Mesothelioma Gene Therapy
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and dangerous disease, but there is cause for hope among patients and their families. Researchers are working on many fascinating techniques that may be effective in treating mesothelioma, such as gene therapy. This new type of mesothelioma treatment involves actually changing the genetic structure of cancer cells in order to make them more treatable.
Genes are the building blocks of DNA, which can be found in all cells, both healthy and cancerous. By changing a tissue’s genetic structure, physicians can alter its functions and lifespan. The goal of gene therapy is to change the DNA of tumors to make them more susceptible to drugs or to kill them outright.
How Gene Therapy Works
Mesothelioma gene therapy is based on complex scientific principles, but the basic idea behind it is relatively simple. First, doctors select a vector, which is a molecule that can be used to transmit new genetic information to cells. Most vectors in gene therapy are viruses. This is because viruses have a natural ability to target cells and inject foreign genes.
Of course, injecting a patient with a virus can be dangerous. Gene therapists reduce these risks by removing certain proteins from the viruses they use. Removing these proteins stops the virus’s ability to cause illness. Once they are removed, new genes are added so the virus can deliver them to the cancerous tissue.
This altered virus is then injected into the patient. Depending on the type of gene treatment being administered, it will alter cancerous growths in different ways. These growths may become easier to treat with chemotherapy, easier for the immune system to recognize and target, or impaired in a way that will kill them.
Gene Therapy for Mesothelioma
Gene therapy is still in the developmental stage at this point; it has not been approved by the FDA as a standard cancer treatment. However, clinical trials of gene therapy for mesothelioma and other cancers have been promising. In the future, gene therapy may become a safe and fully effective mesothelioma treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos, contact the asbestos attorneys of Williams Kherkher today.