Researchers in Switzerland are hopeful about a new diagnostic tool for malignant pleural mesothelioma. The interaction between a surface molecule found on cancer cells and a particular protein may signal the presence of the disease, and can even help to distinguish it from other cancers. This biomarker could help foster a timely mesothelioma diagnosis without the need for an invasive tissue biopsy.
A study conducted at the University Hospital Berne reviewed evidence surrounding elevated levels of the molecule CD44 in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. CD44 helps cells to adhere to other cells or surfaces, which is vital to their growth and expansion. CD44 is found on tumor cells from multiple types of cancer, and while it presents in a different form than on healthy cells, it serves a similar function, which can foster tumor growth. CD44 is also a receptor that frequently bonds to the protein hyaluronan, which promotes tissue modulation and cell movement and expansion in both healthy and cancerous cells.
High Levels of Molecules Found in Mesothelioma Patients
Multiple studies have shown that both CD44 and hyaluronan are found in much higher levels in mesothelioma patients than in lung cancer patients. One study found that 70 percent of mesothelioma patients have elevated levels of hyaluronan in their pleural fluid or blood. Furthermore, evidence shows that concentrations of the molecules may increase in later stages of the disease. Not all studies had the same results, however; some argued that hyaluronan can be found in high levels in other types of cancer, while others found that the absence of CD44 and hyaluronan does not necessarily indicate the absence of mesothelioma.
There have been other molecules identified as potential biomarkers for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Currently, mesothelin has proven most effective in the clinical diagnosis of mesothelioma. Adding CD44/hyaluronan and others to form a biomarker panel could help to provide a more conclusive diagnosis and help patients get to the treatment stage faster, which could improve survival rates.
Mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos, is a rare and deadly form of cancer infecting the lining of the lungs, heart, and chest cavity. Experts agree that early detection of mesothelioma is key to improving patient outcomes, but the disease is very difficult to diagnose. It can lay dormant in the body for decades after the initial asbestos exposure, and when symptoms do present, they often mimic other diseases. Once mesothelioma is diagnosed, it can also be difficult to treat, as it is resistant to many common cancer treatment methods.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Fight for the Rights of Mesothelioma Victims
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call the legal team at Shein Law. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case and prepare an aggressive legal strategy to recover the compensation to which you are entitled. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, we help mesothelioma patients and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online to discuss your case with one of our experienced Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers.