Posts Tagged ‘Test’

New Gene Test Provides Approximate Survival Rates for Mesothelioma Patients

New Gene Test Provides Approximate Survival Rates for Mesothelioma Patients

According to a study published in the May 6 Journal of the National Cancer Institute(JNCI), scientists have recently devised a test that can accurately predict which mesothelioma patients have the best chance for survival. The test is also useful for identifying which patients would be the best candidates for surgery, another treatment option for mesothelioma cancer.

The test works by identifying the ratios of four genes present in tissue samples of mesothelioma cancer patients and comparing them with samples of tissue from patients who have survived mesothelioma cancer for an extended period of time. The gene test proved to provide consistent and easily repeatable results across different research campuses. Despite different technicians using different instruments in different laboratories, the test showed a high efficacy rate.

The test was devised by Dr. Raphael Bueno, the Associate Chief in the Division of Thoracic Surgery and Director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Previously, predicting a patient’s prognosis was an invasive process; according to Dr. Bueno, major surgery was required to adequately predict the outcome. In the interest of creating a more accessible, less invasive, and accurately informative test, Dr. Bueno and his team looked to preexisting cancer tests. Specifically, the team looked at two gene-based testing methods that have been used in predicting breast cancer recurrence. Though this technology has not been widely used due to heavy logistical requirements, the inspiration provided enough incentive to help Dr. Bueno and his team develop what could be one of the biggest steps forward in accurate mesothelioma diagnosis in recent years.

The study announced in the JNCI was to determine how accurately the test predicted the survival rates of patients. Researchers examined samples of tissue from 120 mesothelioma patients and followed their cases until 2007 or until their death. Using the gene ratio test, researchers categorized the participants in two groups: a good outcome group, and a poor outcome group. On average, the poor outcome group survived 9.5 months; the good outcome group survived 16.8 months, almost double the rate of survival.

Since this test is so revealing about the survival rates of patients, it provides an opportunity for families and individuals to choose the best treatment option for mesothelioma cancer. Patients with good gene ratio test results could be more likely to benefit from surgery, while those in the lower survival rate group seek the best supportive care available.

Mesothelioma is often a very debilitating condition that may require large amounts of physical therapy and treatment options as well as require thousands of dollars in medical costs. It is common for many patients to discuss a mesothelioma lawsuit with an experienced personal injury attorney.

By contacting a mesothelioma lawyer, a patient is increasing their chances of receiving monetary funds as a compensation for the damages endured because of mesothelioma cancer. Additionally, a mesothelioma lawsuit may also result in the reimbursement of expensive medical bills as well as open the door for patients to receive costly medical care that they may have otherwise been able to afford or receive.

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Mesothelioma Blood Test-Mesomark Test

Mesothelioma Blood Test-Mesomark Test

The reason for high death rates among mesothelioma patients is the aggressive nature of the disease and the inability to diagnose it until it is well advanced. Because mesothelioma symptoms do not show up until about 40-50 years after exposure to asbestos, most cases at the time of diagnosis have already reached Stage III or IV. As a result, mesothelioma treatment options are often more palliative than curative.

However, the ability to diagnose the disease at an earlier time would certainly result in a better prognosis for mesothelioma patients. That ability is now present in the form of a mesothelioma blood test known as Mesomark. Developed by Fujirebio Diagnostics Inc. of Malvern, Pennsylvania, a leader in the field of oncology testing, the test measures the amount of a particular biomarker in human serum.

The test was first released in Australia in March 2005 and distribution expanded to Europe just a few months later. Food and Drug Administration approval for the blood test was received nearly two years later in January 2007.

Testing for Mesothelioma

Mesomark is an easily performed blood test that uses an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure the amount of Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptides (SMRP) in human serum. SMRP is a biomarker that is produced by mesothelioma cells, and this biomarker may be elevated in the serum of patients who have mesothelioma. The detection of the biomarker through a blood test can help attain an early diagnosis, resulting in more treatment options and a better prognosis for patients.

Mesomark is what is referred to as an in-vitro test. In this test, the blood that is drawn from the patient is sent to a laboratory to measure the level of SMRP. This is performed by using monoclonal antibodies that are known to specifically bind to SMRP. Measuring the amount of bound antibodies in the blood indicates the amount of SMRP, and certain levels indicate the presence of mesothelioma. In addition to detecting the presence of mesothelioma in yet-to-be-diagnosed patients, the Mesomark blood test may also be used to monitor the success of treatments in patients who have already been diagnosed with the disease.

These tests will also help determine the next course of treatment.

The Mesomark blood test has NOT yet been approved for the early diagnosis of mesothelioma.

This test has been approved as a Humanitarian Use Device (HUD), meaning that physicians must follow certain procedures to qualify their patients for testing. Once the physician is certified, informational brochures will be sent to be distributed to each applicable patient.

Those wishing to take part in Mesomark testing will be asked to provide one or more samples of blood. The blood samples will then be sent to a national reference laboratory for testing. In conjunction with other clinical and laboratory data obtained by your doctor, decisions regarding your treatment and care may be simplified. You may discontinue testing at any time.

The costs associated with the Mesomark blood test may not be covered under health insurance, therefore, you may be required to pay all or part of the costs out of pocket. It is recommended that you check with your insurance carrier to determine whether coverage is available under your policy.

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