Understanding Mesothelioma Diagnosis Through Fluid Samples

Understanding Mesothelioma Diagnosis Through Fluid Samples

Diagnosing mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, can be challenging. One method used is serous fluid cytology (SFC). SFC involves examining fluid samples for cancer cells. But, distinguishing between reactive cells and cancerous cells can be difficult.

Ancillary Tests for Better Diagnosis

To improve accuracy, doctors may use ancillary tests. These include BAP1 immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) for CDKN2A deletion. These tests help identify specific markers that show the presence of cancer cells, making the diagnosis more reliable.

A new article reviewed cases of SFC samples taken from patients suspected of having mesothelioma since 2012. Researchers found that out of 110 cases, 61 were confirmed to have mesothelioma based on SFC results. Most patients were male, and the average age at diagnosis was 67 years old.

Early Detection Potential

One interesting finding was that in 11 cases, the initial diagnosis of mesothelioma was made based on SFC alone. This suggests that SFC has the potential for early detection of mesothelioma. This could lead to earlier treatment and better outcomes for patients.

SFC was also effective in diagnosing metastatic mesothelioma, with 9 cases initially diagnosed through SFC. In 6 of these cases, SFC was the only method used to diagnose metastatic disease. This highlights the importance of this technique in diagnosing hard-to-reach or hidden cancers.

In conclusion, SFC is a valuable tool in diagnosing mesothelioma, especially when combined with ancillary tests. It provides a reliable method for distinguishing between reactive and cancerous cells, leading to more accurate diagnoses. Also, SFC has the potential for early detection of mesothelioma. Overall, SFC plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and management of mesothelioma, ultimately improving patient outcomes.


Jones, Terri E., Daniel L. Geisler, Swikrity Upadhyay Baskota, N. Paul Ohori, Jacqueline Cuda Sct, and Samer N. Khader. “Reliably Making the Primary Diagnosis of Mesothelioma Utilizing Serous Fluid Cytology Specimens: An Institutional Experience.” Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology, March 2, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasc.2024.02.006.


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