Although still in the preliminary stages, scientists and researchers are excited to announce recent research involving a treatment that is used for certain types of multiple sclerosis (MS) and its effects on combating mesothelioma.
This therapeutic agent is called Immune System Modulator FTY720 (fingolimod) and is interestingly derived from a certain type of fungus called Isaria sinclairii. Isaria sinclairii is a type of entomopathogenic fungus, which means that it can act as a parasite – disabling or killing insects or spiders after exposure. Fingolimod, the treatment for MS, was developed from Myriocin – the amino acid/antibiotic produced from the fungus.
To test FTY720, scientists and researchers used lab grown mesothelioma cells and mice (which contained the human form of the disease). The lab grown mesothelioma cells were tested in conjunction with normal mesothelial cell lines. It was found that once FTY720 was administered, the drug interfered with phosphatase protein 2A (PP2A) and also displaced a protein that was more common in mesothelioma cells. The mesothelioma cells also showed an increase in programmed cell death.
Mice that had been infected with mesothelioma tumors were also given FTY720 and results showed slight tumor reduction without any noticeable side effects.
While these results may seem small, it is enough for researchers to move forward and develop more formal testing to explore the new opportunities that could be associated with this new therapeutic treatment.
Szymiczek, A, et al, “FTY720 inhibits mesothelioma growth in vitro and in a syngeneic mouse model,” Journal of Translational Medicine (March 2017). [Link]
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