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New liquid biopsy could diagnose mesothelioma early

Louisville residents should be aware that mesothelioma, especially pleural mesothelioma, is an aggressive cancer. What makes matters worse is that most people are diagnosed in its late stages and thus have a low survival rate. However, Israeli researchers have found that a new cancer blood test could identify early-stage mesothelioma.

What the test will do is detect the metabolic changes that immune system cells undergo when fighting cancer. An Israeli company is currently developing the test on the theory that the metabolism, which refers to the way the cells expend energy when fighting cancer, differs based on the type of cancer. It has come up with a diagnostic kit with 16 chemical stimulants, each of which will activate a patient's metabolism in a different way.

In a clinical trial, the test was able to identify stage 1 lung cancer, a cancer that is notoriously hard to detect, so future trials may produce positive results for mesothelioma as well. The test is known as a liquid biopsy. What sets this new test apart from other types of liquid biopsies is the rapidity with which it may identify cancer. Researchers say that diagnosis may only take several hours rather than days and weeks. The Israeli company is also working on a similar liquid biopsy for breast cancer.

Mesothelioma patients, regardless of what stage they were diagnosed with, may be wondering if they can be compensated for their condition. It may be that they used products containing asbestos or were exposed to the mineral while on the job. In such cases, they may have a case against the maker of the product or against their employer for exposing them to asbestos. A lawyer may evaluate the case and be of benefit in other ways, especially at the negotiation stage.

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