Mesothelioma is a disease that is caused by the inhalation or swallowing of asbestos dust or asbestos fibers. Historically it has taken three to four decades or more after the initial exposure for this deadly disease to appear. Because it has taken so long the prognosis for mesothelioma patients is very grim. Most die within approximately one year after they have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Recent research has found a number of tests that may offer doctors the ability to detect mesothelioma much earlier in their patient’s lives. As with any other type of cancer, the earlier the disease is detected the better is the prognosis for the patient.
The SMR Protein
Recently Australian researchers have found that there is an elevated level of a protein called Soluble Mesothelin Related protein, or SMR, in mesothelioma patients. The researchers believe that a blood test for the presence of SMR could be used to establish a marker that could be used for both diagnosis of the disease as well as for tracking the progress of the disease.
They also feel that if such a diagnosis tool is available that it could be used to detect the disease earlier. Consequently the treatment should be more effective.
One of the factors that may help to substantiate their findings is that a number of people who had been exposed to asbestos and tested positive for the Soluble Mesothelin Related protein were diagnosed as having mesothelioma within 3 years of the test.
Researchers also believe that SMR evaluation could help identify people that are at risk for mesothelioma.
Because they found that levels of SMR increased as the disease progressed they suggested that SMR analysis could be used to help track both the effectiveness of any treatment as well as the progress of the disease.
Researchers at Wayne State University have been studying a possible link between the levels of osteopontin glycoprotein and the development of mesothelioma. Their early clinical studies involved 190 patients. Within this small group a link was demonstrated between the development of malignant pleural mesothelioma and high levels of this protein.
These results should be looked at as being preliminary. However, many researchers are quite excited about the potential of using a blood test that may be able to screen for mesothelioma in the earliest stages of the disease.
Currently there is no cure that is known for malignant mesothelioma. However, ongoing research has resulted in a number of patients surviving beyond the average post diagnosis prognosis of one to two years.
The hope is that if researchers have more time to conduct treatments then the patients will ultimately have a better chance of survival.
Next, if you or someone you love would like free consultation with well established mesothelioma law firms go to => http://www.sokolovelaw.com/legal-help/mesothelioma-law-firm/ Wendy Moyer on behalf of Sokolove Law.