Researchers work on mesothelioma blood test

A team of researchers is continuing its quest to identify and study proteins found on cancer cells as a way of improving the diagnosis of the deadly cancer known as mesothelioma. Specifically, researchers from the United States, Italy, Chile and Switzerland recently published findings regarding the development of a new blood-serum test that may possibly indicate the presence of mesothelioma biomarkers.

In the past, one of the frustrating roadblocks experienced by mesothelioma researchers is the fact that the most common mesothelioma biomarker, mesothelin, is also present and overproduced by other kinds of cancer cells besides mesothelioma - meaning it has little value for mesothelioma diagnosis purposes. Accordingly, researchers are now focusing on tests that identify groups of proteins that are only produced by mesothelioma cells.

Essentially, the group of international researchers used Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM) technology to detect groupings of mesothelioma-specific proteins. Subsequently, a blood serum test was developed to look for these proteins. The idea is that a simple blood test identifying these proteins may be used to diagnose mesothelioma in the future - that is, if the method is ultimately perfected. A blood test such as this could undoubtedly help countless mesothelioma victims in the process.

Asbestos: The root of the problem

It cannot be stressed enough that a reliable test for mesothelioma is extremely important given the fact that many common mesothelioma symptoms - such as coughing or shortness of breath - can be indicative of less serious ailments, which can easily lead to initial misdiagnoses.

Additionally, symptoms of mesothelioma may not even manifest themselves for years, or decades, after exposure to asbestos (which is the only known cause of mesothelioma). For instance, many of those diagnosed with mesothelioma came into contact with asbestos years before while working in the construction industry or serving in the military.

Sadly, asbestos was once commonly used in a variety of products due to its ability to resist heat and insulate well. Indeed, not only was asbestos routinely found in construction products such as insulation and flooring, but was also utilized by virtually every branch of the military. For example, asbestos was once commonplace in naval ships, air force planes and even on-base housing.

Legal assistance is available

It is likely that mesothelioma victims will continue to come forward for years to come. Accordingly, if you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma and you want to learn what your possible rights are, it is often best to consult with an experienced asbestos litigation attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can help review and explain your options given you circumstances.