A study conducted in Italy suggests that the same chemical antiseptic surgeons use to sanitize their hands and prepare patients’ skin prior to surgery might offer and easy and effective way to keep mesothelioma from growing back after surgery.
PVP-I, also known as Betadine, is a combination of povidone and iodine that has been used since the 1950s to prevent infection. PVP-I also has antineoplastic or anti-growth properties that could potentially be used in cancer treatment.
But, as a group of Italian researchers note in a recent issue of the European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, “PVP-I administration has not been optimized to achieve the best antitumoral efficacy”.
To determine how PVP-I might be used in mesothelioma treatment, the authors incubated samples from four different mesothelioma cell lines in varying concentrations of PVP-I. The cells were incubated in the solution for 5, 10, 30 and 60 minutes and for 24 hours. Afterward, the viability of the cells was tested and the mechanism of cell death determined.
While the effectiveness varied widely between the different cell lines, PVP-I did have an impact on all of them. Three of the mesothelioma cell lines tested (MET5A, ISTMES2, and MSTO) responded to a 0.1% concentration of PVP-I after 10 minutes of incubation. The concentration had to be bumped up to ten times that amount to suppress the remaining H2052 mesothelioma cells. At the right concentration, however, the ability of cells to defend themselves against oxidation (superoxide dismutase activity) was “significantly inhibited in all cell lines”.
In the published summary of their study, the authors confirm the antineoplastic activity of PVP-I in mesothelioma and suggest that rinsing PVP-I into the pleural cavity around the lungs after surgery might keep the cancer in check. The write, “If confirmed by larger studies, our findings suggest that the intrapleural irrigation with PVP-I in patients with epithelial or biphasic mesothelioma undergoing cytoreductive surgery might be applied in thoracic surgery practice to prevent neoplastic cell growth.”
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