Researchers in Japan have come up with what they say is the most up-to-date way to accurately predict outcomes in newly-diagnosed malignant pleural mesothelioma patients. Many factors can affect mesothelioma prognosis. Some of them are related to the patient’s overall health and disease stage or type while others have to do with the type of therapy the patient undergoes. Scientists at Kyoto University, Hyogo College of Medicine, and Fukushima Medical University analyzed the outcomes of 283 mesothelioma patients between 2007 and 2013 to determine which factors were most likely to impact their outcomes and to what degree. “Existing prognostic indices for malignant pleural mesothelioma do not incorporate the recent advances in oncology care,” notes study author Yoshiko Kataoka with Kyoto … Continue reading A New Prognostic Index for Mesothelioma?
New research suggests there may be a less invasive way to accurately diagnose malignant pleural mesothelioma. Right now, the gold standard for mesothelioma diagnosis is examination of suspected tumor cells under a microscope. To get those cells, doctors have to perform either an open surgery called thoracotomy or a less invasive operation called thoracoscopy using smaller incisions and a camera for guidance. But biomedical engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh say analyzing cells in the fluid around the lungs may be just as effective. Unlike diagnostic methods that use tissue samples, the pleural fluid method requires only a thoracentesis, or removal of a sample of lung fluid using a needle. To maximize the diagnostic power of fluid samples, the … Continue reading A Better Way to Diagnose Mesothelioma?
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?