Researchers in Western Australia believe they may have found a way to overcome one of the biggest challenges in the management of malignant pleural mesothelioma—making the diagnosis earlier. Malignant mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer that starts on the membrane, or pleura, that surrounds the lungs. Because the seeds for this disease can exist for decades before symptoms develop, and because the early symptoms of mesothelioma tend to be vague and similar to those of other conditions, the so-called “asbestos cancer” often goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage. As a result, the survivability of this disease is typically very low. But scientists at the University of Western Australia in Perth say there may be a simple way to … Continue reading CT Discovery May Lead to Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis
A pill that makes cancer cells glow under infrared light may have the capacity to improve the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. So far, the pill, being developed by researchers at the University of MIchigan with funding from the NIH, has only been tested on breast cancer tumors in mice. But it was so effective at exposing hidden clusters of cancer cells, that the research team expects it to be useful in the diagnosis of other cancers, too. That could eventually include mesothelioma. The Urgent Need for Earlier Mesothelioma Diagnosis Mesothelioma, a fast-growing cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is diagnosed in about 2,500 new patients in the US each year. About 2,000 of them have pleural mesothelioma, the most common type. … Continue reading New Pill Could Make Mesothelioma Diagnosis Easier, More Accurate
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
Earlier diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma may be just a breath away. A new Belgian study shows that two kinds of breath-analyzing tests may finally offer an accurate way to screen for the deadly asbestos cancer. An accurate screening tool could lead to earlier mesothelioma diagnosis, earlier intervention, and, potentially, better treatment outcomes. Pleural mesothelioma is an extremely rare but aggressive cancer caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos fibers. Most people encounter these fibers in a work environment and most have no idea they are sick until mesothelioma is in an advanced stage and the odds of survival are slim. Although there are diagnostic tools that identify biomarkers in the blood or lung fluid of people with mesothelioma symptoms, … Continue reading Breath Test May Finally Offer a Way to Screen for Pleural Mesothelioma
Scottish researchers say they have come up with a better way to decide which asbestos-exposed people might benefit from mesothelioma screening or even mesothelioma prevention measures. They have developed an assessment tool to gather detailed information from workers about the time, duration, and nature of their asbestos exposure in order to better quantify their mesothelioma risk. “The assessment is based on the tasks carried out and includes parameters for substance emission potential, activity emission potential, the effectiveness of any local control measures, passive emission, the fractional time the asbestos source is active, and the efficiency of any respiratory protection worn,” writes lead author John W, Cherrie with the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh. Measuring Asbestos Exposure Asbestos is the … Continue reading New Assessment Identifies People at High Risk for Malignant Mesothelioma
Researchers in Belgium say a breath analysis tool could provide the next big breakthrough in the effort to diagnose malignant mesothelioma earlier. The team, made up of scientists from Ghent and Antwerp Universities, says the technique looks “very promising” and fits well within the aims of the “National Cancer Moonshot” research initiative established by President Obama. The Challenge of Mesothelioma Diagnosis Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare, lung-related cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Although scientists have identified several compounds or “biomarkers” in blood or lung fluid that seem to be overproduced by mesothelioma tumors, these markers are not reliable enough to use as stand-alone diagnostic tools. Instead, they are currently used in conjunction with other diagnostic tools such as … Continue reading A Breath Test for Mesothelioma?
A team of French scientists believe they have found a way to predict survival and help plan a treatment course for people with the epithelioid form of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Until now, mesothelioma histological subtype has been the only way to reliably predict mesothelioma prognosis based on pathology (cellular characteristics that can be seen under a microscope). But mesothelioma researchers at the University Hospital of Saint Etienne have identified several subtle differences between epithelioid mesothelioma cells from different patients that may have an impact on their treatment outcomes. Histopathology and Mesothelioma Prognosis Histopathology is the study of changes in tissue caused by disease. In the case of pleural mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos can cause the healthy cells in a person’s … Continue reading Cellular Factors Predict Survival in Epithelioid Mesothelioma Patients
There is new evidence that mesothelioma can affect more than just the part of the body where a tumor occurs. Along with lung-related symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath, a new study suggests that shoulder pain can also be an early sign of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Polish researchers reached that conclusion after studying the cases of 49 mesothelioma patients treated at the Central Clinical Hospital in Warsaw between 2006 and 2012. In looking over the patients’ medical records, they found that seven of the patients (14.3%) listed shoulder pain as the very first symptom of mesothelioma. In most cases, the shoulder pain among mesothelioma patients was relatively mild, with an average severity of 4 on a scale of … Continue reading Shoulder Pain: An Early Symptom of Mesothelioma?
A plan to offer triage by telephone to veterans suspected of having malignant mesothelioma may enable them to access expert mesothelioma advice faster, potentially improving their long-term outcomes. In a newly published article in the Journal of Surgical Research, surgeons with VA Boston Healthcare System detail their experience with telephone triage of suspected malignant mesothelioma patients and explain how the system could help veterans around the country with other rare diseases. Veterans Prone to Mesothelioma Although pleural mesothelioma is an extremely rare cancer affecting fewer than 3,000 people in the US each year, veterans are disproportionately impacted because so many of them were exposed to asbestos. Navy veterans are among the most common victims of mesothelioma because of their work in … Continue reading Phone Triage for Veterans with Suspected Malignant Mesothelioma
Malignant mesothelioma is not only one of the rarest and most difficult-to-treat cancers. It is also among the hardest to diagnose. The challenge of diagnosing the asbestos cancer can lead to delayed referral and late treatment and can limit mesothelioma patients’ access to clinical trials that might help them. In an effort to improve the diagnostic process for malignant mesothelioma, a group of researchers in Scotland has launched the Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarkers in the Rational Assessment of Mesothelioma (DIAPHRAGM) trial. The multi-center clinical trial will compare biomarkers in the blood of mesothelioma patients to see which markers are the most clinically useful. The DIAPHRAGM Trial In an explanation of the new trial in the British Medical Journal’s open access … Continue reading New Clinical Trial Aims to Create Bioresource for Improved Mesothelioma Diagnosis