A large multi-center Australian study has revealed what researchers say could be an important new biomarker for malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a virulent cancer of internal body membranes usually caused by exposure to asbestos. As with other cancers, mesothelioma cells produce certain compounds at higher levels than healthy cells do. Micro RNAs, or miRNAs, are short chains of ribonucleic acid, some of which are produced in abundance by cancer cells. Using miRNA microarrays, the Australian researchers profiled plasma samples from patients with malignant mesothelioma and from healthy controls. After reviewing 90 miRNAs previously associated with mesothelioma, they found two – miR-29c and miR-92a – in particularly high amounts. Further testing found a total of 15 novel miRNAs in the plasma of … Continue reading Australian Study Reveals New Mesothelioma Biomarker
Malignant pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the pleural membrane that encases the lungs, can be difficult to diagnose. Early symptoms of the disease can be vague and mimic other lung conditions. But the longer a patient goes without a firm diagnosis, the poorer the prognosis is likely to be since mesothelioma is resistant to many traditional therapies. In addition to considering the patient’s symptoms and history of asbestos exposure, doctors often rely on biomarkers – compounds found in the blood or lung fluid – to pinpoint mesothelioma. Now, a group of Danish scientists are investigating a new biomarker that may eventually allow for an earlier, more accurate, mesothelioma diagnosis. Methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) is a key enzyme used to help cells … Continue reading A New Test for Mesothelioma?