Apoptosis is the natural process in which biochemical events change the characteristics of damaged or unhealthy cells, causing them to close down and die. Cell proliferation and cell death are both essential for optimal health, and apoptosis plays an indispensable role in this. In the average adult, ten billion cells die every day – an average of seven million cells a minute – but cancer cells are immune to apoptosis and are therefore impossible for the body to eliminate on its own.
There are a family of drugs that force apoptosis in cancerous cells, but none have ever been successful in treatingmesothelioma. However, researchers at the universities of Bradford and Surrey in UK believe they may have created a new drug that can.
HRX9 targets the HOX gene family, a family comprised of 39 genes that allow for rapid cell division in growing embryos. Generally turned off in adults, HOX genes are switched back on in cancer patients, allowing cancer cells to proliferate and survive. In patients with mesothelioma, one of these genes – HOXB4 – is of particular concern. The greater number of HOXB4 proteins, the more aggressive the cancer.
HRX9 is the first cancer drug that targets HOXB4. While research is just beginning, initial studies have found HRX9 can stop human mesothelioma tumor growth in as few as three weeks. What’s more, HRX9 has shown to cause cancer cell death by prompting a complete loss of tumor blood vessels. Still in development, researchers hope HRX9 will be available for use in humans in the near future.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in New York City or throughout the country, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact The Williams Law Firm online or by calling (855) 955-6376 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights.