Biomarker could help determine between mesothelioma and lung cancer

13 Feb 2017 by under Research/Treatment

GHS pictogram silhouette1 100x100 Biomarker could help determine between mesothelioma and lung cancer Sarcomatoid —a subtype of the deadly cancer associated with asbestos exposure—is the rarest form of the cancer and the most resistant to treatment. A new study published in Modern Pathology points to a newly discovered biomarker as a key to differentiating between sarcomatoid mesothelioma and lung sarcomatoid carcinoma, a type of mesothelioma is often mistaken as, according to Mesothelioma Research News.

While mesothelioma can occur in the lining of the abdomen or heart, it most often occurs in the lining of the lungs; lung cancer occurs in the actual lung tissue, leading to the possible confusion. The new study identifies protein MUC4 as a potential way to differentiate between the two cancers, which require different forms of treatment. Surviving Mesothelioma notes proteins D2-40 and calretinin currently are used to diagnose sarcomatoid mesothelioma, but are not  specific enough to distinguish it from sarcomatoid carcinoma.

The researchers analyzed 29 sacromatoid mesothelioma tissue samples and 31 lung sarcomatoid carcinoma tissue samples and found MUC4 was found in 72 percent of lung sarcomatoid patients but none of the sarcomatoid mesothelioma samples.

“MUC4’s presence also distinguished between the diseases with a sensitivity of 100 percent, a specificity of 72 percent, and an accuracy rate of 87 percent, higher than any of the current and commonly used markers,” the news source states.

Researchers also found the combination of MUC4, TTF-1 and p40 proteins was found in 90 percent of the carcinoma samples but in none of the mesothelioma samples. The findings highlight the potential to better diagnose sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

 

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