New Cancer Blood Test May Bolster Mesothelioma Diagnostic Tools

new cancer blood test

A new cancer blood test may make boost the accuracy of current screening tools and allow doctors to detect malignant mesothelioma and other hard-to-find cancers earlier.  The test is called a multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test. The US company Grail developed it and researchers at the Cleveland Clinic tested it on more than 3,500 patients. They found that it correctly identified cancer in more than half of cases. The test was even more accurate in rare cancer types for which no screening test is available.  Malignant mesothelioma was not specifically mentioned in the report. But it is an extremely rare cancer. The method used by the new cancer blood test suggests that it could be useful for finding mesothelioma, too.  … Continue reading New Cancer Blood Test May Bolster Mesothelioma Diagnostic Tools »

BAP1 Not the Only Gene to Raise Mesothelioma Risk

raise mesothelioma risk

A new study is further evidence that a mutation on the BAP1 gene is not the only genetic anomaly to raise mesothelioma risk. Scientists at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center along with a team of international researchers recently published a study of 13 malignant mesothelioma patients. All of these patients had close relatives who also had cancer. This suggested that something in their genetic makeup might raise mesothelioma risk.  Previous research suggests one gene that makes people more susceptible to mesothelioma is BAP1. People with a mutation on this gene are more likely to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. They are also more susceptible to several other conditions.  But the people in the new study were chosen because none of them … Continue reading BAP1 Not the Only Gene to Raise Mesothelioma Risk »

Japanese Researchers Discover ‘Novel Diagnostic Marker’ for Mesothelioma

novel diagnostic marker

A protein called CDLN15 could be a novel diagnostic marker for malignant pleural mesothelioma, allowing doctors to pinpoint asbestos cancer earlier and boost the odds of survival. That is the message from a recently published Japanese study.  Pleural mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to diagnose. It rarely causes any symptoms at all until it is in a late stage. When the symptoms do show up, they are easy to confuse with other illnesses. Earlier diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma depends on finding things that set it apart from other diseases. This novel diagnostic marker could serve as a red flag for this rare but deadly cancer.  CDLN15 as a Novel Diagnostic Marker CDLN15 stands for claudin-15. Claudins are a family of proteins … Continue reading Japanese Researchers Discover ‘Novel Diagnostic Marker’ for Mesothelioma »

Breath Test Could Predict Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Response

breath test

New research shows a breath test called an eNose might help doctors determine which mesothelioma patients are most likely to respond to immunotherapy.  Immunotherapy is one of the most promising new approaches to malignant mesothelioma. But not every patient responds.  A new Dutch study suggests that biomarkers in a patient’s exhaled breath may be indicators of immunotherapy response. The eNose breath test can identify those biomarkers quickly and easily. The technology might make it easier to decide on the best mesothelioma treatment.  Immunotherapy for Malignant Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a rare but deadly cancer of the lung lining. Until last year, chemotherapy with Alimta (pemetrexed) was the only FDA-approved systemic treatment.  In 2020, the FDA approved a combination of immunotherapy … Continue reading Breath Test Could Predict Mesothelioma Immunotherapy Response »

Higher PD-L1 Protein May Predict Shorter Mesothelioma Survival

PD-L1 protein

Mesothelioma patients with higher levels of the PD-L1 protein in their tumor cells have worse overall survival compared to those with lower levels. But that may not be true for patients who have immunotherapy. That news comes from a new European study of more than 200 patients. PD-L1 and its partner protein PD-1 (found in immune system cells) are popular targets for new immunotherapy drugs. But the new study aimed to find out if they impact mesothelioma survival independently of immunotherapy. The team concluded the PD-L1 protein may shorten lifespan. PD-1 does not seem to have the same effect.  Pleural Mesothelioma and the PD-L1 Protein Pleural mesothelioma is an intractable cancer of the lung lining. It often leads to poor … Continue reading Higher PD-L1 Protein May Predict Shorter Mesothelioma Survival »

