A team of researchers in the UK say doctors may be relying too heavily on the results of CT scans to determine which patients should have invasive biopsies for suspected pleural mesothelioma. Examining tumor cells under a microscope is currently the only way to definitively diagnose malignant pleural mesothelioma. However, because getting a cell sample means that a patient has to undergo surgery, doctors typically use non-invasive tests like CT first. CT scans have become an important part of the diagnostic process for malignant pleural mesothelioma. To see how valuable these tests really are for respiratory patients, experts from the Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine and the Lancashire Chest Centre in Preston, UK analyzed the CT scans and final diagnoses … Continue reading Do Mesothelioma Doctors Rely Too Much on CT?
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
In what could be a breakthrough in the development of a reliable diagnostic test for mesothelioma, Danish scientists have identified what they say are four key biomarkers that distinguish the asbestos cancer from non-malignant conditions. If the new research from Copenhagen University can be validated, it may dramatically shorten the time it takes to identify mesothelioma and start aggressive therapies. “Our goal was to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) that can aid in the differential diagnosis of MPM [malignant pleural mesothelioma] from RMPs [reactive mesothelial proliferations],” investigator Eric Santoni-Rugiu, MD, PhD, of the Laboratory of Molecular Pathology at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark said in a press release. MiRNAs are small cellular components that act as master switches for protein synthesis inside … Continue reading New Biomarkers Could Mean Earlier, More Accurate Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Mesothelioma patients and their families can reduce their stress and feel more supported by getting involved in an online community. That is the conclusion reached by researchers at in the Psychology Department at Southern Cross University in New South Wales, Australia. Writing in the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, lecturer Desiree Kozlowski and her colleagues reported on the first 30 days of a peer-to-peer virtual community of people with asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma. In the introduction to their report, the team observes that people with mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive lung-related cancer, often feel socially isolated and highly stressed by their life-limiting symptoms. In addition to coping with the challenges of mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment, patients who were negligently exposed to … Continue reading Virtual Community Can Ease Mesothelioma Stress
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
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say an outpatient medical procedure called thoracoscopy is safer and simpler than inpatient surgery for diagnosing a common mesothelioma symptom. Pleural effusion, or buildup of fluid around the lungs, can be caused by several different conditions and cancers, including malignant pleural mesothelioma. When doctors are unable to make a definitive diagnosis of mesothelioma or to determine its extent from fluid samples and imaging studies alone, an open surgery of the chest (thoracic surgery) may be recommended. But a team of Mayo Clinic doctors writing in the medical journal Chest say minimally invasive outpatient medical thoracoscopy offers a feasible alternative to surgery for exploring the chest cavity in people with suspected mesothelioma. The study focused on … Continue reading Thoracoscopy: An Alternative to Surgery for Mesothelioma Diagnosis?
One of the biggest challenges for patients and clinicians dealing with malignant pleural mesothelioma is just getting a definitive diagnosis. Although mesothelioma is closely associated with asbestos, symptoms may not show up until decades after exposure, making it difficult to link the cause and effect. When symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath do occur, they are often attributed to other, less serious causes. But a recent article in Lung Cancer focuses on a promising new way to help distinguish mesothelioma from other conditions with similar characteristics. Researchers at the University of Chicago and cancer centers in the UK, France, and Japan say a glucose transport protein called GLUT-1 was present in half of the epithelioid mesothelioma cells … Continue reading Test May Distinguish Mesothelioma from Benign Conditions
A recent mesothelioma diagnosis in the UK once again dramatically highlights the fact that even a small amount of asbestos can be deadly. Sixty-three-year-old school teacher Marion Potts of Brockenhurst died of mesothelioma in a Southampton hospital in June. According to an article in The Mirror, the Coroner recorded a verdict of “death from an industrial disease” after hearing evidence last week that Potts actually saw asbestos dust being released when she pinned work on the classroom walls. Most recently, Potts was head of the English department at Romsey School in Hampshire until her retirement two years ago. Mesothelioma is a growing threat among school teachers, administrators, maintenance workers, and even students in British schools. A government report released last … Continue reading Teacher’s Diagnosis Highlights Mesothelioma Risk in Schools
An international team of researchers is studying the proteins found on the surface of cancer cells in an effort to improve mesothelioma diagnosis. The team, made up of scientists from the US, Switzerland, Italy and Chile, has just published their findings on a new kind of test to identify protein-derived mesothelioma biomarkers in blood serum. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the membranes around organs. Because the most common mesothelioma biomarker, mesothelin, is also overproduced by other kinds of cancer cells, it has only limited diagnostic value. A test to identify a set of proteins produced specifically by mesothelioma cells could greatly improve diagnostic accuracy. Led by Ferdinando Cerciello and Bernd Wollscheid of the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology in … Continue reading Mesothelioma Blood Test May Be Possible
Japanese researchers believe they have found a way to diagnose a rare form of mesothelioma earlier using a simple blood test. Diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (DMPM), which represents about a fourth of all mesothelioma cases, is an aggressive malignancy that spreads across the lining of the abdomen. In most cases, DMPM is lethal within a year. The standard treatment for diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is cytoreductive surgery to remove as much of the mesothelioma as possible, followed by intraperitoneal chemotherapy to destroy residual cancer cells. In some studies, this approach has resulted in 5-year survival rates of 30 to 60 percent. However, it is most successful when it is performed early, while the primary mesothelioma tumor is more easily removed. Like all forms of … Continue reading New Serum Marker Could Improve Mesothelioma Diagnosis