There may be light at the end of the tunnel for mesothelioma sufferers.
The rare cancer, which results from exposure to asbestos, kills most patients but a team of Sydney oncology experts has found injecting sufferers with missing genetic information can reverse tumour growth.
“This has created considerable excitement in the scientific world,” the study’s principal investigator, Professor Nico van Zandwijk, said on Friday.
Researchers first identified that mesothelioma sufferers’ cancerous cells were missing important nucleotides, called microRNA.
This genetic information, present in all normal cells, not only controls cell function but prevents cancer growth.
Armed with this knowledge, the team began injecting patients’ deficient cells with microRNA.
After four years of trials they discovered replacing the missing microRNA nucleotides stopped cancer growth and could reduce tumour size.
“This is a magnificent finding,” Prof van Zandwijk from Sydney University’s Concord Clinical School told AAP.
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