Age and Smoking Less Important Than Other Factors for Mesothelioma Outcomes

age and smoking

A newly published study suggests that a mesothelioma patient’s age and smoking history is less important to prognosis than certain biomarkers or what treatment they choose. The study comes from scientists at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases in Mexico City.  They performed a retrospective analysis of 136 patients with pleural mesothelioma. The goal was to see which factors played the biggest role in outcomes. Age and smoking were among seven factors evaluated. It turns out they were not the most important ones.  Who Gets Pleural Mesothelioma? Malignant mesothelioma is the cancer most closely associated with asbestos exposure. Most people who get it have lived or worked around asbestos. Mesothelioma can take decades to develop. Most patients are over 65.  … Continue reading Age and Smoking Less Important Than Other Factors for Mesothelioma Outcomes »

Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy

Biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma

Two of the most important biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma are not much help when it comes to tracking response to immunotherapy. Top mesothelioma researchers at the University of Pennsylvania drew that conclusion based on data from a cohort of 58 patients.  They focused on two primary biomarkers for pleural mesothelioma: SMRP and fibulin-3. Doctors use both of these markers to diagnose and plan treatment for mesothelioma.  The study confirms the correlation between these markers and mesothelioma tumor volume. But the Penn Medicine researchers say these biomarkers of pleural mesothelioma were “not useful” for measuring immunotherapy response. Understanding Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma A biomarker is a substance produced by the body that indicates a biological process or condition. Most mesothelioma biomarkers … Continue reading Standard Biomarkers for Pleural Mesothelioma “Not Useful” for Immunotherapy »

Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020

breakthroughs in mesothelioma

In spite of a global pandemic, there were some major breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020 that made the year a hopeful one for people fighting asbestos cancer. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious illness caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.  Mesothelioma is still not curable. But researchers have made major breakthroughs in mesothelioma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment this year.  Mesothelioma Treatment Advances Mesothelioma treatment saw the biggest breakthroughs in mesothelioma in 2020. The FDA approved the first systemic treatment for mesothelioma since 2004. That was the year that Alimta (pemetrexed) received approval.  They approved a combination of the immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy. Yervoy helps activate and proliferate T-cells. Opdivo helps existing T-cells discover the mesothelioma  tumor. The patients who … Continue reading Breakthroughs in Mesothelioma in 2020 »

New Cancer Blood Test: Could it Find Early Mesothelioma?

new cancer blood test

Researchers in England are testing a new cancer blood test that promises to reveal the presence of hard-to-find cancers like mesothelioma earlier. The country’s National Health Service will offer the test to 165,000 UK residents next year as part of a clinical trial.  “Early detection, particularly for hard to treat conditions like ovarian and pancreatic cancer, has the potential to save many lives,” NHS England’s’ chief executive Simon Stevens told The Guardian newspaper. “This promising blood test could therefore be a gamechanger in cancer care, helping thousands more people to get successful treatment.” If the trial of the new cancer blood test is successful, it could be available to help detect mesothelioma within a few years.  The Challenge of Identifying … Continue reading New Cancer Blood Test: Could it Find Early Mesothelioma? »

P16 Test May Improve Diagnostic Accuracy for Mesothelioma

diagnostic accuracy for mesothelioma

Scientists in the UK say testing for a tumor suppressor protein called p16 can improve diagnostic accuracy for mesothelioma. It may also help predict which patients are likely to have the best treatment response. The p16 protein is encoded by the CDKN2A gene. Many people with mesothelioma are missing this gene.  Previous studies show a lack of p16 may be linked to lower cancer survival. Now, researchers in Manchester say it should be added to routine tests to improve prognostic and diagnostic accuracy for mesothelioma. The Challenge of Diagnostic Accuracy for Mesothelioma It is not easy to diagnose mesothelioma. There is no single test that can show if a person has this cancer. Diagnosis usually involves blood tests, imaging studies, … Continue reading P16 Test May Improve Diagnostic Accuracy for Mesothelioma »

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