Sea Squirt Toxin linked to new Mesothelioma Drug

Posted on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at 2:59 am    

Mesothelioma News: Sea Squirt Toxin linked to new Mesothelioma Drug

 A new drug taken from a Caribbean sea squirt toxin shows effectiveness in stopping mesothelioma tumor cells from growing. A sea squirt is an animal that is the same as coral. The sea squirt releases toxins to stop other animals that may want to eat or harm it. Furthermore, it is this toxin that has been discovered and has been formed into the drug called trabectedin. This toxin may be applied to the treating of mesothelioma.

A European pharmaceutical company has been harvesting and extracting the sea squirt toxin so as to produce the drug. Most noteworthy is that the drug gives the promise of extended life to mesothelioma patients.

Sea Squirt Toxin Tests

The trabectedin drug was used in a recent study involving mesothelioma. The drug worked as a chemotherapy agent which targeted DNA and gave an immune response. And the drug also worked well when used with cisplatin. Cisplatin is the current standard of care chemotherapy.

Trabectedin is said to be possibly a new development in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of mesothelioma. Every year this form of mesothelioma cancer has an estimated three thousand new cases being diagnosed by doctors in the U. S. The cancer is due to exposure to asbestos.

The U. S Food and Drug Administration approved trabectedin for the treatment of advanced or inoperable soft tissue sarcoma. However, in preclinical trials trabectedin was tested on thirteen mesothelioma surgical specimens. It was also tested on six mesothelioma cell lines and two nonmalignant pleural tissue samples. The results: the drug was less effective on the nonmalignant samples. However, it had a positive effect on all mesothelioma cell cultures.

As a result there are currently five sites in Italy are conducting the only clinical trial involving trabectedin and mesothelioma. According to Dr. Diego Cortinovis early results of the clinical trials look promising.

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