Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Technique Can Help Diagnose Mesothelioma

Date:
August 25, 2009
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
A new technique may help clinicians hone in on a diagnosis in patients presenting with a pleural effusion of unknown cause.

A new technique may help clinicians hone in on a diagnosis in patients presenting with a pleural effusion of unknown cause.

The study, led by principal investigator Y.C. Gary Lee, Ph.D., appears in the September 1 issue of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Pleural effusion, or the accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity, can be maddeningly difficult to diagnose as a wide variety of malignant and benign causes exist," said Helen Davies, M.R.C.P., specialist registrar and research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine and Oxford University, lead author of the study. "One of the causes, malignant pleural mesothelioma, is a relatively rare cancer, but its incidence is rapidly increasing on a global scale".

Currently, the first-line test for mesothelioma in patients with a pleural effusion is pleural fluid cytology, but this test is not very sensitive. Dr. Davies and her colleagues undertook the study to determine whether there would be additional clinical benefit to looking at pleural fluid mesothelin, a protein released in high quantities into the pleural fluid of most patients with mesothelioma.

They obtained pleural fluid samples from 209 patients referred to a specialized respiratory clinic. Levels of soluble mesothelin were measured in all samples.

Their results demonstrated median pleural fluid mesothelin levels were over six times greater in patients with mesothelioma than in patients with metastatic carcinomas, and ten times greater than in patients with benign effusions.

Using mesothelin levels at a cut-off of 20nM, they found that it had an overall negative predictive value of 95 percent, meaning that a patient with a mesothelin level less than the cut-off of 20nM could be 95 percent confident they did not have malignant mesothelioma. There were 12 false positive results with metastatic adenocarcinomas accounting for over 90 percent of these cases. However, all patients with pleural fluid cytology suspicious for mesothelioma and an elevated mesothelin level had mesothelioma.

"This study suggests a way for clinicians to more readily identify these cases from the start," said Dr. Davies.

Obtaining a prompt diagnosis of mesothelioma has benefits for patients and physicians alike. "Because mesothelioma has a median survival time of 12 months, minimizing the number of invasive procedures and tests patients require is crucial to reduce morbidity and the time they need to spend in hospital," said Dr. Davies. "An earlier diagnosis also allows speedier interventions to relieve symptoms as well as initiation of other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy if appropriate. Claims for worker's compensation may also be instigated once the diagnosis is confirmed."

Exposure to asbestos is the main risk factor and accounts for the majority of mesothelioma cases. Legislation to prevent occupational exposure to asbestos has been enforced in the developed world; however, unrestricted contact continues in developing countries. Over 90 percent of patients with mesothelioma present with a pleural effusion and its incidence is predicted to peak within the next two decades.

"Pleural fluid mesothelin provides a valuable adjunct in the diagnostic assessment of patients presenting with pleural effusions, especially when cytological examination is not definitive, and can improve clinical practice," said Dr. Davies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "New Technique Can Help Diagnose Mesothelioma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824081121.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2009, August 25). New Technique Can Help Diagnose Mesothelioma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824081121.htm
American Thoracic Society. "New Technique Can Help Diagnose Mesothelioma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824081121.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins