Early Detection of Mesothelioma with MicroRNAs

Testing for Early Detection of Mesothelioma

A new study appears to contradict some of what scientists thought they knew about early detection of mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive cancer. It usually happens because of past asbestos exposure. Early detection of mesothelioma is key to improving survival. But it is notoriously hard to make a mesothelioma diagnosis. Many patients who have mesothelioma do not even know it until the cancer is in its advanced stage. As a result, most do not live more than a year. Some studies have suggested that tiny, non-coding bits of RNA could help doctors detect mesothelioma earlier. But new research in Germany brings that idea into question. Biomarkers for Early Detection of Mesothelioma MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important … Continue reading Early Detection of Mesothelioma with MicroRNAs »

BAP1 Can Distinguish Mesothelioma from Other Conditions

Scientist looking at mesothelioma cells

German scientists say a protein could help doctors distinguish mesothelioma from other conditions. Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer that grows on the membranes around organs. These membranes are called mesothelial membranes. But other conditions can also grow on mesothelial membranes. One of those conditions is adenomatoid tumors. Adenomatoid tumors are benign but, even under the microscope, their cells can look a lot like malignant mesothelioma. Now, a group of pathologists in Germany say the BAP1 protein can tell these two conditions apart. If doctors can distinguish mesothelioma from other conditions early enough, mesothelioma patients may have better outcomes. BAP1 Loss and Mesothelioma BAP1 is a protein encoded by the BAP1 gene. BAP1 is one of the proteins that helps keep … Continue reading BAP1 Can Distinguish Mesothelioma from Other Conditions »

Genetics-Based Cancer Treatment Could Mean New Hope for Mesothelioma

genetic-based cancer treatment for targeted mesothelioma therapy

The FDA has approved a new genetics-based cancer treatment that could open the door for more targeted mesothelioma therapy. The drug is called larotrectinib. The drug company Bayer sells it under the brand name Vitrakvi. Larotrectinib is unique because it is not specific to any one type of cancer. Instead, larotrectinib is based on a patient’s genetic biomarkers. It is the first drug of its kind to gain approval by the FDA. What is a Genetics-Based Cancer Treatment? A genetics-based cancer treatment is a drug that targets certain genetic mutations. Doctors find these mutations by testing for biomarkers. One mutation could cause breast cancer, colon cancer, or even pleural mesothelioma. Some kinds of mutations are connected to only one type … Continue reading Genetics-Based Cancer Treatment Could Mean New Hope for Mesothelioma »

Lung Fluid Proteins Could be Key to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Australian researchers say proteins found in lung fluid could hold the key to diagnosing pleural mesothelioma months or even years before a tumor is visible on imaging scans. Proteins function as communication devices in the body, directing all sorts of critical cellular processes, including the processes that tell cancer cells to begin replicating at a higher rate than normal cells. Scientists at Flinders University, one of the world’s leaders in mesothelioma research, wondered if the proteins that help give rise to malignant pleural mesothelioma could be found in pleural effusions and used as biomarkers to identify the cancer earlier. Looking for Mesothelioma Biomarkers in Lung Fluid In a new study published in the Journal of Proteomics, the team notes that … Continue reading Lung Fluid Proteins Could be Key to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

Lung Fluid Tests May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Using the free-floating cancer cells present in lung-fluid to diagnose malignant mesothelioma may lead to earlier detection and better outcomes. That is the conclusion of cancer researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska University Hospital. The team’s goal was to evaluate the established criteria for cytopathological diagnosis of mesothelioma, i.e. diagnosis using cells found in fluid (effusions) instead of cells from a tissue biopsy. In a newly published article in the Archives of Pathological and Laboratory Medicine, the researchers observe, “Despite the difficulties in recognizing malignant cells present in those early effusions, they are often the first available biologic material for diagnosis.” Diagnosing Pleural  Mesothelioma Malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare but fast-growing cancer associated with asbestos exposure, is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Diagnosis … Continue reading Lung Fluid Tests May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Case Highlights Importance of Genetic Testing

