Early Detection Of Mesothelioma Could Lead To Improved Chances For Survival

A new Japanese blood test has proven 95% accurate in regards to identifying mesothelioma. Experts hope to use the blood test to identify asbestos-related cancer earlier in order to boost long-term survival rates. Most often these types of cancer are detected at an advanced stage. The longer a person is exposed to asbestos, the shorter the latency period becomes between exposure and symptoms.

Protein Biomarker in Blood
The protein biomarker in the Japanese study is called N-ERC/mesothelin. An enzyme-lined system detects this biomarker; when N-ERC/mesothelin is detected in large amounts, it often indicates asbestos-related cancer in the patient.

Early Detection Improves Prognosis
Early detection is the primary goal for asbestos-related cancer, as most sufferers are already too far along for long-term survival. This is due to the the 20-50 year latency period in general for mesothelioma. Multiple studies indicate the possible usefulness of the N-ERC/mesothelin biomarker in the development of early diagnosis of plural mesothelioma. For example, the study published in July 2014 in Cancer Medicine, “Newly established ELISA for N-ERC/mesothelin improves diagnostic accuracy in patients with suspected pleural mesothelioma.”

Accuracy of the Test
In addition to being 95% accurate in identifying asbestos-related cancer, the Japanese N-ERC/mesothelin test proved 76% accurate in ruling out the disease. Lead author of the study, Tadashi Sato, stated, “We believe that this blood biomarker is an ideal tool for the early diagnosis.”

Conclusion
The protein biomarker N-ERC/mesothelin has proven consistently useful in detecting asbestos-related cancer early. These patients exhibit high amounts of this protein biomarker. Experts are conducting further study on this biomarker because the patient pool for testing is small. A future goal of researchers is obtaining better results by combining the N-ERC/mesothelin biomarker with others for greater effectiveness.