Researchers may have found way to detect mesothelioma earlier

October 19th, 2012

In a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers indicated that they may have found an improved method of detecting mesothelioma cancer in patients earlier. The research, conducted at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, evaluated the amount of a protein known as fibulin-3, as well as the amount of fluid around the lungs, as an indicator of pleural mesothelioma.

Nearly 350 patients took part in the mesothelioma study, including 92 patients with mesothelioma, 93 patients who had fluid in the lungs but no mesothelioma, 43 healthy patients and 136 patients who were subject to asbestos exposure. Plasma levels of the protein fibulin-3 did not vary in the subjects except for those who had mesothelioma, in which it was significantly higher.

The study could help doctors in their quest to issue more a more accurate mesothelioma diagnosis earlier. Thousands of patients are diagnosed with the deadly form of cancer every year, often years after being exposed to the now-banned carcinogenic building material asbestos.

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