According to a recent study performed by French researchers, a compound commonly found in vegetables, PEITC, may help to not only diminish the harsh side of effects of popular mesothelioma treatments, but also effectively battle malignant pleural mesothelioma cancer cells.
The new study, which was published in the Oncotarget, a scientific medical publication, suggests that PEITC is extremely effective in battling cancer cells when taken in combination with cisplatin treatment, a leading chemotherapy medication used for mesothelioma patients. The study states that both cisplatin and PEITC have the ability to kill mesothelioma cancer cells on their own, but when combined, the effects are much more powerful, killing off the cancerous cells by double when compared to solo treatments.
Issues with Current Mesothelioma Treatment
Many pleural mesothelioma patients receive a combination of treatments, such as cisplatin and pemetrexed, as the two medications combined work better than one type of drug alone. Yet, the side effects of the cisplatin/premetrexed drug combination are often severe, and studies suggest that only half of the patients will respond favorably. Consequently, it’s been difficult to find the perfect treatment options for those with pleural mesothelioma, yet doctors are hoping PEITC will help.
“Treatment of [pleural mesothelioma] represents a major public health challenge given its aggressiveness, poor prognosis after diagnosis and, more importantly, its lack of effective curative therapies,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Iza Denis.
Another issue that arises when taking cisplatin is chemoresistance, which happens when the body becomes used to the medicine, resulting in the treatment eventually failing. However, in combination with PEITC, cisplatin remained effective for a longer period of time.
“The combination not only led to a significant increase of cell death, but more importantly prevented the emergence of chemoresistance,” said Dr. Denis
In addition, another study performed in 2013 showed that PEITC in combination with cisplatin was effective in battling lung cancer. It was after this study that the correlation between PEITC and mesothelioma treatments were brought about. By using the Uptiblue viability assay, current researchers tested PEITC on mesothelioma cancer cells. They also tested the cells with a combination of PEITC and cisplatin. Results indicate that the combination of PEITC and cisplatin killed 80% of the cancerous cells, while PEITC alone killed 40%. Cisplatin was also tested alone, and killed around 40% of the cells as well.
According to National Cancer Institute. PEITC is found in numerous vegetables, including:
- Collard greens
- Brussels, and
Healthy Cells Are Safe
Another promising aspect of the study is that the results show that healthy cells are completely safe when taking a combination of PEITC and cisplatin. Per Dr. Denis, the results“clearly illustrates the safety of our strategy for healthy cells while inducing almost 100 percent [pleural mesothelioma] cell death.”
Suggested treatment, per Dr. Denis, is for physicians to administer the combination via an injection into the patient’s pleural area and lungs. Over time, she hopes that the combination will become a popular treatment for mesothelioma patients. However, more studies may be done to test its effectiveness even more.
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