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Investigational Drug Prevents Mesothelioma in Lab Mice

According to a recent news report from Mesothelioma Research News, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is working on an experimental drug known as GSK3052230 that has been shown to prevent the growth of mesothelioma in mice.  These mice have been implanted with human mesothelioma tumors that are capable of growing in the mice.

rat-1624443The way this investigational drug works is that is prevents tumors from forming or growing by sequestering a particular molecule.  This molecule is named a fibroblast growth factor (FGF) molecule.  Mesothelioma and various other types of tumors use FBF molecules when they are first forming and growing, because the FGF molecule will allow the tumors to grow new blood vessels.  These new blood vessels allow the tumor to get much-needed oxygen and nutrients if they are going to grow larger. Sequestering FGF molecules makes them unavailable to the tumors, which, in turn, will cause the tumor to stop growing.The way this drug works is it uses a man made protein that will prevent FGF from binding with the FGFR1 receptors, so they will not activate. While the concept of FGF blockers is not new, this drug may be more promising.  The reason for this is because it does not prevent the other receptors from binding with the FGF molecules. FGF molecules are in the body for purposes other than growing tumors. They normally act as hormones that allow the body to develop naturally and continue to function.  With other experimental FGF blockers, they shut down tumor growth, but also hormone production, for the entire body, which is a side effect that prevents the drug from having any real value.  This drug does not seem to affect hormone production.

The drug has also shown it will work, at least in lab mice, to prevent the growth of tumors associated with lung cancer and endometrial cancer. While many people often mistake mesothelioma with lung cancer, it is a distinct form of cancer.  However, as our Boston mesothelioma attorneys have seen in various cases, asbestos exposure can cause the type of lung cancer traditionally associated with smoking, as well as asbestosis and other types of respiratory illness.

The next step for this GSK trial is to see if it will prevent the growth of mesothelioma tumors as well as it does in lab mice.  The company is currently recruiting patients for a Phase I clinical trial.   As the name implies, Phase I is the first phase in the clinical trial process and uses smaller groups of people to see if medicine is safe, determine the correct dosage, and specifically identify any adverse events or side effects.

In the lab setting, GSK researchers implanted three different types of mesothelioma tumors in the mice.  In the first two types of tumors, they saw a 57 percent and 78 percent reduction in growth as compared to the control group, and this was significant.  With respect to the third type of tumor, that required the highest possible dose, and there was a 50 percent reduction in tumor growth as compared to a control group.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

GSK Investigational Drug Prevents Mesothelioma Growth in Mice, Supporting Human Trials, October 27, 2016, By Magdalena Kegel, Mesothelioma Research News

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Rondon v. Hennessy Industries, Inc. – “Inevitable Use” Standard in Asbestos Litigation, July 2, 2016, Boston Mesothelioma Attorney Blog