Mesothelioma Study Sees Treatment Possibilities in Flaxseed-derived Compound That Prevented Cell Death

Mesothelioma Study Sees Treatment Possibilities in Flaxseed-derived Compound That Prevented Cell Death

A study reported a potential new treatment for mesothelioma, lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (LGM2605), which prevented cell death as a result of mouse macrophages brought into contact with asbestos and the subsequent formation of cell-killing free radicals (oxidative stress).

The report, Asbestos Induces Oxidative Stress and Activation of Nrf2 Signaling in Murine Macrophages: Chemopreventive Role of the Synthetic Lignan Secoisolariciresinol Diglucoside (LGM2605) appeared on March 1, 2016, in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Mesothelioma cancer is mainly caused by asbestos exposure, and the one-year survival rate of patients with lung mesothelioma is 38 percent. Understanding how asbestos affects cells and leads to cancer development is a first step toward identifying new and much-needed treatment targets.

Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) is a compound that derives from flaxseed. It has antioxidant effects, and could be potentially used to prevent asbestos-induced mesothelioma.

The researchers, led by Ralph A. Pietrofesa of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine and the Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, studied cells taken from the mouse peritoneum. The scientists exposed the cells to asbestos and measured cell death. They then attempted to prevent cell death by adding a synthetic SDG called LGM2605.

LGM2605 prevented the formation of several types of free radicals and oxidative stress markers that typically kill cells. Importantly, LGM2605 prevented the cells from dying.

In their report, the investigators concluded, “LGM2605 boosted antioxidant defenses, as well as reduced asbestos-induced ROS [reactive oxygen species] generation and markers of oxidative stress in murine peritoneal macrophages, supporting its possible use as a chemoprevention agent in the development of asbestos-induced malignant mesothelioma.”

However, the study is a preliminary finding in mouse cells grown in a dish. Further work in animal models and humans is needed before LGM2605 can advance as a possible therapy in people exposed to asbestos.

Mesothelioma tumors typically develop in the lung lining, but can also affect other organs, including the stomach and heart.

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