"Researchers have shown that the protein fibulin-3 may be able to distinguish patients with mesothelioma from people with similar conditions and from healthy individuals. Although preliminary, the results suggest that this protein may be a promising new biomarker for diagnosing the disease and possibly informing prognosis. The study was published October 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.


Pleural mesothelioma, a disease of the tissue that lines the chest cavity and covers the lungs (the pleura), is an aggressive cancer often associated with asbestos exposure. Patients diagnosed with this disease have a median survival of 1 year.


Diagnosing mesothelioma early, when treatment may be most effective, is difficult because of its long latency period and the lack of reliable methods to detect the disease in its early stages. A protein called soluble mesothelin-related protein is the best-studied biomarker for mesothelioma, but the test for it has low sensitivity, meaning that it fails to detect mesothelioma in some people who have the disease.."

Via Brian Shields