Mesothelioma Therapy with the Antiestrogen Tamoxifen

Mesothelioma Therapy with the Antiestrogen Tamoxifen

Another interesting study is called, “The Antiestrogen Tamoxifen in the Treatment of Recurrent Benign Cystic Mesothelioma” by Gerard S. Letteriea, and Joseph L. Yonb –
Gynecologic Oncology Volume 70, Issue 1, July 1998, Pages 131-133.  Here is an excerpt:  “Abstract – Benign cystic mesothelioma is a tumor characteristically found in women during the reproductive years. These tumors are infrequently found after castration or menopause, suggesting some degree of hormonal sensitivity. Such aspects of the tumor suggest a potential role for antiestrogens as medical management and an alternative to radical surgery. We treated a 19-year-old woman with a symptomatic pelvic mass secondary to a recurrent benign cystic mesothelioma 2 years after radical surgery with the antiestrogen tamoxifen. An initial reduction in volume and arrest of growth was followed by stabilization in size and disappearance of symptoms. Therapy was continued for 18 months with no change in the volume of the cystic structure. The patient continued to be asymptomatic. Periodic surveillance with quantitative digital radiography for bone density showed no change in bone mineral density. Serum testing for liver function studies was normal throughout treatment. This case suggests that antiestrogens may have a role in the medical management of these rare estrogen-dependent neoplasms. The initial reduction in size and arrest in growth further suggest extreme sensitivity of this tumor to manipulation of the hormonal milieu. Therapy with the antiestrogen tamoxifen in this setting may provide an option for long-term medical management in cases of symptomatic recurrent cystic mesotheliomas.”

Another interesting study is called, “Expression profile of telomerase subunits in human pleural Mesothelioma” by Karl Dhaene, Jan Wauters, Barbara Weyn, Jean-Pierre Timmermans, Eric van Marck – The Journal of Pathology Volume 190, Issue 1, pages 80–85, January 2000.  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – Using the TRAP assay, telomerase activity was previously detected in over 90% of human pleural mesotheliomas (MMs), but not in mesothelial cell cultures (MCCs), suggesting that telomerase re-activation occurs during multi-step mesothelioma carcinogenesis. The present study determined the expression of the telomerase RNA template (hTERC), the telomerase-associated protein (hTEP1), and the telomerase catalytic sub-unit (hTERT), in 16 pleural MMs and 4 MM-derived cell lines, in two pleural solitary fibrous tumours and in six MCCs. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that hTERT mRNA expression parallels the activity status documented by the TRAP assay, whereas hTERC and hTEP1 mRNA are commonly expressed in all malignant and non-malignant serosal cells and tissues. Three alternatively spliced hTERT transcripts were detected in all telomerase-positive samples, whereas neither variant could be detected in the MCCs. Detection of the hTERT protein with a commercially available antibody was not successful. These results indicate that hTERT expression is rate-limiting for human telomerase activity and that re-activation, rather than up-regulation, of hTERT expression can play a critical role in MM carcinogenesis. While waiting suitable anti-hTERT antibodies, these results provide information for the design of hTERT mRNA-specific in situ probes to study telomerase in archived pre-malignant serosal lesions.”

We all owe a debt of gratitude to these fine researchers.  If you found any of these excerpts interesting, please read the studies in their entirety.

Monty Wrobleski is the author of this article.  For more information please click on the following links

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