A new study’s groundbreaking findings show that using both MTAP and p16 IHC can be a powerful tool in diagnosing mesothelioma. This method not only offers a more affordable option but also boasts high accuracy.
By simplifying the detection of an important gene, medical professionals can speed up treatment decisions. This gives mesothelioma patients a more efficient and effective path toward recovery.
Mesothelioma is a rare and serious type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It is caused by exposure to a harmful substance called asbestos. Diagnosing mesothelioma early is crucial for effective treatment.
To diagnose mesothelioma, doctors use a variety of tests, including imaging scans, biopsies, and genetic tests. One important genetic alteration often found in mesothelioma in the lungs is called CDKN2A deletion. This type of alteration is linked with another genetic change called MTAP co-deletion. Doctors usually find this alteration using a method called FISH analysis, but it can be expensive.
Cost-Effective Breakthrough in Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Researchers wanted to find a more cost-effective way to identify CDKN2A deletion in mesothelioma patients. They decided to look at the use of two proteins, p16 and MTAP, through a technique called immunohistochemistry (IHC). This method involves looking at tissue samples under a microscope to look for specific proteins that can show up when a person has cancer.
The study looked at samples from 52 patients who had mesothelioma in their lungs. The researchers found that in 71% of cases, when CDKN2A was missing, MTAP was also missing.
The researchers also found that IHC was very good at finding p16 and MTAP in tissue samples. In cases where CDKN2A and MTAP were normal, p16 was detected in 93% of cases, and MTAP was detected in 100%. When CDKN2A and MTAP were completely missing, both p16 and MTAP were not detected.
The results from IHC were very close to those obtained using a more expensive genetic testing. That method is called OncoScan CNV arrays. This test shows that IHC could be a reliable and cost-effective alternative.
The study’s findings suggest that using both MTAP and p16 IHC can be a powerful tool in diagnosing mesothelioma. This method is not only more affordable but also highly accurate. By detecting CDKN2A deletion more easily, doctors can provide quicker and more effective treatment for mesothelioma patients.
Vrugt B, Kirschner MB, Meerang M, et al. Deletions of CDKN2A and MTAP Detected by Copy-Number Variation Array Are Associated with Loss of p16 and MTAP Protein in Pleural Mesothelioma. Cancers (Basel). 2023;15(20):4978. Published 2023 Oct 13. doi:10.3390/cancers15204978. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10605896/