Immunohistochemical Staining and Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma: Beyond the Lab

immunohistochemical staining

When it comes to understanding individual cases of sarcomatoid mesothelioma, doctors should not rely too heavily on immunohistochemical staining.  That conclusion comes from mesothelioma researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.  The researchers just released a new study focused on this rare mesothelioma subtype. A patient’s subtype has an impact on what kind of treatment could work best for them. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is usually less responsive to chemotherapy. Immunohistochemical staining is a pathology technique. It is the main way that doctors tell the difference between mesothelioma subtypes.  But the MD Anderson report suggests that not all cases of sarcomatoid mesothelioma are created equal. The researchers say it is important to look beyond the lab findings to understand individual cases. … Continue reading Immunohistochemical Staining and Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma: Beyond the Lab »

Mesothelioma Subtypes Often Misclassified by Biopsy

mesothelioma subtypes

Pleural biopsy is not perfect when it comes to telling the difference between the three mesothelioma subtypes. But misclassification could lead to shorter survival.  That is the conclusion reached by top mesothelioma researchers in Brescia, Italy.  They compared autopsy records from 134 Italian mesothelioma patients. The patients were either shipyard workers or their spouses. The researchers found that the mesothelioma subtypes identified from biopsy tissue were incorrect a large percent of the time. Misclassification matters because it impacts which mesothelioma treatments doctors choose.  The Three Mesothelioma Subtypes Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive malignancy on the lung lining. It is caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma cells fall into three mesothelioma subtypes based on certain cellular characteristics. Pleural mesothelioma is notoriously … Continue reading Mesothelioma Subtypes Often Misclassified by Biopsy »

Irradiating Procedure Tracts Reduces Metastatic Mesothelioma in New Study

metastatic pleural mesothelioma

Irradiating the tracts through which certain interventions are performed can reduce the risk of metastatic pleural mesothelioma. That word comes from a new study in Singapore.  The pleural form of malignant mesothelioma occurs on the lining around the lungs. Doctors often have to insert tools through the chest wall for diagnosis or treatment. The paths or tracts along which they insert those tools can be the site of new mesothelioma tumors.  But the study shows that timely radiation treatment of those paths may prevent metastatic pleural mesothelioma. Metastatic Pleural Mesothelioma Metastasis is when cancer cells move from their original site to another place in the body. A tumor that is contained in one spot is easier to treat or remove. … Continue reading Irradiating Procedure Tracts Reduces Metastatic Mesothelioma in New Study »

Visualizing the Immune Profile of Mesothelioma Patients

immune profile

Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston have come up with a better way to analyze the immune profile of people with malignant mesothelioma.  A person’s immune profile is the unique set of immune system cells and how they are working at any given time. The functionality of immune system cells in the area right around the tumor – the tumor microenvironment or TME – is especially telling.  The system developed at MD Anderson assigns different colors to key immune system markers. They applied the color system to a sample from the microenvironment of mesothelioma tumors. The result was an image of each tmor’s immune profile. These images could help doctors determine new targets for mesothelioma treatment.  What is … Continue reading Visualizing the Immune Profile of Mesothelioma Patients »

Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis

medical thoracoscopy

UK researchers say a minimally invasive procedure called medical thoracoscopy is safe and effective for diagnosing mesothelioma and treating its symptoms.  The word comes from a large medical center in Northumberland. The UK has one of the highest rates of pleural mesothelioma in the world. Rates of pleural mesothelioma in Northumberland are especially high.  Mesothelioma diagnosis usually requires a biopsy. The new study finds that medical thoracoscopy enabled “high diagnostic sensitivity” with few serious complications.   Understanding Medical Thoracoscopy Medical thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the pleura. The pleura is a membrane that surrounds the lung. People with mesothelioma and some other diseases can develop fluid between the pleura and the lungs. The fluid is … Continue reading Medical Thoracoscopy Safe and Effective for Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

WHO to Recognize Fourth Mesothelioma Subtype

mesothelioma subtype

The World Health Organization will soon recognize mesothelioma in situ as a fourth mesothelioma subtype.  The 2015 WHO classification of pleural mesothelioma includes three histological subtypes. Pathologists can tell the difference between the subtypes by looking at the cells under a microscope. Each subtype has a slightly different cell shape, growth pattern, and nuclear characteristics.  The proposed fourth mesothelioma subtype is a very early form of mesothelioma. Previous studies suggest that it may be a precursor to invasive mesothelioma. If patients know they have it, they may have years to try to keep mesothelioma from developing. Differences Between the Subtypes Pleural mesothelioma is a very rare type of cancer. Only about 2,500 people in the US receive a mesothelioma diagnosis … Continue reading WHO to Recognize Fourth Mesothelioma Subtype »

Mesothelioma Biopsies: Ultrasound Guidance Beats CT

mesothelioma biopsies

A new study concludes that ultrasound guided mesothelioma biopsies are safer and just as effective as CT guided biopsies.  Italian researchers analyzed both types of guidance systems for collecting tissue samples from mesothelioma patients. They compared the diagnostic yield and safety of each method.  It turns out that ionizing radiation is not necessary for successful mesothelioma biopsies. As long as the technician is experienced, ultrasound guidance may be the better choice.  The Importance of Mesothelioma Biopsies Pleural mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive kind of cancer. It grows on the membrane that surrounds the lungs. By the time patients experience symptoms of mesothelioma, the disease is often very advanced.  Malignant mesothelioma can be tricky to diagnose. Mesothelioma biopsies are … Continue reading Mesothelioma Biopsies: Ultrasound Guidance Beats CT »

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 »

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 »

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