Mesothelioma researchers in Australia have announced that mesothelioma can be diagnosed at an early stage by testing levels of mesothelin in fluid taken from a pleural effusion or peritoneal effusion. http://www.cancerpage.com/news/article.asp?id=11098 Such effusions are a classic mesothelioma symptom and testing fluid from pleural and peritoneal effusions is often the first diagnostic test for suspected cases of mesothelioma.
According to the article in Cancerpage.com, the team of Australian researchers, led by Dr. Jenette Creaney, maintains that: "Measurement of mesothelin levels in effusions could facilitate earlier diagnosis."
The article also states: "Dr. Creaney and associates previously showed that serum levels of mesothelin had high specificity and moderate sensitivity for mesothelioma. Based on these findings, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of serum levels of soluble mesothelin for disease monitoring in mesothelioma."
The possibility of a test that could detect mesothelioma at an early stage could extend and perhaps even save lives. Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed at advanced stages when the mesothelioma has already spread in sheets throughout the pleura or peritoneum.
We hope this break-through will lead to earlier mesothelioma diagnoses and ultimately a mesothelioma cure.