Health Discoveries in Mesothelioma

RNA therapy is the focus of California cancer study

April 12, 2011
A RNA-based therapy to combat cancerous cells in mesothelioma patients is under study by a researcher at the University of California at San Francisco.

Dr. Bin Liu, an associate professor in the university's Department of Anesthesia, is building on previous research he has done on antibodies that target both epithelial and sarcomatous mesothelioma cells. In the second stage of his research, he will combine those antibodies with small interfering RNA (siRNA), which block certain genes and may be used to target biological pathways and cause cell death. The combination will allow the siRNA to be delivered directly into the cancer cells.

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) is funding Liu's study as part of its ongoing research support program. In the past decade, MARF has awarded about $7 million in research grants to find new treatments and a cure for mesothelioma. Up to $100,000 for a two-year grant is awarded to each of several research projects annually.

Within the Cancer Institute of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, rarer forms of cancer such as mesothelioma, are treated by a multidisciplinary team of specialists focused on individualized care plans for their patients.
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