Asbestos exposure from working in older buildings is a serious health threat to thousands of workers. Some have died while many have been stricken with debilitating cancer in the lungs and other tissue in the body.
The earlier these conditions are detected, the more likely they can be dealt with successfully.
Researchers at New York University’s Langone Medical Center recently discovered a method to detect pulmonary cancer related to asbestos in its early stages. More specifically, the test detects a certain kind of protein secreted from cancerous tumors and cells.
In a blind test organized by an outside organization, researchers were able to detect 15 of 19 malignant pleural mesothelioma cases that were either in stage 1 or stage 2…this particular study shows the protein detecting method discovered by NYU researchers is approximately 80% sensitive in identifying the disease.
To discover the presence of this protein, researchers used what’s called a “Multiplex SOMAmer Assay” by SomaLogic, Inc. to analyze 170 blood samples from 90 or so patients diagnosed with the disease. They also analyzed 80 individuals who were simply exposed to asbestos but haven’t become ill.
Specifically, this technology uses chemically-modified strands of DNA to bind to specific proteins only present if you have a mesothelioma condition.
“The goal of a new diagnostic test is to find the cancer early enough to effectively treat it,” comments Harvey Pass, M.D., director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at NYU. “When found early, the magnitude of the operation necessary to reduce the burden of disease may be less, making the patient better able to cope if the disease recurs and the patient needs more aggressive therapy.”
Malignant pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs and is a very aggressive form of asbestos-related pulmonary cancer. Each year, approximately 20,000 people die from this disease worldwide.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, it’s important you get tested today. If conditions of a workplace brought on these conditions, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to pay for any treatment and lost wages.
If you’ve been exposed and tested positive for mesothelioma, contact workers’ comp attorneys at Denver’s Babcock Law Firm today for a free consultation.