Of all the breakthroughs that malignant mesothelioma researchers are working towards, one that is seen as having critical value is an early detection tool. Because the rare and deadly form of cancer’s diagnosis always comes so late in the disease’s spread, it leaves physicians with few treatment protocols, and leaves patients with extremely short survival times. Now, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, a group of German scientists are getting significantly closer to achieving the early detection goal through the development of a reliable blood test that can identify unique proteins that have been shown to increase when mesothelioma tumors are developing.
The researchers’ results show that the use of their simple, reliable blood test picked up the presence of calretinin and mesothelin almost a year before malignant mesothelioma symptoms began manifesting in a group of high risk workers who had been exposed to asbestos during the course of their careers.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, and is largely thought of as an occupational disease. Though there are some mesothelioma patients for whom the basis of their asbestos exposure is unknown, there are many more who know that they worked with the mineral, and who live in constant fear of every cough of pain. Having a readily available blood test that can be used to monitor their health on a regular basis would allow them to both proceed through their lives with less concern and also act quickly if the proteins are detected in their blood.
At this point in time, mesothelioma is considered an incurable disease, and nobody knows whether beginning aggressive cancer treatment earlier in its progression could lead to remission. At the very least, it is thought that this blood test could provide longer survival times, and at best might alter the disease’s status as incurable. If you have been exposed to asbestos and would like more information on the resources available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.