New target found in treating mesothelioma

The Garden Island

HONOLULU — An international team of researchers led by University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center Assistant Professor Haining Yang has identified HMGB1 as a critical protein in the pathogenesis of malignant mesothelioma, one of the most dangerous forms of cancer, UH reported Thursday.

“We are very excited about this discovery,” Yang said in a news release. “The next step is to translate this discovery into actual treatments for mesothelioma patients.”

The discovery outlines the process that causes the growth of these cancers and offers scientists a unique opportunity to develop specific therapies to treat mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer usually diagnosed at late stages and is resistant to current treatments. The average survival is less than one year. However, 5 percent of patients diagnosed at an early stage have survivals of 5 to 10 years or more. Therefore, the identification of new biomarkers for early detection and novel targets for mesothelioma prevention and therapy are sorely needed. The discovery will help shed lights on these aspects.

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