Researchers have been looking at a substance called Brain Natriuretic Peptide to find out if it could predict survival in patients with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer affecting a special lining around our organs called the mesothelium. It is linked to exposure to asbestos, a toxic material used in many buildings and products in the past. This cancer can be hard to diagnose and treat.
BNP: A Potential Lifesaver for Mesothelioma Patients
Recently, mesothelioma researchers have been looking at Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP). This substance is usually produced by certain cells in the heart. In cases of malignant mesothelioma, it seems also to be produced by the cancerous cells.
The researchers wanted to find out if the ratio of BNP in the fluid around the lungs compared to the amount in the blood could give them clues about how a person might fare after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in the lungs. They looked at 19 patients with mesothelioma and studied how long they survived after their diagnosis.
On average, the patients were about 67 years old, and nearly 79% of them were male. After one year, about 53% of the patients were still alive, and after two years, about 32% were still alive. The researchers looked at factors like age and overall health, but these did not seem to make a big difference in how long someone survived.
They did notice that those who did not survive as long tended to have higher levels of BNP in the fluid around the lungs, especially after two years. They also found that the ratio of BNP in the fluid compared to the blood was higher in those who did not survive as long. This means that this ratio might be a useful marker for predicting how well someone might do after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
They also looked at something called the Natriuretic Peptide Precursor B (NPPB) gene, which is related to BNP. They discovered that patients with lower levels of NPPB tended to have better survival rates compared to those with higher levels.
The researchers think that looking at the ratio of BNP in the lung fluid to the blood could be a simple and cost-effective way to predict how well someone with mesothelioma might do in the future. This could be even more helpful than some of the commonly used factors for predicting outcomes in mesothelioma cases.
Tsolaki V, Zakynthinos GE, Zarogiannis S, et al. Pleural Fluid-to-Blood BNP Ratio May Contribute to Prognosis in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Clin Pract. 2023;13(5):1111-1122. Published 2023 Sep 13. doi:10.3390/clinpract13050099. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10514826/