A new mesothelioma blood test promises an earlier diagnosis for patients. An article in BBA-Molecular Basis of Disease explains the new breakthrough.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the asbestos-caused cancer. It is often diagnosed only in the advanced stage. This is because its early symptoms are also associated with other respiratory diseases.
Finding a way to identify mesothelioma from other respiratory diseases is important. It helps doctors apply effective treatment strategies. And it increases the mesothelioma patient survival rate.
Distinguishing Mesothelioma from Lung Cancer
There is a well-known association between asbestos exposure and malignant mesothelioma. The most common type of asbestos-related cancer is malignant pleural mesothelioma. It accounts for approximately 80% of all mesothelioma cases.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is usually diagnosed later in life. Patients are an average of 74 years old at diagnosis. The prognosis for pleural mesothelioma is poor. It depends on the factors such as tumor size and staging, histological type, gender, and age. But when it is diagnosed, it has a poor average survival time of about 9 to 12 months.
The poor prognosis of mesothelioma is related to three factors. First, so few patients are diagnosed in the early stages. Second, there are a limited number of treatment options. And third, symptoms associated with mesothelioma are nonspecific. The signs can be seen in almost any benign or malignant disease. And mesothelioma symptoms can take up to 30–60 years to become noticeable.
Dr. Feride Severcana says, “So, the worst aspect of this disease is the timing. An early and accurate diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma is essential to decrease the morbidity rate.” A new mesothelioma blood test might solve this problem.
Finding a New Approach through Blood-Testing
Dr. Severcana’s team recently developed a new approach for diagnosing malignant pleural mesothelioma. They can now identify mesothelioma from other lung diseases more easily. This new method features a serum by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).
This team has done something different than others.
They examined blood samples, regardless of pleural fluid status. Since pleural fluid occurs at the late stages of mesothelioma, an early diagnosis from blood samples is useful.
This method separates the biological differences between mesothelioma and other lung diseases. These biological differences have diagnostic significance. They help clinicians to tell the difference between malignant and benign samples.
This study identified malignant pleural mesothelioma. These results have significant clinical importance. This approach can be used as a biomarker for diagnosing malignant pleural mesothelioma.
All the study results show the immense value of a new mesothelioma blood test. This new approach can be used to screen patients with a history of asbestos exposure.
Yonar, Dilek, Mete Severcan, Rafig Gurbanov, Abdulsamet Sandal, Ulku Yilmaz, Salih Emri, and Feride Severcan. “Rapid diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma and its discrimination from lung cancer and benign exudative effusions using blood serum.” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease 1868, no. 10 (2022): 166473. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2022.166473