As with other forms of cancer, mesothelioma comes with a poor prognosis for patients if it progresses beyond the early stages. Early detection is important, and researchers who work in the field of mesotheolioma routinely use radiological testing to that end. Because of the risks associated with radiation, though, other approaches to early detection are being sought.
According to fairly recent research, two molecules found in the blood, osteopontin and mesothelin-related proteins, may be early biomarkers for mesothelioma, though there are certain limitations with this approach. Another potential avenue for early diagnosis of mesothelioma may be looking at what genes are expressed in the affected tissues. Researchers have identified several possible candidates, and this research actually holds some promise.
Certainly, more research needs to be done to determine how to best detect mesothelioma before it reaches later stages of development. As with other forms of cancer, early diagnosis can improve physicians’ ability to make an accurate early diagnosis and effectively treat the disease. When mesothelioma patients are able to be diagnosed early, the chances of the condition responding well to surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other traditional treatments are higher.
Mesothelioma patients in the early stages are also more likely to qualify for treatment in clinical trials. Some of these treatments include experimenting with different combinations of medications, as well as genetic therapy and immunotherapy. The types of treatments are not yet approved for widespread use, but can potentially be effective in treating the condition.
In our next post, we’ll look briefly at some of the early signs of mesotheolima, and the importance of consulting with an experienced attorney early on in the development of the disease to seek compensation against those who caused the exposure.
Mesothelioma Research News, “Combination of Blood Biomarkers May Speed Diagnosis of Malignant Mesothelioma,” April 20, 2017.
Asbestos.com, Early Stages of Mesothelioma, Accessed April 21, 2017.