Gene Therapy may be the Future of Mesothelioma Treatment

According to a new report published in the journal Cancer Gene Therapy, treatments based on genetic manipulation with help from modified viruses could be the future of treatment for pleural mesothelioma.

The report comes from Japan, where scientists at the Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute and Chiba University Medical School have analyzed the current global research on gene therapy. They believe that treatments targeted at a particular genetic abnormality in the DNA of mesothelioma cells could have a huge impact on the disease.

According to the study authors, “Preclinical studies targeting the genetic abnormality with adenoviruses showed that restoration of the p53 pathways inducedpRb dephosphorylation and subsequently produced anti-tumor effects.” They go on to state that multiple clinical and preclinical studies using different modified viruses to deliver gene altering therapies into cells have “raised the possibility of gene therapy in clinicial settings. P53 is a gene beneficial in tumor suppression.

A number of recent studies have explored the use of gene therapy in pleural mesothelioma patients, where viruses containing cancer-fighting genes are delivered directly into the intrapleural space where mesothelioma tumors are located. This method allows doctors to place the treatment closer to the tumor, but it has also been shown to rapidly activate antibody production, which can make the desirable genes ineffective.