Quoted from http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/18952524/uh-cancer-researchers-make-key-discovery-for-mesothelioma
UH cancer researchers make key discovery for mesothelioma
Posted: Jul 04, 2012 9:37 PM EDT
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –
Despite the holiday, work goes on at the University of Hawaii Cancer Research Center.
Just days ago, UH scientists specializing in the area of mesothelioma landed on the cover of a leading cancer research publication. All because of a protein called HMGB1.
UH’s international team of researchers identified how HMGB1 contributes to the rare, aggressive mesothelioma cancer. Doctor Haining Yang has been studying it since 2005. “It’s a protein that, in the beginning, we found is very critical for the development of the tumor,” she explains.
Mesothelioma lines the lungs and abdomen. Most of the time, it’s caused by asbestos, a mineral fiber, that we inhale. When asbestos goes in the lung, the first thing released is the HMGB1 molecule.
“That then kickstarts all the process, all the chronic inflammatory process, that drives those cells that have been damaged by the asbestos into growing into a tumor,” says Dr. Michele Carbone, who heads up the mesothelioma team.