new therapy. But so far it is said to have stopped mesothelioma tumor growth in up to 80 percent of lab specimens tested.
Even better, the mystery medication appears to prevent new mesothelioma cells from even getting started. That means it has potential use as a mesothelioma prevention medicine.
The under-wraps mesothelioma medication is being developed at the University of Technology, Sydney. According to the university, this medication showed great promise during 30 weeks of lab testing.
Also, it is being formulated to permit delivery via inhaler or nebulizer. Yes, you read that right. Aerosol delivery, just like the way people take asthma medicine when they have trouble breathing.
Mesothelioma Drug Prevents Cascade of Events
Because it appears to have a preventive effect and the potential for inhaler delivery, the new drug could be enormously beneficial to many people.
In particular, it would be beneficial to those who have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their past but have not yet developed mesothelioma.
According to the university, the medication was effective in preventing a cascade of events typically triggered by the presence of asbestos fibers. Among the events prevented was an increase in free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that cells release as a byproduct of their metabolic functioning. Free radicals are associated with causing all kinds of harm within the body. Inflammation of cells is one such harm.
The problem with inflamed cells is that they have a tendency to become cancerous. That’s especially true for cells exposed to asbestos fibers.
Those cells have a tough enough time as it is resisting the pressure to become cancerous in the presence of asbestos fibers. The last thing they need is an extra push from free radicals.
It should be pointed out that the mesothelioma mystery medication’s utility as a mesothelioma preventative remains largely theoretical.
The success seen so far has occurred entirely within human lung cell cultures contained in lab dishes. The medication has yet to be tested on actual people.
Still, the researchers working on the drug’s development are confident that it will prove effective in real life, just as in the lab.
“The treatment has real potential to short-circuit the progression of the disease,” says associate professor Tony George, the research team leader. “At a genetic level, the compound short-circuits the pathways to cell death typically caused by asbestos fibers.”
In triggering that short circuit, the medication halts suppression of immune system response so that the body can fight to prevent cancer formation.
Typically, the presence of asbestos fibers in the lungs causes the immune system to ignore cancer cells that start replacing healthy ones. This is a key reason why the body on its own can’t fend off cancer cells.
Mesothelioma Fighters Optimistic
George and his colleagues gained their optimistic views regarding their new drug after seeing it stop mesothelioma tumor growth in no fewer than 60 percent of the lab specimens.
The fact that as many as 80 percent of the mesothelioma tumor specimens stopped growing after being subjected to the medication boosted their confidence even higher.
Those tests were preceded by two years of intense effort in which the theoretical basis for the medication was developed.
The researchers have now applied for a patent on the mesothelioma mystery medication. In making such an application, the researchers will be forced to reveal all about the drug. At that point, the secrecy surrounding the drug will end.