Recent Research in Japan links a protein to surviving Mesothelioma

 By Warren Miller.    30th July 2013

A recent study in Mesothelioma patients has identified a protein known as CD9 which can prolong life.

CD9 glycoprotein and mesothelioma

The study was conducted at the Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences at the Hiroshima University in Japan.

CD9 is a glycoprotein which plays a role in cell–cell interactions, they help bind together the fibers, cells, and ground substance of connective tissue.

The Institute first tested what happens to mesothelioma cells when the glycoprotein is knocked down by gene manipulation.

The results showed that in those cell samples there was an increased mobility of the mesothelioma cancer cells.

The next test was to examine CD9 in over 100 cell samples of malignant pleural (lungs) mesothelioma. These cell samples were taken from patients with mesothelioma that had a variety of histopathological subtypes.

3 subtypes were examined:

  • Epithelioid Subtype - 71 samples taken. 62 of which were shown to express CD9
  • Biphasic Subtype - 20 samples taken. 13 of were shown to express CD9
  • Sarcomatoid Subtype - 20 samples taken. 1 of which was shown to express CD9

Link between CD9 and Mesothelioma survival rate

The investigation also looked at the link between CD9 and Mesothelioma survival rates. They found that patients whose cells expressed CD9 have a much greater chance of surviving the disease for longer than those without.

In fact, some 63% of patients whose cells expressed CD9 were still alive after the initial diagnosis of mesothelioma. A quarter of those patients were still alive 2 years after diagnosis.

However victims of the disease without the CD9 glycoprotein only had a 39% chance of survival past the first year
and 11% past 2 years.

Patients with CD9 had various other factors in their favour:

  • The mesothelioma was at an earlier stage
  • They had the Epithelioid Histopathological Subtype
  • They tended to be younger than 60, so were more likely to be healthy enough to undergo chemotherapy or an extrapleural pneumonectomy.

In conclusion, the Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences stated:

”CD9 expression is an independent favorable prognostic marker of malignant mesothelioma.”

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