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Firefly Compound Illuminates Possible Mesothelioma Treatment

Photinus_pyralis_Firefly_glowing.jpgResearchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York have just recently released the results of one of their latest studies of an oxidative enzyme derived from fireflies called Firefly Luciferase. This enzyme is responsible for the bioluminescence of fireflies. Researchers discovered, after treating mesothelioma cells with this enzyme, that heat-based treatments may be effective against mesothelioma and that firefly luciferase can be a valuable guidance system. The specially treated cancer cells emitted a bright, clear, bioluminescent signal that amplified with the cell number and was detectable with as few as 10 cells in cell culture. In other words, when the enzyme is isolated and treated, it can be made to bind with certain biomarkers, causing cells with these markers to glow. This is a high-tech, glow in the dark, cancer tracker; courtesy of Mother Nature.glowing-cancer-cells-mouse.jpg

Scientists were able to inject the tumors of laboratory mice and the compound only attached itself to the malignant cells (those with the designated biomarkers). As a result, ONLY the malignant cells were illuminated on the post procedure radiological tests.

Electrocautery is a surgical technique which involves introducing high frequency current to a specific area of the body in order to remove unwanted tissue, seal off blood vessels, or to create a surgical incision. Ablation is a medical technique used to remove tissue from the body through radio-wave frequencies. It is used to treat many different medical problems including malignant tumors. If the desired target (mesothelioma cells) are illuminated (like fireflies in the night) they are significantly easier to identify and subsequently destroy and or remove using electrocautery ablation.

Bioluminescence imaging is a sensitive, real-time imaging approach; bioluminescence reporters such as firefly luciferase can assess and guide thermal treatment of cancer. This encourages research into bioluminescence imaging as a molecular technique with potential to target tumors via biomarkers and optimize thermal treatment procedures in a clinical setting.

This breakthrough offers the possibility of identifying the cells of a mesothelioma tumor without the need for invasive surgery and subsequently being able to treat the cancer more precisely and aggressively; each cell and only those diseased cells, unquestionable malignant mesothelioma, can be treated and or removed.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), and the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart). Three thousand people die each year from this devastating disease.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos related condition, we can help you. Preserve your legal rights before time runs out. Our experienced Florida asbestos law firm of Reyes, O’Shea & Coloca, P.A are dedicated to the fight for the rights of these individuals stricken with mesothelioma and other asbestos related conditions, who were unknowingly exposed and put at risk. Each case is handled individually and given the attention and priority it deserves by our carefully trained legal team.

medical reference books.jpgREFERENCES:

Bioluminescence Imaging Serves as a Dynamic Marker for Guiding and Assessing Thermal Treatment of Cancer in a Preclinical Model: by Joyce T. Au MD, Lorena Gonzalez MD, Chun-Hao Chen MD, Inna Serganova PhD, Yuman Fong MD
The Medical-Dictionary

Firefly luciferase – Wikipedia.org