Study Links Cellular ‘Tunnels’ to Mesothelioma Proliferation, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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Researchers say microscopic channels between mesothelioma cells may offer a new target for mesothelioma therapy.

Intercellular Channels in Mesothelioma

Tunneling Nanotubes and Mesothelioma

“This markedly higher rate of TnT formation in mesothelioma...provides evidence to support TnTs as a potential novel target for selective therapy of such cancers.

Cancer researchers in New York and Minnesota believe they have found a connection between intercellular communication tunnels and the growth and spread of mesothelioma. Click here to read the full story on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the University of Minnesota have just released their study on tunneling nanotubes (TnTs), actin-based tubes that carry information and materials between cells. They found that mesothelioma cells contain many more of these tubes than healthy mesothelial cells.

“This markedly higher rate of TnT formation in mesothelioma, and likely in other cancers as well, provides evidence to support TnTs as a potential novel target for selective therapy of such cancers,” writes author Dr. Justin Ady with Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

The study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, also found that the length of TnTs tended to change over time and may also be linked to mesothelioma proliferation.

“Although much is still unknown about the exact role of tunneling nanotubes in mesothelioma, the suggestion that these connections might eventually offer a whole new avenue of treatment is very promising,” says Alex Strauss, Managing Editor of Surviving Mesothelioma.

To learn more about the structure and function of tunneling nanotubes, see ‘Tunnels’ Between Cells: A New Target for Mesothelioma Treatment? now available on the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Ady, J et al, “Intercellular communication in malignant pleural mesothelioma: properties of tunneling nanotubes”, October 31, 2014, Frontiers in Physiology, eCollection 2014,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Cancer Monthy
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