From the blog

A Mesothelioma Blood Test Could Improve Patient Quality of Life

Published: December 3, 2021

A blood test for mesothelioma could help increase the time between CT scan appointments. The typical way doctors test to see if a treatment is working is called mRECIST, which utilizes CT scans and other measurements. CT scans are expensive though and can lead to larger exposure to ionizing radiation than someone might expect. The study wanted to see how close the mRECIST results were to SMRP levels, which is a blood test. The researchers found that some regular CT scans could be replaced with a blood test.

The SMRP mesothelioma blood test, which stands for soluble mesothelin-related peptides, looks for broken down products from the proteins in the pleural membrane. It is not able to diagnose mesothelioma by itself though. Blood tests are usually combined with imaging studies, exams, lung fluid samples, and biopsies to make absolutely sure a person has mesothelioma. This information is then put into mRECIST, which can help the doctors measure the changes in tumor size over time. mRECIST utilizes size, number, and location measurements and the levels of biomarkers to help make a diagnosis.

The researchers in Italy examined 183 test results from the SMRP blood test and 53 pleural mesothelioma mRECIST scores.  When looking at the data, they did not know which group was which. The data showed that there was a statistically significant correlation between SMRP and mRECIST. There is a chance that the blood test could lower the amount of CT scans people need to receive. This would then reduce the radiation people receive and inconvenience that they experience. The results are still exploratory, so more research needs to be done to understand the two measurements’ relationship. If the research finds that the blood test is good enough, the monitoring of patients could greatly improve.

Mesothelioma patient monitoring is crucial to improving long term survival. With monitoring, new spread of cancer can be detected and treated early, lengthening a patient’s life. If you worked with asbestos, contact a doctor immediately to be tested for mesothelioma. This could greatly improve you chance of living a longer life.

Federica Grosso et al., “Pilot Study to Evaluate Serum Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptide (SMRP) as Marker for Clinical Monitoring of Pleural Mesothelioma (PM): Correlation with Modified RECIST Score” Diagnostics (October 29, 2021). [Link]
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