Mesothelioma is a rare and serious type of cancer that affects the lining of organs like the lungs and abdomen. It is caused by exposure to a harmful substance called asbestos, which is sometimes used in construction materials.
Detecting mesothelioma can be tricky, and doctors often need special tests to be sure. A recent study looked into two important factors, called BAP1 and p16, to help diagnose mesothelioma more accurately.
Redefining Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Between 2019 and 2022, scientists studied 21 fluid samples from around the lungs and abdomen of people suspected to have mesothelioma. These samples were examined closely to find out if the BAP1 protein was missing and if the p16 gene had certain changes. These tests were important because they could provide important clues for an early diagnosis.
The people in the study were between 34 and 90 years old, with an average age of about 63 years. Out of the cases, 3 out of every 4 were female. Most of the mesothelioma cases were found in the lining around the lungs. Some had a type called epithelioid, while others had biphasic or sarcomatoid forms.
The BAP1 protein was missing in 11 out of 16 cases with mesothelioma in the lungs. When it came to the p16 gene, changes were seen in 11 out of 19 cases. Some cases had more changes than others, with a few having changes in almost all the cells examined. Interestingly, the changes in the p16 gene were only found in certain types of mesothelioma.
Early Mesothelioma Detection
This study provides important information for doctors trying to diagnose mesothelioma. If someone has been exposed to asbestos or shows signs of abnormal cells in fluid samples, it can be a strong hint that mesothelioma might be the cause. The BAP1 test can be a crucial first step in confirming the diagnosis, especially in tricky cases.
While the p16 gene test has some challenges, it can still be helpful in specific situations. This research brings us a step closer to better understanding and diagnosing mesothelioma, which is crucial for giving patients the best possible care.
Aydogdu G, Özekinci S. Contribution of BAP1 loss and p16 (CDKN2A) deletion analysis to the definitive diagnosis of mesothelioma in effusion cytology. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2023;27(20):10001-10007. doi:10.26355/eurrev_202310_34180. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37916370/