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 »

Mesothelioma and Metastatic Cancer: New Test Can Reliably Tell the Difference

mesothelioma and metastatic cancer

Italian scientists have come up with what they believe is a nearly foolproof way to tell the difference between mesothelioma and metastatic cancer.  Malignant mesothelioma is a membrane cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Metastatic cancer can start anywhere in the body. It can cause tumors on the pleural membrane that may be mistaken for mesothelioma.  It is important for doctors to distinguish between these two types of malignancies. Mesothelioma and metastatic cancer are often treated differently. The Italian researchers say two biomarkers may make it easier to know which is which.  The Difference Between Mesothelioma and Metastatic Cancer Metastatic cancer or metastatic carcinoma is cancer that has spread to another part of the body from where it started. This usually … Continue reading Mesothelioma and Metastatic Cancer: New Test Can Reliably Tell the Difference »

Liquid Biopsy for Early Stage Mesothelioma Diagnosis

liquid biopsy

Canadian researchers are exploring a liquid biopsy test that could lead to early diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. The test is based on mesothelial precursor cells (MPC). The researchers say these cells – in combination with mesothelin and some kinds of stem cells – “could be implicated” in the development of mesothelioma.  A liquid biopsy detects cells in blood instead of tissue. The University of Toronto scientists think MPC in blood may be a new mesothelioma biomarker. If it proves to be true, this kind of biopsy might be able to identify mesothelioma patients even before they have symptoms. How Liquid Biopsy Works Patients with suspected mesothelioma may have many tests. Imaging scans and blood tests can help tell if a … Continue reading Liquid Biopsy for Early Stage Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds

asbestos causes mesothelioma

Some of the world’s top mesothelioma experts believe they now have a better understanding of how asbestos causes mesothelioma. The finding could help lead to more effective ways of treating it.  Malignant mesothelioma is a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure. Once symptoms develop, many patients do not live beyond a year.  Scientists have known since the early 1900s that asbestos causes mesothelioma. But they are still trying to figure out exactly how. A new international study led by the University of Hawaii may help answer the question. Membrane Cells Under Attack Mesothelioma is a cancer of a mesothelial membrane. The most common mesothelial membrane where mesothelioma occurs is the pleura. The pleura is a … Continue reading Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma Through Release of This Protein, Study Finds »

Recurrent Pleural Effusion Could Signal High Mesothelioma Risk

recurrent pleural effusion

The case of a Japanese woman with recurrent pleural effusion suggests the problem could be a precursor of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural effusion is a build-up of fluid on the space between the layers of the membrane that surrounds the lungs. It is common with mesothelioma and some other cancers.  In the new case study, the patient had recurrent pleural effusion for 15 years before she developed mesothelioma in situ. This is the earliest stage of asbestos cancer, before it becomes invasive. Her doctors say patients with similar problems should be tested for BAP1 loss and other signs of mesothelioma in situ.  Understanding Recurrent Pleural Effusion Pleural effusion is a side effect of several conditions including heart disease and cancer. … Continue reading Recurrent Pleural Effusion Could Signal High Mesothelioma Risk »

Gene Targeting Slows Aggressive Form of Pleural Mesothelioma

Aggressive Form of Pleural Mesothelioma

Scientists in Vienna are developing a new treatment for a particularly aggressive form of pleural mesothelioma.  This form of mesothelioma occurs in people with a genetic mutation. The mutation produces signals that fuel tumor growth. These patients typically have an even worse prognosis than other mesothelioma patients.  But the Austrian team came up with a way to block activation of the mutated gene. If the gene does not send its signal, this aggressive form of pleural mesothelioma may grow more slowly.  Aggression Fueled by Telomerase Malignant mesothelioma is one of the most aggressive kinds of cancer. It starts on the membranes around organs and can quickly spread to other parts of the body. By the time most people notice symptoms, … Continue reading Gene Targeting Slows Aggressive Form of Pleural Mesothelioma »

The Best Biomarkers for Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, & Monitoring

Best Biomarkers for Mesothelioma

What are the best biomarkers for mesothelioma? The answer is still Soluble Mesothelin-Related Proteins (SMRPs). That is the conclusion of a major review of medical literature by some of the world’s top mesothelioma experts. Dr. Harvey Pass of New York University’s Langone Medical Center and Dr. Michele Carbone of the University of Hawaii are among the authors on the new report.  They analyzed 20 years of research on the best biomarkers for mesothelioma. Several were valuable for mesothelioma prognosis. But SMRPs once again came out the winner for mesothelioma prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment monitoring.  How Do Biomarkers Work? A biomarker is any substance produced by the body that can act as a biological signpost. Proteins usually make the best biomarkers … Continue reading The Best Biomarkers for Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, & Monitoring »

Lung Fluid Analysis Could Enhance Mesothelioma Survival, Report Finds

Lung Fluid Analysis

Swedish researchers say more people might survive mesothelioma if doctors paid more attention to lung fluid analysis in making their diagnosis. The only way to definitely diagnose mesothelioma is to examine cells under a microscope. But pathologists at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm say tissue biopsy happens too late.  Lung fluid starts to collect much earlier in the disease process. The Swedish team says lung fluid analysis (cytology) could give doctors an earlier indication of mesothelioma. That could lead to earlier diagnosis and better survival. Diagnosing Malignant Mesothelioma There are many signs of malignant mesothelioma. Coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath are some of the most common. When these symptoms occur in someone who has worked around asbestos, that … Continue reading Lung Fluid Analysis Could Enhance Mesothelioma Survival, Report Finds »

Some Long-Term Mesothelioma Survivors May Have Few Symptoms

Long-Term Mesothelioma Survivors

New research shows that some long-term mesothelioma survivors may have few or no symptoms of the disease for years.  The research appears in a recent issue of the journal Clinical Lung Cancer. A team of Finnish doctors wanted to identify the unique characteristics of long-term mesothelioma survivors. They discovered that some of these survivors seem to have an indolent form of asbestos cancer. This suggests that it is possible for a person to live for many years with pleural  mesothelioma and not even know they have it. Typical Mesothelioma Symptoms It is not unusual for mesothelioma patients to have no symptoms in the early stages, but long-term mesothelioma survivors are rare. Once the cancer takes hold, it usually grows quickly.  … Continue reading Some Long-Term Mesothelioma Survivors May Have Few Symptoms »

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