Once again, researchers are touting nature’s bounty as an effective way to treat cancer. Last year, MesotheliomaHelp reported on several natural cancer-fighting treatments, including ginger, onions and turmeric. Now, researchers report that sea cucumbers could hold the key to fighting mesothelioma.
Researchers from the Comprehensive Cancer Center of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital report they have proven that the active agent, trabectedin, found in the Caribbean sea cucumber, already being used in treating ovarian cancer, may be a “promising new therapeutic option for MPM [malignant pleural mesothelioma],” according to an Oct. 25 article in Medical News Today.
The study results, where researchers looked at combining trabectedin with existing anti-cancer drugs, showed that not only is trabectedin effective against cancer cells, but it also has minimal impact on healthy pleural cells. The researchers went on to confirm further success when trabectedin was used with another drug that tackles the protein bcl-2, known to prevent cell death. They found “a significant improvement in destruction of malignant pleural mesothelioma cells.”
“Trabectedin therefore seems to be a new, effective and safe treatment option for this disease [mesothelioma],” concluded the researchers.
Mesothelioma patients often combine conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy, with alternative therapies, like natural supplements. However, researchers are working hard to create anti-cancer drugs based on naturally-occurring elements, such as trabectedin, that can be synthetically manufactured for medicinal uses.
Nearly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Although survival is often less than 18 months, continued breakthroughs in novel therapies give many hope that extended survival is possible.
See the full study in the Oct. issue of the American Association for Cancer Research journal.