Tag Archives: diagnosis

COVID-19 Fears May Lead to Delayed Mesothelioma Diagnosis

delayed mesothelioma diagnosis

Cancer experts are warning that the fear of contracting COVID-19 may result in delayed mesothelioma diagnosis and worse outcomes for some patients.  A study from the Epic Health Research Network shows that many patients delayed cancer screenings and other preventative health appointments during the pandemic.  Although the numbers have started to increase, the trend may mean that some patients have already faced a delayed mesothelioma diagnosis.  Understanding Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer on the tissue that surrounds the lungs and lines the chest wall. It is most common in people who lived or worked around asbestos.  Even in the best of times, mesothelioma is extremely difficult to diagnose. Most mesothelioma patients have very few symptoms until the … Continue reading COVID-19 Fears May Lead to Delayed Mesothelioma Diagnosis »

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 »

New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines Could Catch Some Mesotheliomas Earlier

new lung cancer screening guidelines

New lung cancer screening guidelines for smokers might have an unexpected benefit for people who have also been exposed to asbestos: They may catch mesothelioma earlier.  Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related cancer caused by asbestos. It develops over many years. Many mesothelioma patients do not show any symptoms until the disease is very advanced. There is currently no routine screening for mesothelioma. The new lung cancer screening guidelines apply to people ages 50 to 80. They suggest that those who have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 20 years should have annual low-dose CT scans.  If screening shows a tumor, doctors can dig further to determine its type. Both lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma are more … Continue reading New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines Could Catch Some Mesotheliomas Earlier »

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 »

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 »