Pleural Mesothelioma? Unique Indicator of the Onset of Mesothelioma

Posted by : indra budiman | | Published in

Pleural mesothelioma diagnosis is typically met with the striking news that a patient has less than a year or two to live. Early diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma can increase the likelihood of effective treatment. Identifying a level of protein from a specific gene might just be the key to early mesothelioma treatment.

Pleural mesothelioma is significantly more alarming than other asbestos-caused diseases such as asbestosis because of the high risk of death that comes along with the diagnosis of this cancer. However, the short life span that follows mesothelioma is often a result of its late diagnosis. If this asbestos caused cancer were to be diagnosed earlier, then potentially life-saving treatment could begin earlier.

Pleural mesothelioma and asbestosis are lung diseases that produce symptoms similar to hundreds of other potential respiratory illnesses and cancers. Although a history of working with asbestos is a strong indicator that asbestos may be the cause of a patient’s lung disease, many patients fail to mention their working history to their physicians, and many physicians dismiss the possibility of asbestos related disease because of its low reported statistics. These statistics, however, are vastly under-reported, as many countries do not have the access to the medical knowledge, equipment, or personnel to correctly determine and report asbestos-caused diseases. Asbestos use continues to thrive around the world, and the incidences of asbestos caused cancer and asbestosis will continue to thrive as well. 

Medial researchers are trying to prepare for the future epidemic of asbestos illnesses that the asbestos workers of today will be suffering from in the upcoming decades. Although a cure for pleural mesothelioma is far off in the distance, medical researchers have found that a protein gene identified as osteoprontin exists in patients with this disease and their serum osteoprontin levels are six times higher than other lung disease patients. Osteoprontin is typically associated with the bones since it is a protein located in the bones. However, the gene is an active participant and an important player in bone remodeling, wound healing, and the immune system. The University of Bristol in the UK also found that the gene needs to be suppressed to prevent dangerous scarring of internal tissues and have begun to work on a gel to speed up wound healing that facilitates this suppression.

For patients suffering from undiagnosed respiratory illnesses, identifying an increase in serum osteoprontin can distinguish asbestos cancer from asbestosis or lung cancer. This will save years of unnecessary testing and expenses, provide the opportunity for early cancer treatment, and even increase the swiftness of processing asbestos workers’ compensation claims.

Pleural mesothelioma research, medical research on asbestosis, and medical research on other asbestos-related diseases continues to contribute valuable findings that can contribute to improving care and provide valuable medical insights that can be applied within multiple medical fields. Soluble mesothelin-related peptide is similar to osteoprontin, and is also a unique identifier of mesothelioma. Accessible medical access that can test individuals for both of these unique markers can have a significant impact on the health and longevity of today’s asbestos workers. Lung diseases may soon be more easily differentiated. But that isn’t enough. Medical accessibility must be improved around the world so today’s asbestos workers can get the early treatment they need to survive.