Our multinational team discovered that four apparently unrelated US families share a common ancestor, a couple who immigrated from Germany in the early 1700s.
Online journal: Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine
Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer whose pathogenesis is causally linked to occupational exposure to asbestos. Familial clusters of mesotheliomas have been observed in settings of genetic predisposition. Mesothelioma incidence is anticipated to increase worldwide in the next two decades. Novel treatments are needed, as current treatment modalities may improve the quality of life, but have shown modest effects in improving overall survival. Increasing knowledge on the molecular characteristics of mesothelioma has led to the development of novel potential therapeutic strategies, including: molecular targeted approaches, that is the inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor with bevacizumab; immunotherapy with chimeric monoclonal antibody, immunotoxin, antibody drug conjugate, vaccine and viruses; inhibition of asbestos-induced inflammation, that is aspirin inhibition of HMGB1 activity may decrease or delay mesothelioma onset and/or growth. We elaborate on the rationale behind new therapeutic strategies, and summarize available preclinical and clinical results, as well as efforts still ongoing.
Authors: Angela Bononi, Andrea Napolitano, Harvey I Pass, Haining Yang, and Michele Carbone
Aspirin delays mesothelioma growth by inhibiting HMGB1-mediated tumor progression
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, ASA) is the most widely used nonsteriodial anti-inflammatory drug that reduces the incidence, metastatic potential and mortality of many inflammation-induced cancers. Can it play a role in helping patients with malignant mesothelioma?
Remembering Dr. Baris's Influence on My Research
Dr. Baris, the former Director of Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Hacettepe, in Ankara, Turkey, had a profound influence on my life and work.
PNAS Early Edition
Exposure to erionite, an asbestos-like mineral, causes unprecedented rates of malignant mesothelioma (MM) mortality in some Turkish villages. Erionite deposits are present in at least 12 US states. We investigated whether increased urban development has led to erionite exposure in the United States and after preliminary exploration, focused our studies on Dunn County, North Dakota (ND). In Dunn County, ND, we discovered that over the past three decades, more than 300 miles of roads were surfaced with erionite-containing gravel. To determine potential health implications, we compared erionite from the Turkish villages to that from ND. Our study evaluated airborne point exposure concentrations, examined the physical and chemical properties of erionite, and examined the hallmarks of mesothelial cell transformation in vitro and in vivo. Airborne erionite concentrations measured in ND along roadsides, indoors, and inside vehicles, including school buses, equaled or exceeded concentrations in Boyali, where 6.25% of all deaths are caused by MM. With the exception of outdoor samples along roadsides, ND concentrations were lower than those measured in Turkish villages with MM mortality ranging from 20 to 50%. The physical and chemical properties of erionite from Turkey and ND are very similar and they showed identical biological activities. Considering the known 30- to 60-y latency for MM development, there is reason for concern for increased risk in ND in the future. Our findings indicate that implementation of novel preventive and early detection programs in ND and other erionite-rich areas of the United States, similar to efforts currently being undertaken in Turkey, is warranted.
Michele Carbone, Y. Izzettin Baris,, Pietro Bertino, Brian Brass, Sabahattin Comertpay, A. Umran Dogan, Giovanni Gaudino, Sandro Jube,