Measuring levels of that molecule in blood samples allowed the researchers to discriminate between MPM patients and controls with an accuracy of 82.4%.
"Detailed analyses of our two independent sample series have shown that miR-625-3p performs as well as any previously proposed protein marker for detecting mesothelioma," Dr Kirschner said. "However, like most diagnostic markers, miR-625-3p is not 100% accurate, and therefore there is a chance the assay will produce both false positives as well as false negatives. Further studies on larger sample sizes are needed to see whether the accuracy of miR-625-3p can be confirmed or even turn out to be better than currently observed."
"Should further studies prove that microRNAs in plasma are accurate enough for the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma, this will lead to the development of a diagnostic test for routine clinical use," Dr Kirschner said. "This test would then represent a relatively simple way to circumvent the problems associated with obtaining a tissue biopsy. For a patient this would mean that appropriate treatment could be instituted at an earlier stage."
High-dose radiotherapy gives good response rates
Despite a widespread belief that mesothelioma does not respond to radiotherapy, Australian researchers have found that it may have the best response rates of any single treatment for patients with disease largely confined to one side of the chest.
Between 2003 and 2011, Dr Malcolm Feigen and colleagues from Austin Health Radiation Oncology Center in Melbourne gave radiotherapy to 45 patients aged 45 to 74 with doses of between 45 and 60 Gy to one side of the chest over six weeks. The radiation was administered using 3D-conformal or intensity-modulated radiotherapy. None had surgery to remove their affected lung. At the beginning of treatment more than 80% of
|Contact: Vanessa Pavinato|
European Society for Medical Oncology