Blood test may be used to track mesothelioma progression

23 Feb 2018 by under Research/Treatment

Catheter for chemotherapy 1 100x100 Blood test may be used to track mesothelioma progressionComputerized tomography, more commonly known as a CT scan, combines X-ray images taken from different angles for a detailed cross-sectional image of the body, according to the Mayo Clinic. While the procedure isn’t dangerous, many CTs are required to track the progress of mesothelioma tumors, which can become a timely and costly process.

Researchers from the United Kingdom believe they had created a way to reduce the number of CT scans mesothelioma patients need, according to Surviving Mesothelioma. A for levels of protein mesothelin may prove a cost-effective and time-effective way to check patients’ cancer progression.

To test the new approach, 41 patients with pleural mesothelioma received blood testing for at least a year after the ending chemotherapy treatments or beginning/continuing supportive care, along with six monthly CT scans. Doctors then compared mesothelin levels with tumor progression on the CT scans and survival rates.  A 10 percent rise in serum mesothelin levels was accurately associated with tumor progression 96 percent of the time, according to the news source. The test was 74 percent accurate at confirming patients whose tumors had not progressed. The research showed patients with mesothelin levels that stayed steady or fell at the six month mark lived an average of 2.5 times longer than those that rose.

“Given the emergence of effective non-chemotherapeutic treatments and second-line agents, accurate disease monitoring is becoming increasingly important,” the study concludes. “This study has demonstrated that regular mesothelins could be used as a cost effective adjunct or alternative to serial CT scanning.”

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