Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining, or pleura of the lungs and is difficult to detect in the early stages. Each year, about 3,000 people are diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma with a life expectancy between six and 18 months, largely because of late detection. At this point, effective treatment is difficult to administer and the prognosis is grim. For this reason, researchers around the world seek a reliable, simple method of early detection.
Doctor Haining Yang heads a team of researchers at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center who discovered that the blood of asbestos exposure victims contains a protein called HMGB1. The protein changes into a detectable isoform when mesothelioma develops. Unfortunately, current blood testing methods do not readily support finding these proteins.
Research at the University of California studied circulating cell-free DNA by developing a computerized methylation profile tool that uses a simple blood test to detect seven cancers, one of which is lung cancer. The tool, called CancerLocator, cross references methylation data with methylation markers found in a sample of blood. Using this data, CancerLocator then determines if and what type of cancer is present in the body.
The system was checked against live-data and performed remarkably well because the methylation markers found in blood appear before cancer metastasis. Metastasis is the process where cancer cells break away from the initial mass and spread throughout the body. Ninety percent of cancer deaths are attributed to metastasis, so finding cancer before this stage can lead to more lifesaving treatments, especially for future victims of mesothelioma.
Although numerous screening tools exist for finding other cancers, none yet exist for that caused by asbestos. This test will provide doctors with the ability to take an in-office blood sample and have it analyzed for multiple cancers at once. It is far less invasive than current methods and holds the promise to be more reliable.
When mesothelioma strikes an individual, the entire family is affected. Treatments are time-consuming and costly. Pain and suffering is immense physically and psychologically. The emotional toll of this cancer cannot be understated and is only exacerbated by the financial toll the disease exerts. Having helped thousands of clients over the years, the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler are committed to holding those responsible accountable for their negligence.
If you or a loved one is suffering the effects of asbestos exposure, the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler can help. Schedule a free consultation by submitting an online contact form or call 215-569-4000 or 800-369-0899 for immediate assistance. We help families in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Delaware County and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.