Tuesday morning, Alfacell Corp. said that according to the research findings published in National Academy of Sciences Journal, the company's anti-cancer drug Onconase might be one of the most effective methods of treatment for mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by asbestos.
Onconase is a novel anti-cancer drug for the treatment of patients with inoperable malignant mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer of the inner lining of the chest and abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).
The information presented in the research findings has also identified the molecular mechanism by which asbestos provokes lung cancer that so far has remained difficult to understand.
Asbestos is made of tiny fibres, which are inhaled when one comes in contact with it. This triggers the release of TNF-Alpha, a cytokine, which leads to a series of biochemical events. The release of TNF-Alpha activates NF-KappaB (Nuclear Factor-Kappa B) protein, a transcription factor. This transcription factor protects asbestos-damaged cells against cell death. As a result the damaged cells accumulate which leads to cancer.
According to the research journal, as Onconase inhibits the same pathways that lead to the mesothelial cell types malignant transformation and mesothelioma cancer, the drug might show unique promise in the prevention and treatment of mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Alfacell said that Onconase's efficacy in preventing mesothelioma in high-risk cohorts is soon to be tested because of its minimal side effects.Sources