In the quest for more effective treatment of malignant mesothelioma, finding a way to detect and diagnose the disease earlier is one of the most essential goals. Now researchers in Japan believe that they have improved upon an already-existing test, bringing those at risk for the rare and fatal form of cancer one step closer to detecting the disease earlier.
Using available medical technology, mesothelioma diagnoses only come after symptoms occur as well as extensive and time-consuming testing is done. Because the disease has a long latency period, symptoms don’t arise until the cancer’s tumors are advanced and may even have metastasized making it often too late for effective treatment.
To diagnose malignant mesothelioma tests include X-rays and advanced diagnostic imaging and highly technical examination of blood and tissue to establish whether biomarkers are present and to identify specific cell types. Researchers believe that if it were possible to find biomarkers in the blood, before the tumors are too large, treatment might be more effective and survival times could be significantly expanded. One of the current tests done for all types of cancer is known as CellSearch, which detects circulating tumor cells in the blood stream as they spread throughout the body. Though this is effective for many cancers, the compound released by mesothelioma cells has been notably difficult for this testing to detect. The Japanese team lead by Kazue Yoneda has advanced the detection method through a new system they are calling CTC-chip. This testing has proven better at detecting the glycoprotein called podoplanin that is in the blood of people diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.
Finding more accurate detection methods is a critical step in the battle against mesothelioma. If you need information on other state-of-the-art innovations, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.