New Biomarkers Discovered for Mesothelioma
03/07/2011 // Chicago, IL, USA // Mesothelioma Lawyers – Cooney & Conway // Cooney & Conway
Scientists have announced the discovery of biomarkers and protein signatures—telltale signs indicating the presence of disease—for mesothelioma, a particularly aggressive cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure.
The finding is “significant,” say mesothelioma lawyers and advocates who have seen the disease’s horrors firsthand.
Mesothelioma can take decades to develop and is typically detected only in an advanced stage. At that point, treatment options are few and usually add just months to a patient’s life expectancy. Earlier detection could boost the effectiveness of treatments so they do a better job of prolonging lives and alleviating mesothelioma’s painful, debilitating symptoms.
Researchers from Somalogic Inc. announced their findings at the 4th AACR International Conference on Molecular Diagnosis in Cancer Therapeutic Development. Somalogic also disclosed at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting that it had found biomarkers and protein signatures for pancreatic cancer.
“Detection of these aggressive cancers at an earlier stage would identify patients for early treatment, which may improve their survival and quality of life,” says Rachel Ostroff, clinical research director at Somalogic.
Somalogic used aptamers—nucleic acid molecules that bind to specific proteins—to identify blood-based biomarkers in individuals who had been diagnosed but not yet treated for mesothelioma and pancreatic cancer. After identifying these biomarkers, the researchers were able to detect both mesothelioma and pancreatic cancer, with a high rate of accuracy.
“Validation studies are underway, which we hope will lead to the development of diagnostic tests that hold clinical benefits for patients,” says Ostroff.
Mesothelioma causes an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 deaths a year worldwide.
For patients, often the only relief comes in the courts. Mesothelioma lawyers have been able to obtain large and often multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements against employers, manufacturers and property owners who knew or should have known about the dangers of asbestos, but insufficiently warned or protected others.
Asbestos can still be found in countless homes, workplaces, and even schools. The heat and fire-resistant material was long used as a key component in ceilings, insulation, flooring, piping and many other products.
When asbestos is disturbed, for instance, during a renovation or demolition project, it can become airborne, where it is particularly dangerous. Any asbestos fibers that are inhaled can become lodged in the lungs, triggering diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer years later.
The continuing use and presence of asbestos means that mesothelioma death rates are not likely to decrease anytime soon, making earlier detection of the disease and more effective treatment vital.
*This news story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we have been advocates for those injured because of the wrongful actions of others. We have litigated and resolved some of the nation’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, bringing justice—and compensation—to victims of asbestos exposure and the lung cancer, mesothelioma and other deadly diseases it can cause.
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