Machine Learning Tool May Predict Mesothelioma Survival Better Than Pathologists

machine learning tool

The developers of a machine learning tool called MesoNet say the program can predict mesothelioma survival better than a pathologist. MesoNet is a deep convolutional neural network. It analyzes digitized images of mesothelioma cells to predict overall survival. In a new article in Nature Medicine, its creators compared the machine learning tool with pathologist-read slides. Then they validated MesoNet with two different sets of mesothelioma patients.  The result may offer a new, more accurate approach to mesothelioma treatment planning.  What is a Machine Learning Tool? A machine learning tool is a computer program that gets “smarter” the more it runs. A deep convolutional neural network is a type of machine learning tool that analyzes images. The more images it analyzes, … Continue reading Machine Learning Tool May Predict Mesothelioma Survival Better Than Pathologists »

The Pathological Diagnosis of Mesothelioma: New Recommendations

pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma

An international team of researchers says it is time to refine the pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma. They are recommending a list of changes they say could make the process more effective. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Under current pathology guidelines, it falls into just three categories. But the research team says those guidelines do not give doctors enough information. They recommend updates to make the pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma more specific.  Understanding Mesothelioma Pathology Pathologists study body tissue, fluids, and cells that are surgically removed. The pathological diagnosis of mesothelioma involves looking at cells under a microscope. Cells can then be put into a category.  About three quarters of mesothelioma cases are epithelioid. Epithelioid mesothelioma is … Continue reading The Pathological Diagnosis of Mesothelioma: New Recommendations »

Signs of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Radiotherapy

signs of peritoneal mesothelioma after radiotherapy

Japanese researchers are reminding doctors to watch for signs of peritoneal mesothelioma in people who have undergone past radiotherapy.  Many cancer patients undergo radiotherapy. Radiation disrupts the DNA inside cancer cells. This can help keep these malignant cells from replicating and spreading.  But radiation treatment also has a downside. It can cause cellular changes in healthy cells, too. This can cause side effects right away, or decades later.  As more people have radiation and survive, scientists at the Shinshu University School of Medicine say more of them could develop radiation-related mesothelioma later in life. But the signs of peritoneal mesothelioma years after radiation are easy to miss. Peritoneal Mesothelioma Case Study The new report is based on the case of … Continue reading Signs of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Radiotherapy »

Lung Cancer Blood Test: Can it Find Early Mesothelioma?

lung cancer blood test for mesothelioma

Mesothelioma patients and their doctors may have reason to be optimistic about a new lung cancer blood test. A random trial of more than 12,000 high-risk people in Scotland shows the EarlyCDT test combined with CT imaging can detect cancer early. Earlier diagnosis is likely to lead to longer survival of lung cancers like pleural mesothelioma. Researchers presented their findings on the new lung cancer blood test at a global conference this week in Spain. Largest Lung Cancer Trial As in the US, lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in Scotland. Pleural mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer. Although it is rare, mesothelioma is more common in the UK than in other parts of the world. This is … Continue reading Lung Cancer Blood Test: Can it Find Early Mesothelioma? »

MicroRNA Signature for Mesothelioma Could Lead to Earlier Diagnosis

microRNA signature for mesothelioma

Australian researchers believe they have identified what amounts to a microRNA signature for mesothelioma in pleural effusion.  Pleural effusion is the name for excess lung fluid. Up to 90 percent of pleural mesothelioma patients develop a pleural effusion. Researchers at the University of Western Australia say this fluid contains a wealth of information that could improve mesothelioma diagnosis. They have recently identified a trio of RNA molecules in fluid samples that could serve as a microRNA signature for mesothelioma. This “signature” could help doctors distinguish mesothelioma from other types of cancer. The Challenge of Mesothelioma Diagnosis Pleural mesothelioma is notoriously hard to diagnose. The early symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to the symptoms of many other lung conditions. They are … Continue reading MicroRNA Signature for Mesothelioma Could Lead to Earlier Diagnosis »

