Though some mesothelioma victims are more focused on who is responsible for their illness, some ask more scientifically-oriented questions: they want to know how a cell that died following exposure to an asbestos fiber could go on to form mesothelioma’s aggressive and deadly tumors. For that question, science may finally have come up with an answer. According to a paper published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Oncology, researchers from the University of Salford believe that they have found the answer to how all cancers start. They report that they have discovered that approximately 0.2 percent of cancer cells are highly energetic, and have extremely elevated levels of a certain biomarker. They believe that this makes them invulnerable to the normal life cycle, so that when they are threatened or damaged they react differently, multiplying rapidly and beginning to form tumors.
“If we ask where do these cells come from, the evidence indicates they emerge from senescent (dying) cells,” co-author Professor Federica Sotgia, from the University of Salford, said in a statement. “They displayed hallmarks of senescence but are no longer senescent, they have broken out of senescence.” This would explain how cells damaged by asbestos fibers mutate. “In other words, this origin cell breaks out of line and runs amok, multiplying malignant cells and creating a tumour,” senior author Professor Michael Lisanti, also at the University of Salford, stated. “It feels like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, and it crucially gives us a new window on cancer and how we might stop it.”
With this explanation, mesothelioma researchers may have a new path of inquiry for preventing and treating the rare and fatal form of cancer. If you have been affected by mesothelioma and have questions about your legal rights, contact us for answers. We can be reached at 1-800-966-2244.