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New Diagnostic Flowchart Could Lead to Faster Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Study Reveals

A team of researchers says it has discovered a new diagnostic tool that could make diagnosing mesothelioma faster, giving patients a better chance at survival. Current diagnostic tools include blood tests, fluid and tissue sample tests, chest x-rays, computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET).

In the retrospective study, “How to assess the best immunohistochemical panel in the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma in a pathology lab,” researchers analyzed around 30 MPM patients diagnosed over a 20-year-period. The sensitivity and specificity of eight different antibodies was assessed.

According to the team, “the microscopic exam concluded to an epithelioid mesothelioma (EM) in 17 cases, sarcomatoid mesothelioma (SM) in four cases and biphasic mesothelioma (BM) in nine cases. The immunohistochemical study was performed in all cases. A mean of eight antibodies was used in every case, average 4 to 20 antibodies. The immunohistochemical study was repeated from 2 to 5 times in 15 cases and concerned a mean of 3 antibodies per case.”

“In EM and BM, the antibodies with positive predictive value and highest sensitivity were calretinin, EMA, cytokeratin, and vimentin reaching respectively a sensitivity of 86.2%, 89.7%, 92.9% and 89.3%. The most valuable antibodies with negative predictive value were TTF1, CD15 and ACE that presented a specificity reaching respectively 100%. In sarcomatoid mesothelioma, the most sensitive antibody was the cytokeratin antibody.”

The team concluded that the results yielded to a new tool, known as the “Diagnostic Flowchart” that can be used in routine practice “and that is in accordance with the literature findings.” The team added, “many diagnostic and technical pitfalls have to be known by pathologists when dealing with MPM.”

Although this is just one part of the process, this new Diagnostic Flowchart has the potential to assist in diagnosing MPM faster and more effectively, which is positive news for anyone who is at risk of developing mesothelioma.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, see your doctor right away. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist who can administer any available tests and establish a monitoring plan that can help detect mesothelioma sooner, when it is more treatable. Talk to your doctor today.



“Mesothelioma: Tests, Diagnosis, and Treatments.” WebMD. WebMD LLC, 2005-2018. Web. 02 July 2018.

Mlika, Mona, Oumeima Lamzibri and Saoussen Bacha. "How to assess the best immunohistochemical panel in the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma in a pathology lab." Taylor & Francis Group. Informa UK Limited, May 14 2018. Web. 02 July 2018.