People who manifest symptoms of malignant mesothelioma have to go through a series of diagnostic tests to determine whether they actually have the disease. Though imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans and MRIs are painless, the tests that deliver the most definitive results are much more invasive. Biopsies that analyze cells require that tissue samples be removed and analyzed, and this often requires anesthesia and incisions. Now a team of Canadian researchers is working towards developing a blood test that detects specific biomarkers for the rare, asbestos-related disease. If they are successful, the test can be used to painlessly monitor the effectiveness of treatment protocols, as well as to detect illness in those exposed to asbestos long before their symptoms ever appear.
Test Analyzes Blood for Mesothelial Precursor Cells (MPC)
The mesothelioma blood test research is being conducted by scientists from the University of Toronto, who call their liquid biopsy MesoFind. The researchers believe that mesothelial precursor cells (MPC) work with mesothelin and stem cells to develop mesothelioma tumors, and they have designed their blood test to detect the presence of these cells as one of the earliest signs that the rare asbestos-related disease is developing.
Unlike many of the other tests that those suspected of having malignant mesothelioma are subjected to, the MesoFind liquid biopsy can be administered frequently, without causing pain or incurring significant expense. The results are delivered quickly and the test can be run repeatedly in order to monitor either a patient’s progress in treatment or whether disease is developing following a known asbestos exposure.
Researchers Say Mesothelioma Test is Sensitive and Precise
In publishing their study in the journal EBioMedicine, the researchers discussed the promise of their mesothelioma testing product, writing, “MesoFind…. Utilizes an immunomagnetic mesothelin capture strategy coupled with immunofluorescence to identify rare populations of cells at high sensitivity and precision.” They go on to write, “The identification of circulating MPC presents an attractive solution for screening and early diagnosis of epithelioid mesothelioma. The presence of different subtypes of MPC have a prognostic value that could be of assistance with clinical decisions in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.”
If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos, the risk of malignant mesothelioma hangs over you like a storm cloud. For information about testing and other resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.