Health Discoveries in Mesothelioma

Earlier detection tool studied for mesothelioma

November 4, 2010
A research team at the UCLA Medical Center is hoping to create a mesothelioma "fingerprint" based on protein profiles that will help them develop earlier detection of the disease.

By using proteonomics, which studies normal and abnormal cells that generate unique amounts and kinds of proteins, a protein profile may be built from mesothelioma cells, according to the California-based Pacific, Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI), which works with the university on mesothelioma research.

The project will include mesothelioma patients at all stages of the disease, as well as healthy participants and those who have been exposed to asbestos but haven't developed mesothelioma.

By testing blood and urine samples from these groups, the researchers hope to build a protein-based mesothelioma fingerprint that could be detected by a blood test and lead to earlier detection and treatment of the disease.

Mesothelioma is a rare, but severe form of cancer that often isn't detected until the disease has reached a late stage. Survival from the time of diagnosis generally ranges from four to 18 months.

The Cancer Institute of the North Shore-LIJ Health System uses a multidisciplinary approach to individualized cancer treatment that includes a team of medical, surgical and radiation oncologists, surgical subspecialists, pathologists, nurses, social workers, nutritionists and genetic counselors.
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