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New technique can help diagnose mesothelioma
Date:8/23/2009

r over 90 percent of these cases. However, all patients with pleural fluid cytology suspicious for mesothelioma and an elevated mesothelin level had mesothelioma.

"This study suggests a way for clinicians to more readily identify these cases from the start," said Dr. Davies.

Obtaining a prompt diagnosis of mesothelioma has benefits for patients and physicians alike. "Because mesothelioma has a median survival time of 12 months, minimizing the number of invasive procedures and tests patients require is crucial to reduce morbidity and the time they need to spend in hospital," said Dr. Davies. "An earlier diagnosis also allows speedier interventions to relieve symptoms as well as initiation of other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy if appropriate. Claims for worker's compensation may also be instigated once the diagnosis is confirmed."

Exposure to asbestos is the main risk factor and accounts for the majority of mesothelioma cases. Legislation to prevent occupational exposure to asbestos has been enforced in the developed world; however, unrestricted contact continues in developing countries. Over 90 percent of patients with mesothelioma present with a pleural effusion and its incidence is predicted to peak within the next two decades.

"Pleural fluid mesothelin provides a valuable adjunct in the diagnostic assessment of patients presenting with pleural effusions, especially when cytological examination is not definitive, and can improve clinical practice," said Dr. Davies.


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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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