All around the world, scientists are working hard to gain a greater understanding of malignant mesothelioma, including how it develops, how it progresses, and (most importantly), how to treat it most effectively. Researchers in China led by Zunyi Medical University’s Jian-Guo Zhou recently made a discovery that may have far-reaching impact for predicting the overall survival of patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, and therefore in selecting the most advantageous treatment protocols. The group analyzed the various genetic biomarkers present in patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma to determine whether their presence was predictive of how long patients diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer would survive. They successfully identified three different genes that they are calling the “first gene prognostic signature” that they have “validated to be statistically significantly associated with overall survival” in mesothelioma patients.
Saying that the three-gene prognostic signature that they identified has the potential “for rapid incorporation into clinical detection programs for tailoring malignant pleural mesothelioma management strategies,” Dr. Zhou emphasized what mesothelioma patients are told from the time that they are diagnosed: that the condition is extremely challenging to treat, and that having a clinically accurate way of predicting survival will be a helpful tool as patients make their decisions about how to move forward with treatment. Mesothelioma patients frequently must decide between taking a curative approach to their disease, which is meant to extend overall survival for as long as possible, or a more palliative approach that simply aims to provide them with the best possible quality of life in the time that is left to them. Knowing whether their condition is likely to respond to treatment or not can assist them in making that decision, and can also guide physicians as they make recommendations.
Three genes found to be highly predictive of mesothelioma survival
The researchers’ analysis and conclusions were based on gene expression profile information taken from a total of 39 patients who had undergone surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Analyzing those 39 patients’ genetic profile revealed 22 genes associated with prognosis: they then analyzed further to determine which genes were most predictive, then validated their assessment by comparing their information to information found in The Cancer Genome Atlas. That information provided them with a roadmap to overall survival among mesothelioma patients that they hope clinicians will be able to incorporate into their diagnostic and prescriptive process.
The more information that mesothelioma physicians have available to them, the better they will be able to treat their patients and offer them meaningful guidance. For additional information on the disease, its prognosis and the resources available, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.