What Is Mesomark?
Mesomark is a tool that can be used in diagnosing and monitoring the development of mesothelioma cancer.
It is a blood test that measures biomarkers, or disease indicators, in an individual’s blood. This kit is available commercially and was the first blood serum-based test designed with mesothelioma sensitivity to receive approval from the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
How Does Mesomark Work?
Soluble mesothelin-related peptides or SMRPs can be used as a telltale sign of malignant pleural mesothelioma. A glycoprotein is a protein that has sugar molecules attached. Mesothelin is a glycoprotein that be found on non-cancerous mesothelial cells; however, patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma show abnormally high levels of mesothelin. Patients with other types of cancer may also have high levels of mesothelin.
Medical researchers believe that SMRPs are peptide fragments of mesothelin, or potentially variant versions of it that become detached from the surfaces of mesothelial cells. In either case, SMRPs are released into the bloodstream by cancerous cells, can be found in serum / pleural fluid, and may indicate a mesothelioma diagnosis. Mesomark measures SMRPs in the blood serum of a patient as a possible indicator of mesothelioma.
Is Mesomark Effective?
Not all mesothelioma tumors release SMRPs. For this reason, doctors typically will use a secondary form of testing in conjunction with the Mesomark test, as per FDA recommendations. Mesomark can also be effective in staging mesothelioma.
In addition to SMRPs, other biomarkers that may be used by a doctor to
monitor mesothelioma include:
- Estrogen Receptor-β, or ER-β
- Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor, or EGFR
- Platelet Derivative Growth Factor, or PDGF
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