It is widely known and accepted that mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is a difficult disease to diagnose. Sadly, the majority of patients are not diagnosed until their disease has reached an advanced stage leaving them with limited treatment options and a poor prognosis. To further complicate the diagnostic process, it is also challenging for physicians to distinguish malignant pleural mesothelioma from other medical conditions such as non-cancerous reactive mesothelial proliferations (RMPs). The Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler reviewed the results of a recently published study that identified several biomarkers that show encouraging results in helping to confirm an early definitive diagnosis of mesothelioma. An early diagnosis of mesothelioma is associated with improved patient outcomes. This should bring some much needed hope and encouragement to the mesothelioma community.
Prior research has shown that microRNAs can serve as biomarkers for specific diagnostic and prognostic purposes. MicroRNAs are small molecules that play a key regulatory role in many diseases including some cancers. They aid in cell growth and development. Scientists from the Laboratory of Molecular Pathology at the Department of Pathology of Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark believe they may have identified four key biomarkers that may help address the problematic issue of distinguishing malignant pleural mesothelioma from non-cancerous pleural tissue with RMPs. The researchers evaluated 742 microRNAs to determine those that are most closely related to mesothelioma. The four significant biomarkers that they found to be the most ideal candidates to help diagnose malignant pleural mesothelioma are miR-126, miR-143, miR-145 and miR-652. Using these miRNAs to analyze mesothelioma tissue samples and healthy tissue samples, they were able to correctly identify the samples with an accuracy rate of 0.94, sensitivity of 0.95 and a specificity of 0.93. These results meet the criteria set forth by the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG), which recommends for a malignant pleural mesothelioma diagnostic marker to have a sensitivity and specificity rate greater than 0.80. In addition, the team of researchers was also able to develop a correlation between miRNA levels and patient survival rates. The investigators have called for additional studies on this significant biomarker research in order to confirm the role of miRNAs and to further determine the role of combining these biomarkers with immunohistochemical testing. All of the study results have been published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, contact the Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at the Law Offices of Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler to discuss your legal rights. Our Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers are committed to helping mesothelioma victims obtain the justice and the compensation they need to move forward after being diagnosed with such a devastating disease. Our law firm is conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia allowing us to serve clients in the communities throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-800-369-0899 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled mesothelioma lawyers or contact us online.