Tag Archives: diagnosis

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Artificial Intelligence in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment Planning

Artificial Intelligence

Two newly-published studies highlight some of the ways that artificial intelligence may help with the diagnosis and treatment of malignant mesothelioma.  The first study focuses on machine learning algorithms for mesothelioma diagnosis. Researchers used data from Turkey, which has a high rate of mesothelioma among families.  A separate study from New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center demonstrates the role that artificial intelligence can play in planning mesothelioma radiotherapy. Both studies suggest that machine learning may be a valuable tool to help doctors tackle asbestos cancer.  How Does Machine Learning Work? Artificial intelligence refers to intelligence generated by a computer. Like people, computers have to “learn” before they can provide intelligent answers to medical questions.  In both of the new studies, … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence in Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment Planning »

Epithelioid Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer: Biomarker Shows Which is Which

epthelioid mesothelioma and lung cancer

Researchers from Hiroshima University say they have found a nearly foolproof way to tell the difference between epithelioid mesothelioma and lung cancer.  This is critical because the prognosis can be very different between the two. They are also treated differently.  But epithelioid mesothelioma and lung cancer are similar in many ways. They cause many of the same symptoms. Even their cells look similar under the microscope. This can make it hard for doctors to deliver an accurate and timely diagnosis.  If the new findings are right, the biomarker identified by the Hiroshima researchers could be a diagnostic gamechanger.  Lung Adenocarcinoma or Pleural Mesothelioma? At first glance, epithelioid mesothelioma and lung cancer seem to be very different. Mesothelioma makes up about … Continue reading Epithelioid Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer: Biomarker Shows Which is Which »