Cancer research is a global effort, with people in every country working to find ways to eradicate this disease. And while there are still many types without a cure, like mesothelioma, research targeting one type can have a meaningful impact on many others.
This appears to be the case with new approaches researchers have used to eliminate advanced mesothelioma tumors in mice.
Combining two treatments shows promising results
Recently, for example, a research team combined two types of treatments that showed promising results in treating mesothelioma.
One treatment was a drug-factory technology that implants tiny beads containing tens of thousands of cells in the pleura beside tumors. These cells then deliver high doses of a natural cytokine that the Food and Drug Administration has approved to treat cancer.
This technology can be especially effective in treating diseased cells that remain after surgery.
Researchers say they started this study after the drug-factory technology showed impressive results in eradicating ovarian and colorectal cancer cells in mice.
Immune checkpoints occur naturally in our bodies. They work to keep your immune system from destroying healthy cells. When proteins on immune cells bind to partner proteins on tumor cells, they become immune checkpoint proteins, which prevents your immune system from destroying cancer cells.
Checkpoint inhibitors prohibit this bond from occurring, allowing your system to identify and eliminate cancer cells.
This type of immunotherapy is already approved and treats a variety of cancers.
When researchers combined drug-factory technology and checkpoint inhibitors, they eradicated mesothelioma tumors in mice in a matter of days.
Why this research matters
Research into and success with treatments for any cancer is critical.
As this specific study highlights, existing therapies and trials may show promising results in treating one type of cancer. Researchers can use the same methods and explore different combinations to produce new and effective treatments for other types.