The case of a peritoneal mesothelioma patient who was diagnosed at just 45-years-old is drawing attention to the role of genetics in this aggressive asbestos-linked malignancy. Sometimes referred to as “asbestos cancer”, malignant mesothelioma is almost always connected with known exposure to the fibrous mineral—often in a work environment. But even though most mesothelioma cases can be traced back to asbestos, not all asbestos-exposed people go on to develop malignant mesothelioma. Because of this, scientists began to believe that, in mesothelioma as in so many other types of cancer, there were likely other factors at play. Early Mesothelioma, Genes, and Asbestos Exposure In most cases, mesothelioma takes decades to develop, meaning that most patients are not diagnosed with mesothelioma until they … Continue reading Peritoneal Mesothelioma Case Highlights Importance of Genetic Testing »

Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Lung Fluid Testing Has its Limits

mesothelioma diagnosis

Lung fluid tests for malignant mesothelioma are accurate less than half the time according to cancer researchers at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Hospital. The production of excess lung fluid (pleural effusions) is a common side effect of mesothelioma, as well as a number of other malignant and non-malignant conditions. In mesothelioma patients, this buildup of fluid often leads to breathlessness and chest pain. Because this fluid can contain cells from a growing tumor, doctors have used lung fluid testing, also known as cytologic analysis, to identify certain types of cancer, including pleural mesothelioma. But a new study published in the Internal Medicine Journal suggests that, especially with mesothelioma, lung fluid testing is only moderately effective and must be combined with other … Continue reading Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Lung Fluid Testing Has its Limits »

Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes

A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say they have come up with better way to measure the effects of surgery-related inflammation on subsequent mesothelioma therapies. Their results could help other scientists predict the effectiveness of new and existing adjuvant mesothelioma treatments. Combination Therapy for Mesothelioma Because malignant mesothelioma is so difficult to treat, most patients are treated with a combination of different therapies.   While not all patients are candidates for surgery, a number of studies have suggested that mesothelioma patients who do have surgery as one of their treatments tend to live longer than those who only have other types of treatments. The challenge is that surgery itself can be so disruptive to the body that … Continue reading Surgery-Related Inflammation and Mesothelioma Outcomes »

How Asbestos Turns Healthy Cells into Mesothelioma Tumors

Scientists are a step closer to understanding how malignant mesothelioma may take hold in the body thanks to new research from the University of Vermont. A team of pathologists, biologists, and geneticists have released a report suggesting that exosomes, tiny vesicles secreted by cells, undergo dangerous changes when the cells encounter asbestos fibers. According to the researchers, exosomes from asbestos-exposed cells can carry gene-altering cargo that may then go on to “infect” cells on the mesothelial membranes where mesothelioma tumors start. Exosomes and Mesothelioma Risk To test the theory that these exosomes may prompt changes that results in pleural mesothelioma, researchers focused on lung epithelial cells and macrophages (white blood cells). These are typically the first cells to come in … Continue reading How Asbestos Turns Healthy Cells into Mesothelioma Tumors »

New Technology Could Change How Mesothelioma Treatment is Monitored

New technology could eventually make it easier, less painful, and less expensive to track the progress of patients undergoing treatment for malignant mesothelioma and other cancers. A research team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison pharmacy professor Seungpyo Hong has developed what they say is a more efficient method for capturing free-floating cancer cells in the blood. The developers say the system is far more effective than existing systems at capturing these hard-to-find circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and could be used to supplement other technologies for tracking cancer treatment. Mesothelioma Biopsy vs CTC Tracking Although mesothelioma therapies have advanced in recent years, there is still no cure for the asbestos-linked cancer. As scientists work to develop new kinds of treatments like … Continue reading New Technology Could Change How Mesothelioma Treatment is Monitored »

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