It has been reported that medics may start to target the protein mesothelin in order to try and treat the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, as well as to make a more effective diagnosis of other forms of cancer, according to a recent report.

The report was recently printed in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal. According to the report researchers have found that mesothelin could prove to be an effective therapeutic target because of the way that this protein is distributed in the body.

This protein is found in only small quantities in the lung, abdominal, and heart lining in healthy patients, but in those with mesothelioma and certain other cancers the protein is found in much higher quantities. In order to try and treat these cancers researchers are looking at antibodies that will bypass normal cells and target mesothelin.

However, there are concerns about the side effects of the treatment. Yang Feng, PhD, a biologist with the Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program of the National Cancer Institute, said: “This reaction by the immune system is a severe side effect, and makes it risky to re-administer the treatment agent to patients.”

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