Minimally Invasive Lymph Node Staging May Prevent Unnecessary Mesothelioma Surgery

lymph node staging for mesothelioma

A minimally invasive procedure for lymph node staging may help some pleural mesothelioma patients avoid the pain and risk of surgery. That is the conclusion of a recent study on endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA).  EBUS-TBNA is a minimally invasive method for testing the lymph nodes deep in the chest (mediastinal lymph nodes). If lymph node staging shows evidence of pleural mesothelioma, surgery is less likely to be effective.  Mediastinal Lymph Node Staging and Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer that starts on the membrane around the lungs. It can spread to the lungs and other organs and is usually fatal.  The mediastinal lymph nodes are located in the area between the lungs. When the body is fighting … Continue reading Minimally Invasive Lymph Node Staging May Prevent Unnecessary Mesothelioma Surgery »

New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma

cancer blood test

Israeli researchers hope that a new kind of cancer blood test could help detect mesothelioma and other malignancies earlier. Earlier diagnosis could lead to longer mesothelioma survival. The blood test is based on the idea that immune system cells undergo metabolic changes when they fight a cancer like pleural mesothelioma. Different kinds of changes are associated with different kinds of cancers. The new cancer blood test detects these changes. Immune System Cells and Metabolism The immune system is the body’s primary way of defending itself against diseases like malignant mesothelioma. Metabolism refers to the way immune system cells expend energy to fight cancer.  An Israeli company is developing the new cancer blood test. It focuses on the metabolism of immune … Continue reading New Cancer Blood Test Could Identify Early Mesothelioma »

Low-Dose CT Screening May Delay Mesothelioma Deaths

low-dose ct screening for meosthelioma

The results of a long-term national study suggest that low-dose CT screening might prevent – or at least delay – deaths from pleural mesothelioma.  The National Lung Screening Trial included more than 53,000 lung cancer patients. Researchers released the first results in 2011 after more than six years of study. The recent follow-up results reflect more than 12 years of data on low-dose CT screening. They show that, in many cases, screening lung cancer patients for at least three years delayed their deaths for more than a decade.  Pleural Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Pleural mesothelioma is not the same thing as lung cancer. Mesothelioma starts on the lining around the lungs (pleura), rather than in the lung tissue itself.  But … Continue reading Low-Dose CT Screening May Delay Mesothelioma Deaths »

Spotting the BAP1 Gene Mutation in Mesothelioma Patients

BAP1 gene mutation

New guidelines may make it easier to tell which mesothelioma patients contracted the disease because of a BAP1 gene mutation. The knowledge could have an impact on mesothelioma treatment planning. BAP1 stands for BRCA associated protein-1. People who have an inherited BAP1 gene mutation face a higher risk for several conditions, including malignant mesothelioma.  Very few mesothelioma patients have the mutation and gene testing is not routine. So researchers at a top US cancer center have developed a set of screening criteria. The criteria may help predict which mesothelioma patients could benefit from genetic testing. Testing for the Altered Gene Mesothelioma is just one of the conditions associated with the inherited BAP1 gene mutation. People with this condition are also … Continue reading Spotting the BAP1 Gene Mutation in Mesothelioma Patients »

Study Highlights Link Between Mesothelioma Incidence and Ovarian Cancer

mesothelioma incidence and ovarian cancer

New research shows ovarian cancer rates are highest in states with the highest mesothelioma incidence. Researchers say it is because both are linked to the carcinogen asbestos. Scientists have known since as early as the 1950s that asbestos causes cancer. Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most commonly associated with asbestos exposure. But women with a history of asbestos exposure face a higher risk of ovarian cancer, too.  The new CDC study is a reminder that a higher mesothelioma incidence is not the only threat from asbestos. Asbestos and Mesothelioma Incidence Before asbestos was linked to mesothelioma, it was a popular insulator and building product additive. Most US buildings constructed before the 1980s contain some asbestos. The asbestos in these buildings … Continue reading Study Highlights Link Between Mesothelioma Incidence and Ovarian Cancer »

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