From the blog

ACADL Could Help with the Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

Published: May 24, 2024

Mesothelioma, a cancer mainly caused by asbestos exposure, is typically found in older Americans. One problem with mesothelioma is that it is hard to tell between reactive and cancerous cells. A study in the American Journal of Pathology sheds light and expands on this information. The study found a biomarker, ACADL, while using advanced analysis methods.

Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed after someone experiencing symptoms visits a doctor. To diagnose mesothelioma, a tissue biopsy is usually performed. The procedure involves the doctor removing tissue that is then examined. Most of the time, tissue biopsies are done with a needle and are examined in a laboratory. Biomarkers are looked for to see whether the tissue sample contains mesothelioma. There is a problem though. Reactive mesothelial cells look a lot like malignant mesothelioma cells. This complicates the doctor’s ability to give an accurate diagnosis. This is why biomarkers are so important. Doctors are able to, with the help of biomarkers, distinguish between benign and malignant mesothelioma cells. This ability is vital to help patients who were exposed to asbestos years prior.

A new study looked at gene expression data from various sources. ACADL and three other biomarkers were found that helped to distinguish mesothelial from mesothelioma cells. The markers were identified using machine learning tools like LASSO, SVM-RFE, and Random Rorest. Of the biomarkers that were found, ACADL stood out to researchers. Validation from different datasets confirmed ACADL’s diagnostic potential. It stands out because it can help distinguish between reactive cells and cancer cells. Immunohistochemistry tests showed that ACADL was specific enough because it stained mesothelial cells while showing low expression in cancer cells.

ACADL gives hope to older Americans exposed to asbestos. It helps in diagnosing mesothelioma cases accurately. More research is needed including larger clinical studies and functional experiments, which could help researchers understand ACADL and its potential role in treating mesothelioma. ACADL is an important biomarker and gives hope to elderly Americans and individuals worldwide due to it being able to distinguish between reactive and malignant mesothelioma cells. This allows healthcare to be more accurate and personalized. With more research, there could be better outcomes and better quality of life could be experienced by mesothelioma sufferers.

Clinical trials like this are an important part of the cancer treatment process. Without clinical trials, we would not be where we are today in diagnosing and treating mesothelioma and other hard to treat cancers. More research needs to continue so there could be a possibility of a cure or at least an improvement in quality of life for patients.

Yige Yin et al., “Integrated Bioinformatics and Machine Learning Analysis Identify ACADL as a Potent Biomarker of Reactive Mesothelial Cells” The American Journal of Pathology (April 21, 2024). [Link]
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