The test involves calretinin, a blood-based protein that is overexpressed when mesothelioma tumors cells are present. A reliable blood test would make the process much easier, allowing those at high risk for the disease to be monitored regularly, likely leading to disease discovery in its infancy when it is more manageable.
Occupational exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer with a long latency period (20-50 years). The majority of cases are not diagnosed until after the disease has spread, limiting treatment options.
Getting an accurate diagnosis today often takes many months and a variety of tests. Long-term survival is rare. Less than 25 percent of patients are eligible for a curative approach to aggressive surgery. Most patients receive only palliative chemotherapy. The typical prognosis is just 6-18 months.
The Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance at the Institute of the Ruhr University Bochum conducted the study in cooperation with the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases at the University of Western Australia in Perth.
A presentation of the research was made earlier this year at the annual Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation meeting in Maryland. BMC Cancer medical journal published the results in May, confirming a previous study by the same team of researchers.
This story has come from 'Asbestos .com' to read more about this research and the difference it could make in years to come follow the link below: