New Biomarker May Provide Diagnostic Alternative For Frail Patients

Japanese researchers have pointed to a set of proteins found in the lung fluid of people with malignant mesothelioma as a possible less invasive diagnostic tool for frail or elderly patients.

Diagnosing mesothelioma is incredibly difficult and complex because of how many different diseases the cancer mimics. Diagnosis requires many different steps from body scans to the more invasive thoracoscopy procedure used to take a lung tissue sample. For more frail and elderly patients, the thoracoscopy is too invasive which then makes accurate diagnosis next to impossible.

The team of Japanese researchers from Hyogo Prefectural Amagasaki General Medical Center evaluated the diagnostic value of two types of protein biomarkers by studying 240 patients over a two year period. The study focused on soluble mesothelin-related peptide (SMRP) and cytokeratin 19 fragment/carcinoembryonic antigen (CYFRA 21-1/CEA) both of which are found in pleural effusion (lung fluid).

The report concluded that, “Combination of these biomarkers helped to rule out malignant pleural mesothelioma effectively among patients at high risk of suffering MPM and would be valuable especially for old frail patients who have difficulty in undergoing invasive procedures such as thoracoscopy.”

To see the full study click here.

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