Medical Research Study in the Netherlands May Show Promise for a Possible Mesothelioma Vaccine
For decades, scientists and medical researchers have been studying cases of mesothelioma, a life-threatening form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The results of one research study may show promise for a potential vaccine to protect those who may have been exposed to the dangerous mineral.
If your family is facing a loved one’s diagnosis with mesothelioma cancer, asbestos lung cancer or asbestosis, please complete the form on this page for more information from our lawyers about your legal rights.
In the United States alone, tens of thousands of men and women have been exposed to asbestos directly through their jobs, their service in the U.S. Navy or other branches of the military, or by secondary exposure.
Because of the decades long latency period between asbestos exposure and when symptoms of an asbestos disease are first discovered, these men and women face a lifetime of risk to develop an asbestos-related illness later in life.
Depending on the severity of their asbestos-related illness, they also face the difficult and expensive treatment of chronic breathing disorders. In more serious cases, these men and woman may eventually battle asbestos lung cancer or mesothelioma cancer.
European Study of Possible Vaccine
For several years, physicians and researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands have been studying possible vaccine therapy to treat malignant mesothelioma. Their study focused on drug therapy that could use a mesothelioma patient’s dendritic cells (cells which help to produce antibodies to fight certain diseases) to produce an antigen T-cell response against mesothelioma tumors.
After extensive clinical research, the researchers conducted a small clinical trial of ten patients who had been recently diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma of the epithelial subtype.
After obtaining blood samples from the ten mesothelioma patients, the researchers cultured immature dendritic cells and exposed them to the antigen produced by the patients’ tumors. The dendritic cells were also exposed to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (a carrier protein used in the production of antibodies) as a surrogate marker to show immune response. The dendritic cells matured and were injected back into the patients in three doses over a two-week interval.
According to the researchers, in four patients whose tumor material was sufficient for testing, there was clear induction of cytotoxicity against their own tumors after vaccination. While three patients showed signs of tumor regression, the researchers could not conclusively attribute this result solely to the vaccine.
Publication of the Results of the Research Study
The study is scheduled to be published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. For more information about the study, the study abstract can be found here.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we may be able to help you to seek justice for your illness and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
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