Mesothelioma diagnosis is often difficult because its symptoms take decades to manifest and are associated with other respiratory illnesses. Since mesothelioma long latency period is very long therefore it is not usually identified until the disease has progressed to the late stages. Currently, there is no cure available for mesothelioma; however, mesothelioma treatment methods such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy may improve the quality of life as well as the life expectancy. Early prognosis can make the treatment more effective. MESOMARK is a latest breakthrough in mesothelioma diagnosis which is helpful in detecting mesothelioma, has been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
What is MESOMARK?
Mesomark is a blood test that helps determine the presence of mesothelioma. It will allow physicians to diagnose mesothelioma at its early stages, when it may be more susceptible to treatment. The Mesomark test may help oncologists to determine how rapidly the disease is progressing and what treatment option will be better to treat the symptoms. Mesomark test focuses on the presence or absence of specific biomarkers in the blood. Mesomark measures the blood serum concentrations of a marker called soluble mesothelin–related protein (SMRP), because their levels are usually high in mesothelioma patients.
Mesomark, a blood test developed by Fujirebio Diagnostics in Malvern, Pennsylvania, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2007. By calculating the amount of SMRP in a blood sample, doctors may be able to better monitor a patient’s progress. Still, this blood test has not been approved for the early diagnosis of mesothelioma.
The test was first available only in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and it was not available in the United States. Now, this test has been approved as a Humanitarian Use Device (HUD) and doctors must follow certain procedures to qualify their patients for testing mesothelioma in its early stages. Once the physician is certified, informational brochures will be sent to be distributed to each applicable patient. If you have a history of asbestos exposure and if you think you have a high risk to get the disease, ask your doctor to order the test. The Fujirebio Lab estimates only 65 percent of mesothelioma patients will show up positive on the test.
A Study Shows Effectiveness of MESOMARK
A study released by researchers at New York University in February 2007 suggests that the test may be effective. Dr. Harvey Pass of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at NYU’s School of Medicine says that “Our findings not only show that SMRP is indeed a valid biomarker for mesothelioma, but also justify further research as a prospective screening test.”
The test may assist researchers to diagnose mesothelioma that will improve survival rates and the quality of life for patients diagnosed with this aggressive and often fatal disease.
In the future, researchers hope that mesomark blood test will lead to detection of mesothelioma at an early and potentially curable stage.
Catherine A. Murphy is a web enthusiast and ingenious blogger who loves all things related to mesothelioma research findings. She is a chief editor of her blog mesoblog.org which is dedicated to the people and their loved ones who suffer from mesothelioma.