Screening Test For Mesothelioma

Screening, in medicine, is a strategy used to detect disease in individuals without signs or symptoms of that disease. Unlike most medicine in screening tests are performed on those without any clinical indication of disease. Mesothelioma is a disease that is caused due to exposure to asbestos. Symptoms of the are hard to identify as they appear to be a simple contraction of the common cold and it takes 30 to 50 years after being exposed to asbestos. Symptoms of Mesothelioma are similar to that of Tuberculosis and Asthma to a large extent.

Some victims may have mild symptoms like difficulty in swallowing, Shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of appetite, and weight loss before developing the Mesothelioma cancer.

There is no norm for screening people who have been exposed to asbestos but screening tests might diagnose mesothelioma earlier than conventional methods. This test improves the survival prospects of the patient. Serum osteopontin level is the blood serum test that is used in screening asbestos-exposed people for mesothelioma. Evidence suggest that serum SMRP-“soluble mesothelin-related protein" measurements may have a useful role in diagnosis of mesothelioma and in monitoring disease progression. A research was conducted by Perth Mesothelioma Centre and the PNRI in Seattle found that mesothelin-family proteins are elevated in sera from Mesothelioma patients and can predate diagnosis.

If there are signs of elevated SMRP –soluble mesothelium related proteins level in an individual, he should follow attempts to confirm the presence of mesothelioma. The test use standard radiological and pathological tools including direct pleuroscopy with biopsy of any suspicious lesions. If mesothelioma is confirmed, standard therapy would be undertaken. If not, careful ongoing monitoring would be required.

Mesomark Assay-the screening test

Mesomark Assay is a screening test conducted in controlled conditions to monitor and possibly diagnose Mesothelioma. This test was developed by Fujirebio Diagnostics and approved in late January 2007 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It works by measuring levels of soluble mesothelin-related proteins (SMRP’s) released by mesothelioma. The level of soluble mesothelin-related protein is elevated in the serum of about 75% of patients during diagnosis and it has been suggested that it may be useful for screening. Doctors have begun testing the Mesomark assay which measures levels of soluble mesothelin-related proteins (SMRP’s) released by mesothelioma cells.

Screening Analysis

For many people, screening instinctively seems like an appropriate thing to do because identifying something earlier seems better. However, no screening test is perfect. There will always be problems with incorrect results which add to the medical cost.

Screening helps in early diagnosis without screening the disease may be discovered later, when symptoms appear. In both cases the patient can die at the same time because the disease is diagnosed earlier with screening. The survival time since diagnosis is longer with screening but life span will not be prolonged. There will be added anxiety as the patient has to live with knowledge of the disease for longer Period.

Screening can certainly improve outcomes but this must be confirmed with proper statistical analysis not simplistic comparison of numbers.

Newer Post Older Post