Tag Archives: biomarker

SMRP Still Among Best Diagnostic Biomarkers for Mesothelioma

biomarkers for mesothelioma

Chinese researchers say soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRP) in lung fluid is still one of the best biomarkers for mesothelioma, even if it sometimes produces false positives.. SMRP has been studied extensively as a way to help diagnose mesothelioma. The most popular test to check levels of SMRPs in the body is a blood test called MESOMARK. In recent years, other biomarkers for mesothelioma have also emerged. But SMRPs are not just in the blood. A new meta-analysis of SMRPs from pleural effusions finds that they have a valuable place among top biomarkers for mesothelioma. Biomarkers for Mesothelioma: SMRPs and Others Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that starts on the membranes around the lungs, heart or abdomen. SMRPs are … Continue reading SMRP Still Among Best Diagnostic Biomarkers for Mesothelioma »

Research Highlights Connection Between BDNF and Mesothelioma Survival

BDNF and mesothelioma survival

French scientists say there is a clear connection between a biomarker called BDNF and mesothelioma survival. The research may open the door to improved mesothelioma diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. BDNF stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. It is a protein found in the brain and other tissues. In a new published study, researchers at the University of Nantes found that mesothelioma patients had higher BDNF levels than people with other cancers. Mesothelioma patients with the highest BDNF levels had the shortest mesothelioma survival. Linking BDNF and Mesothelioma Survival A biomarker is a substance that can be used to show the presence of disease. BDNF is a soluble mesothelioma biomarker. Soluble biomarkers are in body fluid and can be collected without a … Continue reading Research Highlights Connection Between BDNF and Mesothelioma Survival »

Early Detection of Mesothelioma with MicroRNAs

Testing for Early Detection of Mesothelioma

A new study appears to contradict some of what scientists thought they knew about early detection of mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive cancer. It usually happens because of past asbestos exposure. Early detection of mesothelioma is key to improving survival. But it is notoriously hard to make a mesothelioma diagnosis. Many patients who have mesothelioma do not even know it until the cancer is in its advanced stage. As a result, most do not live more than a year. Some studies have suggested that tiny, non-coding bits of RNA could help doctors detect mesothelioma earlier. But new research in Germany brings that idea into question. Biomarkers for Early Detection of Mesothelioma MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important … Continue reading Early Detection of Mesothelioma with MicroRNAs »

New Blood Test May Improve Diagnostic Accuracy for Mesothelioma

The developers of a new blood test for mesothelioma say it is much more accurate than previous tests and could improve diagnosis and disease monitoring. The new test is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) system designed to detect the protein N-ERC/mesothelin. N-ERC/mesothelin is overexpressed in mesothelioma and some other types of cancer. ELISA tests use antibodies that change color when they come in contact with a particular substance such as N-ERC/mesothelin. According to the Japanese researchers who developed and tested the new assay, the previous ELISA system developed in 2008 to detect N-ERC/mesothelin has been “unsatisfactory” and test results were difficult to reproduce. In contrast, the new 7-20 ELISA system produced more accurate positive mesothelioma diagnoses and fewer false negatives. … Continue reading New Blood Test May Improve Diagnostic Accuracy for Mesothelioma »

Protein Biomarkers in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis and Treatment

Three separate teams of international researchers have confirmed that proteins found in the blood can reveal some vital information for the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of pleural mesothelioma. These new studies on mesothelioma biomarkers indicate that all three of the studied proteins have value, but for different reasons. The most recent study comes from researchers in the Czech Republic who found that serum mesothelin, a protein overexpressed in several types of cancer, is valuable to measure the severity of mesothelioma in people who have already been diagnosed, but is unlikely to help doctors find the disease earlier. Doctors in the Department of Respiratory Medicine in Palacky University Olomouc followed 239 asbestos-exposed workers for nearly 20 years. They found that mesothelin … Continue reading Protein Biomarkers in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis and Treatment »

Biomarker May Predict Chemotherapy Response in Mesothelioma

Cancer researchers in Japan say they may have found a way to help predict which mesothelioma patients are most likely to respond well to treatment with Alimta. Alimta (pemetrexed) was FDA approved in 2004 for the treatment of mesothelioma, a virulent form of lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Alimta is often administered along with the platinum-based drug cisplatin, although this first-line mesothelioma treatment combination has been shown to have only limited success. Part of the problem is that it is difficult to predict which mesothelioma patients will respond to which types of therapies. Mesothelioma treatment, therefore, often involves a process of trial and error to find the therapy that works best. Unfortunately, this approach can cost patients valuable time … Continue reading Biomarker May Predict Chemotherapy Response in Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Blood Test May Save Lives through Earlier Diagnosis

There is new evidence that a blood test for a biomarker called N-ERC/mesothelin could help identify mesothelioma earlier and improve outcomes in people at risk for the disease. Cancer researchers with Juntendo University in Tokyo released a study in 2008 suggesting that N-ERC/mesothelin, a soluble protein released by certain kinds of cancer cells, was “a very promising tumor marker for mesothelioma, especially epithelioid mesothelioma”. In their newest study, the same group attempted to test the value of the biomarker as a warning tool for closer monitoring in populations at high mesothelioma risk. The new study included construction workers who were part of a large-scale, 5-year screening of people known to be exposed to asbestos, the primary cause of mesothelioma. The … Continue reading Mesothelioma Blood Test May Save Lives through Earlier Diagnosis »

Sharp Rise in Mesothelin May Signal Mesothelioma

Another study has confirmed that the biomarker mesothelin may be a valuable warning sign ofmesothelioma in asbestos-exposed workers. In fact, it may rise sharply in the months preceding the onset of symptoms. Medical researchers have long known that exposure to the mineral asbestos dramatically increases the risk of developing malignant pleural mesothelioma. But doctors have struggled to find a way to identify which asbestos-exposed people are at highest risk. It is a significant problem because, as the authors of a new German study on the subject observe, “In patients developing malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) or lung cancer, using effective tumour markers is the quickest way to ensure early diagnosis and improve survival time.” But which biomarkers to focus on and how … Continue reading Sharp Rise in Mesothelin May Signal Mesothelioma »

Biomarker Test Next Step for New Mesothelioma Drug

A company that makes stem cell-focused treatments for cancer has taken an important step closer to testing a promising new mesothelioma drug. The biopharmaceutical company Verastem, Inc. specializes in agents that destroy cancer by killing cancer stem cells. One of its lead medicines is VS-6063, a focal adhesion kinase inhibitor scheduled to be the subject of a mesothelioma study later this year. In a Phase I safety study of 36 patients conducted by Pfizer (original developers of VS-6063), the drug was “well-tolerated” and showed enough efficacy to warrant further, larger studies. A focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitor is an agent that regulates the growth and spread of tumor cells by inhibited a crucial signaling pathway. In preclinical cancer models, when this … Continue reading Biomarker Test Next Step for New Mesothelioma Drug »

Mesothelioma Diagnosis: SMRP Not the Answer

Soluble mesothelin-related protein (SMRP), a protein found in the blood serum of some people, may not be as effective a biomarker for mesothelioma as it was once thought to be. Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the internal membranes that surround the lungs, abdominal organs or heart. It is most often triggered by exposure to asbestos and is difficult to diagnose in its early stages. Biomarkers, like SMRP, are often used to try to make cancer diagnoses earlier since these compounds are often produced in larger quantities by cancer cells than by healthy cells. But in a report in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, a team of researchers suggests that SMRP has some significant limitations when it comes to detecting mesothelioma. The … Continue reading Mesothelioma Diagnosis: SMRP Not the Answer »