Exosomes from asbestos-exposed cells modulate gene expression in mesothelial cells

Phillip Munson, Ying-Wai Lam, Julie Dragon, Maximilian MacPherson, Arti Shukla
  • The FASEB Journal, August 2018, Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB)
  • DOI: 10.1096/fj.201701291rr

New Insight into How Asbestos Can Cause Cancer

What is it about?

Asbestos is known to cause the deadly cancer, mesothelioma, and we have provided new insight into how that may occur. It turns out that lung cells that encounter asbestos fibers produce and send signals to cancer-susceptible cells that change them genetically in a way that could make them into tumor cells.

Why is it important?

This is a brand new explanation as to the way that asbestos causes cancer, something that is still very poorly understood. By figuring out how asbestos changes cells in a way that causes cancer we can better target therapies. Furthermore, the signals being sent from asbestos exposed cells may turn out to be useful biomarkers for diagnosis and cancer prevention.


Phillip Munson (Author)
University of Vermont

This was a fun and exciting project to perform the experiments for and write. The hypotheses tested here were the brainchild of Arti Shukla, PhD and her ideas have really helped spark novel concepts in our lab that develop into very cool cancer research endeavors.

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